Do you recognize him? If you are from Idaho you probably do. Yes, it is the Angry Gnome himself, Jim Risch. If you are from anywhere else in the country, you probably have no idea who he is. That is why the National Journal described him as “…a senator so obscure that he might as well be dubbed the Ann Veal of the Senate.”
Why is the National Journal talking about Risch at all? It is because they have ranked him “the most conservative member of the Senate“.
When people think about conservative “all stars” in the Senate (if people ever actually think about such a thing), a few names probably come to mind. There’s Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who before leaving the Senate to run the Heritage Foundation—a conservative Think Tank—was the godfather of the tea party in the upper chamber. Then of course there is Rand Paul, son of Ron, libertarian champion from Kentucky. A little less known, but still with some name recognition, are Mike Lee of Utah and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, former head of the Club for Growth.
All of these guys rank on National Journal’s most conservative list, but none of them hold the top spot. That honor goes to James Risch of Idaho, a senator so obscure that he might as well be dubbed the Ann Veal of the Senate.
Risch, a former governor, entered the Senate in 2009 at the age of 65. While not a figure with much national press since then, Risch has been a true stalwart when it comes to his conservative voting record, most recently being one of just eight Republican senators to vote against the Violence Against Women Act.
Being the most conservative Senator is not the Angry Gnome’s only claim to fame. He is also the fifth most wealthy Senator with an estimated net worth of $109,034,052
The question all Idahoans ought to ask is, “What sort of leader, representing Idaho’s interests, is Senator Risch”? According to Govtrak.us, who tracks this sort of thing.