Melancon foe uses rating as ammo

It didn’t take long for a new list ranking the most powerful — and least powerful — members of Congress to be used as political ammunition.

Louisiana state Sen. Craig Romero (R), vying to oust Rep. Charlie Melancon (D), highlighted the list of lawmakers that ranks Melancon as one of the House’s least powerful members.

A 2005 Knowlegis survey released Tuesday rated Melancon behind embattled Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) as the 417th most powerful person in the 435-member lower chamber.

Romero also noted that the survey gave Melancon a zero for legislative power and ranked him 310th in the category.

In a release, Romero’s campaign stated, “Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District needs a member of Congress who can get things done in Washington.”

However, some on Capitol Hill have lampooned the rankings, noting that some members of leadership are rated lower than rank-and-file members.

The Romero-Melancon race is expected to be one of the most competitive House campaigns this year.

“Our polling shows that our constituents feel he’s doing a great job. He has a 36-point lead on Romero and a 61 percent favorable job rating,” said Ellery Gould, spokesman for Melancon.

Bill Burton, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said, “People know what Melancon has done for his district and all of his efforts to clean up the Gulf Coast after the hurricanes. No one in Louisiana is interested in what a think tank in Washington has to say about their representative.”