The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Western Tribune Column October 1

Regarding Senate Voting Records

In the 110th Congress, meeting now, which senator do you think has missed the most votes? Let me give you a hint. It’s not Tim Johnson, the senator from South Dakota who suffered a brain hemorrhage in December 2006 and spent much of the time in recovery. Fortunately, he is back in the Senate now, but because of his illness, he missed 311 votes, or 48% of the total. He’s number two.

No, the biggest culprit is Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate. Of course running for president requires…no, running for president means one might choose to be away from Washington, but it certainly isn’t a requirement.

McCain has missed 412 votes, or 61%.

We often hear that Barack Obama has been running for president since he was elected senator, but in truth he announced his campaign in February 2007 in Springfield, Illinois. McCain announced his campaign in February 2007 also, on the David Letterman Show, although the campaign claims that this “informal” announcement was not the real thing, and the “formal” announcement was on April 25, 2007.

So Obama’s campaign was either a couple of weeks longer or a couple of months longer, depending on which announcement you count. So it would stand to reason that Obama would miss more votes. But no, Obama only missed 295 votes, or 46%. Still a lot, but at least he voted over half the time.

In Alabama, we can be proud of our Republican senators’ dedication, though not necessarily proud of their votes. Jeff Sessions missed 14 votes, or 2% and Richard Shelby only missed 5 votes, or less than 1%.

Also of interest is that Alaska Republican Senator Ted Stevens missed only 24 votes or 4%. One would think he would have missed more votes due to travelling to his home state to check the status of home improvements that were taking place. Improvements, that is, that led to an indictment and a trial that is taking place now.

Even Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig has a good record, missing only 38 votes or 6%. That’s in spite of spending time away from congress in Minnesota public restrooms and such seeking gay sex.

There’s not much to conclude from this except maybe it’s interesting that the leaders of each party are leading by missing lots of votes, and the creepy, cheating kinds of guys are casting lots of votes and setting policy. Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

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