2010-07-06

Maryland LCV scorecard bias : Part 2, water qualtiy

Here are LCV's gubernatorial Water Quality grades for the past three administrations:

97 ]]]]]]]] . . . . .B- (Glendening/DEM)
01 ]]]]]]]]]] . . . B+ (Glendening/DEM)
04 ]]]]]]]]] . . . .B (Ehrlich/GOP) <----------------
06 ]]]] . . . . . . . D+ (Ehrlich/GOP
08 ]]]]]]]]]]]] . A (O'Malley/DEM)

Note especially Bob Ehrlich's "B" grade in 2004. LCV gave him this grade shortly after his Bay restoration fund (aka the "flush tax") was enacted. Here's what the the ACB's Bay Journal wrote about the Bay Restoration Fun shortly after it passed:
In what environmentalists called Maryland’s biggest step toward cleaning the Chesapeake Bay in decades, the General Assembly approved new levies on sewer users and septic owners to fund nutrient reduction programs in the state.
. . .

“This is a huge victory for the Bay, the most significant environmental advance in Maryland in nearly 20 years,” said Chesapeake Bay Foundation President Will Baker.

Hmmm. The "most significant environmental advance" in nearly 20 years, and LCV can muster only a B for Ehrlich? Two years later they reverted to their norm -- where Republicans are rated roughly two letter grades below Democrats -- and bumped him down to a D+.

But what exactly have Democrats accomplished to merit their far superior grades?

To help answer this question, I turned to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's annual State of the Bay reports covering 1999 through 2008. Specifically, I looked at CBF's overall measure of bay health as well as the numbers for (1) nitrogen (2) phosphorous, (3) dissolved oxygen, (4) water clarity, and (5) toxics.

For Glendening, I compared the CBF numbers for the last three years of his second term (2002 vs 1999). For Ehrlich, I looked at 2006 vs 2002, and for O'Malley I crunched the numbers for 2008 vs 2006.

Here are the results: Based solely on this CBF data -- surprise!!! -- Ehrlich had the best actual results. Here they are:

OVERALL BAY HEALTH

Ehrlich............. ]]]]]]] 7% improvement
O'Malley.......... ]]] 3% improvement
Glendening [[[[ 4% worse


NITROGEN

Ehrlich.............. ]]]]]] 6% improvement
O'Malley........... 0% change
Glendening....... 0% change


PHOSPHOROUS

Ehrlich............................]]]]]]]]]]]]] ~~~~]]]]]]]] 81% improvement
Glendening.................... 0% change
O'Malley........... [[[~[[[[ 21% worse


DISSOLVED OXYGEN

Ehrlich................. ]]]]]]] 7% improvement
Glendening...;...... 0% change
O'Malley... [[~[[ 13% worse


WATER CLARITY

Glendening.......... 0% change
Ehrlich......... [[[[[[ 6% worse
O'Malley.... [[[[[[[ 7% worse


TOXICS

O'Malley .................. 0% change
Ehrlich................ [[[[ 4% worse
Glendening.... [[[[[[[ 7% worse

Perhaps there is something wrong with these numbers. If so, I'd love to hear about it from the Maryland LCV (or anyone else out there), especially Cindy Schwartz or Frederick Hoover.

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