Canton Repository

March 16, 2007

 Regula losing clout?

By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON Rep. Ralph Regula's clout has plummeted since Democrats took control of Congress, according to an assessment of lawmakers' power released Thursday.

But for a Republican, the Bethlehem Township lawmaker is still ranked pretty high - 150th out of 435 lawmakers - in a report from Knowlegis, a government relations company.

Regula, an 18-term veteran and senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, ranked a much higher 10th in Knowlegis' first report published last year.

As would be expected of a freshman, Rep. Zack Space, D-Dover, doesn't appear high in the rankings. But at 252nd, he's still in the top 60 percent - better than many more senior members of Congress.

Both of the state's senators scored low. Freshman Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Avon, ranked 84th out of 100 senators. Two-term Sen. George Voinovich, R-Cleveland, came in at 90th.

Like any analysis that purports to measure the many variables that go into making a lawmaker influential or powerful, this one is certain to be criticized for being arbitrary.

The report noted Regula's powerful committee assignment, and the fact he serves as ranking member of one of the appropriations subcommittees.

Few other lawmakers in Ohio serve on such powerful committees.

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, ranked 179th - below Regula - even though the third-term lawmaker is in the majority party. Ryan won a spot on the Appropriations Committee this year.

Among Ohioans, the highest ranking in the report were House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-West Chester, ranked fifth in the House; Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, ranked 64th; and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Cleveland, ranked 79th.