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Scorecard hints Hoosier lawmakers moved toward middle in 2012

Indiana members of Congress apparently moderated their voting records last year, according to ratings compiled by the fiscally conservative Club for Growth.

Five of eight Republican lawmakers posted scores for 2012 that were lower – or less conservative – than their career averages, while all three Democratic legislators had scores that were higher than their career marks.

Former Republican Rep. Mike Pence – now Indiana’s governor – scored 78 percent last year, compared with his 95 percent career score, according to Club for Growth. Meanwhile, former Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly – now a senator – scored 14 percent for his career but 37 percent last year.

Donnelly won his Senate seat by defeating Republican state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Club for Growth political action committees spent nearly $3.87 million trying to get Mourdock elected.

Scores were based on 30 votes taken in the Senate and 23 in the House. Club for Growth advocates for economic growth, tax reductions, limited government, deregulation, free trade and school choice. The group is headed by Chris Chocola, a former Republican congressman from Indiana.

Indiana Republicans whose scores for 2012 were higher than their career marks were Reps. Larry Bucshon and Todd Young. Former Rep. Dan Burton’s scores were the same -- 86 percent for the year and his 30-year career.

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, scored 88 percent last year, highest among Hoosier members of Congress. But that was 5 percentage points lower than Stutzman scored in 2011 and tied him for 42nd among 430 House members whose voting records were rated.

Republican Sen. Dan Coats scored 79 percent, which tied him for 18th highest in the 100-member Senate. His career score is 88 percent.

Former six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar scored 52 percent, which was 40th highest in the Senate, and 64 percent for his career.

The scorecard can be found at www.ClubForGrowth.org/Projects.