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Run for office, see your clout plummet

Rep. Jim Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, is already getting battered for his voting record in Congress.

Now he's near the bottom of the pile when it comes to power, according to a new analysis that ranks power in the GOP-controlled Congress.

According to the study by the non-partisan research firm, Knowlegis, the Tampa congressman is ranked 432nd in the House - dropping 12 slots since last year, a finding attributed to his pursuit for a different office.

Rep. Katherine Harris, R-Sarasota, who is challenging Sen. Bill Nelson for re-election, took an even greater dive, falling 43 slots to 284th in the House.

But it's not like many members of the Florida delegation have that much to brag about. Despite the fact that it's the fourth-largest state in the country and boasts the third-largest number of Republicans in its delegation, Florida ranks 40th when it comes to clout.

Nelson, a Democrat, outranks his Republican counterpart, Sen. Mel Martinez, perhaps by dint of seniority. Nelson was elected in 2000; Martinez in 2004. Nelson ranked 75th in the Senate, Martinez ranked 87th.

Members were graded on several criteria, including position, influence and success at pushing legislation.

Florida's highest ranking House member was Rep. Bill Young, R-St. Petersburg, whose 11th place ranking in the House reflects his years in office and chairmanship of a House appropriations subcommittee. He was followed by Rep. Clay Shaw, R-Fort Lauderdale, who ranked 62nd.

Rankings for every member of Congress can be found here: www.congress.org

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Cynical Idealist

Other than to separate people from their money, in the form of subscription revenue, do such "surveys" actually tell us something? Anything? I'd bet the "non-partisan research firm" is more partisan than the media thinks. Check and see where their funding comes from...

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