On the national political stage, the most conservative Republican from Florida might not be who you think it is.
That honor goes to U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds of Naples, one of the handful of black Republicans in Congress.
Donalds received a perfect 100 percent “Liberty Score”® from Conservative Review, a product of Glenn Beck’s Blaze Media website.
Beck’s group gives all members of Congress a Liberty Score based on up 50 votes that the Conservative Review, or CR, considers most critical over a rolling six-year term, the website says.
CR then assigns a letter grade so readers can quickly sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to supporting conservative principles. “The Liberty Score® helps evaluate your representatives and senators, providing the tools necessary to separate rhetoric from reality. We don’t expect any elected officials to be perfect, but we do expect them to keep promises,” the website says.
Lawmakers, like Donalds, who have been in Congress for at least six years, are scored on the most recent relative votes. The yardstick includes whether a lawmaker has supported or opposed measures such as President Joe Biden’s $40 billion aid package to Ukraine, the defense spending bill that allowed women to register for the draft, the budget bill that raised the national debt to $28.8 trillion, Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates and providing $300 billion in “corporate welfare” for computer chip manufacturers.
Biden’s Ukrainian military aid package, which came up for a vote on May 11, was the most recent issue graded by Liberty Score.,
Donalds, as noted, recorded a perfect 100.
Of the other 17 Florida Republicans in Congress, only two received a Liberty Score above 90, which equated to an “A” grade: Reps. Greg Steube of Sarasota and Kat Cammack of Gainesville. Each received a 94.
The rest of the Florida GOP caucus were In descending order: Rep. Scott Franklin, Rep. Daniel Webster, Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Brian Mast, Rep. Michael Waltz, Rep. Gus Bilirakis, Rep. Neal Dunn, Rep. Vern Buchanan, Rep. Carlos Gimenez, Rep. Maria Salazar, Rep. John Rutherford, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who recorded the lowest – or most liberal – Liberty Score at 39 percent.
While Diaz-Balart and some of the others at the lower end may seem close to RINO status, they are, by comparison, almost Ronald Reagan compared to the Florida Democrats.
Among those 11 lawmakers – including votes by the late Rep. Alcee Hastings – the most “conservative” Democrat was Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Orlando, whose Liberty Score was a 10.