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The balance of power in Washington, D.C. may shift dramatically after next week’s election, but the folks over at Congress.org know who brandished the most power in 2006.

The lobbying research firm just released their annual Power Rankings, which scored each member of the House and Senate on a more than 20 different criteria and ranked them among their peers.

While Congress.org defines power as “how effective one is at advancing an agenda, whether it is a personal agenda, party agenda or district or state agenda,” the rankings consider the impacts of a legislator’s position in Congress, their indirect influence over the congressional agenda or votes, and their role in passing or shaping legislation.

More interesting, the survey also considered what will happen if the Democrats win the House next week.

That brings us to San Diego’s representatives and how they scored out of 100 possible points, where they ranked among the members of the House and where they fell in their party hierarchy.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, received big points for his position as the chairman of the Armed Services Committee and for authoring significant legislation. Hunter ranked eighth among his fellow House Republicans and led the local pack with a score of 50.88, ranking ninth in Congress, up 13 spots from last year. If Democrats succeed in winning the House, Hunter is expected to drop one spot on the overall Power Ranking.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, scored 26.06 and landed 54th in the GOP and 72nd in the House. He’s up 21 spots from last year but if Republicans lose the House, Issa won’t fare well. He’s expected to drop 183 places in the overall ranking.

Further down the list, Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Carlsbad, scored 18.38 and ranked 180th overall and 151st in his party. Bilbray, who replaced Randy “Duke” Cunningham, wasn’t in Congress last year, but he’ll drop 140 places if the House changes hands.

As the minority party, the Democrats ranked much lower than the Republicans. Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, scored 13.44, ranking 270th in the House, up 20 spots from 2005. Filner came in 64th among Democrats and stands to leapfrog 127 overall positions if his party takes the House

Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, scored 5.75, securing the 418th spot overall and the 187th among Democrats. Davis dropped 20 points in the power ranking in the past year and would climb 140 positions if Democrats become the majority party.

There are 435 representatives in the House, but delegates were also included in the rankings.

DANIEL STRUMPF

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