We really have to admire the guy's political skills. He's the U.S. Representative of Texas District 11 who gets reelected easily each time. Though to be fair, we must acknowledge the strong wind at his back from all the glowing publicity he gets locally.
Note that four others tied him for that fifth place spot and two tied for 10th place. So that gave us a total of 11 Representatives in the top 10. One thing all 11 have in common is that they all voted "no" on 1/1/13 fiscal cliff deal.
Here's where the mastery came in. He voted "no," but one of his pet projects, the farm bill, was renewed in the fiscal cliff deal. He was quoted in the newspaper after that vote as saying he's glad they extended the farm bill. Well he should. Had it not been renewed, consumers would have had to swallow a poison pill, or as theatlantic.com calls it the dairy cliff. That would occur if the farm bill didn't get renewed because decades old law would force the government to buy large quantities of dairy products and other food staples at prices fixed to an outdated index which would cause some food prices to skyrocket.
Mr. Conaway must have known that the fiscal cliff bill would pass without his vote. So he basically got a free ride, and his ranking a "conservative" remains intact. Masterful.
Too bad Congress doesn't repeal those old laws. But then farm bill proponents wouldn't be able to hold it like a knife to our necks each time the farm bill comes up for renewal.