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Senate Democrats see 'effectiveness' drain

The biennial effectiveness rankings for the legislature are out and they show that a handful of the state Senate's most effective Senators are the very same members who won't be returning to the chamber.

Call it the effectiveness drain.

According to the annual rankings based on surveys by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research, the most effective Senator, of course, is Senate Leader Marc Basnight. Basnight has been number one in effectiveness in the last nine effectiveness reports, which are released every two years and are based on surveys of lobbyists, capitol reporters and lawmakers.

The second most effective member was Sen. Tony Rand, a Fayetteville Democrat who was generally considered Basnight's enforcer until he left the Senate to run the state's parole commission late last year. Number three was Sen. David Hoyle, a Gaston County Democrat who has announced he won't seek another term. Ditto for number 12, Sen. R.C. Soles, a Columbus County Democrat, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor arising out of a shooting at his Tabor City home. Soles, the longest serving state senator, is not seeking another term.

Number 15? Sen. Charlie Albertson, a Duplin County Democrat and budget writer who isn't seeking re-election. Number 16 was Sen. David Weinstein, a Robeson County Democrat, who was appointed to run the Governor's Highway Safety Program.

The highest-ranking Republican Senator was Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, a Cabarrus County Republican who was ranked seventh. Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger of Eden, was number 11 and Sen. Richard Stevens, a Wake County Republican was number 13.

The lowest-ranking Senator was Sen. Andrew Brock, a Davie County Republican. Sen. Larry Shaw, a Cumberland County Democrat, was his party's lowest-ranking member at 47.

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