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How many votes did your state lawmaker miss?

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on April 14, 2010 at 11:49 am with 5 Comments »
April 14, 2010 3:04 pm

You can find out below, courtesy of a count by Washington Votes. But the more interesting part of the report out today might be the excuses lawmakers gave for missing votes.

Some are pretty compelling: illnesses, surgeries, disabilities. Others, not so much. Read them below, too.

Living near Olympia didn’t help attendance records. Four of the six most frequently absent House members were from the South Sound. Led by Rep. Christopher Hurst of Enumclaw (163 missed votes), whose wife has been recovering from brain surgery, the list also includes Reps. Geoff Simpson of Covington (91), Cary Condotta of Wenatchee (80), Reuven Carlyle of Seattle (75), Jeannie Darneille of Tacoma (67) and Dennis Flannigan of Tacoma (67).

The most frequently absent senator was Sen. Bob McCaslin of Spokane Valley (491), who was hospitalized during session, followed by Sens. Darlene Fairley of Lake Forest Park (96), Janéa Holmquist of Moses Lake (85), Cheryl Pflug of Maple Valley (78) and Dale Brandland of Bellingham (69).

They explain themselves, as quoted by Washington Votes (UPDATED to reflect Washington Votes’ correction of Holmquist’s quote):

“Senator Brandland missed votes during the 2010 session for personal reasons.”
-Office of Sen. Dale Brandland (R-Bellingham)
“Senator Fairley is physically disabled and experiences chronic pain. On occasion, this causes her to be absent for short periods of time – usually in the mornings – and, consequently, miss votes.”
-Office of Sen. Darlene Fairley (D-Lake Forest Park)
Thank you for allowing me to explain why Senate records indicate I was excused from a series of votes. Due to the passing of a close personal and family friend, I had to travel out of state and across the country. Concerning the few other remaining votes, I was otherwise engaged in official legislative business. I am proud to have fought tooth and nail against the dismantling of the Taxpayer Protection Act and attempts by those in the majority to raise taxes. I will continue my fight to protect your job, your rights and your wallet in the special session.”
-Sen. Janéa Holmquist (R-Moses Lake)
“Senator McCaslin was diagnosed last fall with a faulty heart valve that needs to be replaced. He had planned to wait until after the 2010 session to have the procedure performed, but due to the faulty valve and other health problems, he was hospitalized and was told by his doctor that he should have the surgery before returning to work in Olympia.”
-Office of Sen. Bob McCaslin (R-Spokane Valley)
“I am going to night school to get a law degree. Because it is my first year, I don’t have flexibility to arrange my classes to avoid Spring semester. Where there have been critical issues or cut-off dates, I have skipped my classes. Where evening voting was on simple bills and merely a result of the majority party taking all day to get organized, I went to class.”
-Sen. Cheryl Pflug (R-Maple Valley)
“As a husband and father as well as part-time citizen legislator, I made a choice to return home for a family weekend in which my wife and four children needed me. During that weekend, the House was in session so a number of votes were missed.”
-Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle)
“I caught a very bad respiratory infection toward the end of session. I went home and visited the doctor where I found out it was borderline pneumonia. The doctor told me I needed to stay home and rest. I missed about a week of votes and returned to session as soon as I could. Probably a little sooner than my doctor would have preferred.”
-Rep. Cary Condotta (R-Wenatchee)
“90% of these were on a day when I had a family emergency. I delayed going to be with my family until after I had chaired the Caseload Forecast Council from 10-noon. The House was on the floor voting at that time, as well, but it was the designated day for our report to come out on the needs for entitlement services. I was excused that day.”
-Rep. Jeannie Darneille (D-Tacoma)
“Well, my wife died in December. Since then I’ve found I have an enlarged prostate, an out of control thyroid, and a few other residual diseases. I sometimes leave when there are no consequential votes because I am exhausted. Further, I have had a cold for over five weeks now, and several doctor appointments in that time and earlier.”
-Rep. Dennis Flannigan (D-Tacoma)
“In my eight years in elective office I have had one of the very best voting records in the legislature until this year. Last November my wife of 31 years had major brain surgery at Harborview Hospital and we have been dealing with a very difficult recovery these last 4 months. I have done my best this session, but my family and my wife’s health come first. She will, hopefully, make a full recovery, but the process has been difficult.”
-Rep. Chris Hurst (D-Enumclaw)
“My 12 year old daughter was in both Mary Bridge in Tacoma and Children’s Hospital in Seattle for more than a month during the legislative session with a serious illness that ultimately resulted in major surgery, followed by a re-hospitalization for infection, then another hospitalization for internal bleeding. She is doing better now, although she will have two more surgeries over the course of the next several months.”
-Rep. Geoff Simpson (D-Covington)

And here’s the full list of votes missed):

Sen. Randi Becker (R-Eatonville)
14
Sen. Don Benton (R-Vancouver)
56
Sen. Jean Berkey (D-Everett)
0
Sen. Dale Brandland (R-Bellingham)
69
Sen. Lisa Brown (D-Spokane)
52
Sen. Michael Carrell (R-Lakewood)
20
Sen. Jerome Delvin (R-Richland)
50
Sen. Tracey Eide (D-Federal Way)
1
Sen. Darlene Fairley (D-Lake Forest Park)
96
Sen. Rosa Franklin (D-Tacoma)
0
Sen. Karen Fraser (D-Thurston County)
15
Sen. Randy Gordon (D-Bellevue)
10
Sen. Jim Hargrove (D-Hoquiam)
12
Sen. Brian Hatfield (D-Raymond)
2
Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen (D-Camano Island)
33
Sen. Mike Hewitt (R-Walla Walla)
15
Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens)
2
Sen. Janéa Holmquist (R-Moses Lake)
85
Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside)
2
Sen. Ken Jacobsen (D-Seattle)
13
Sen. Jim Kastama (D-Puyallup)
4
Sen. Claudia Kauffman (D-Kent)
4
Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Kent)
3
Sen. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor)
0
Sen. Curtis King (R-Yakima)
0
Sen. Adam Kline (D-Seattle)
35
Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle)
2
Sen. Chris Marr (D-Spokane)
1
Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe (D-Bothell)
9
Sen. Bob McCaslin (R-Spokane Valley)
491
Sen. Joe McDermott (D-West Seattle)
2
Sen. Bob Morton (R-Orient)
42
Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle)
27
Sen. Eric Oemig (D-Kirkland)
19
Sen. Linda Evans Parlette (R-Wenatchee)
1
Sen. Cheryl Pflug (R-Maple Valley)
78
Sen. Margarita Prentice (D-Renton)
42
Sen. Craig Pridemore (D-Vancouver)
15
Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-San Juan Island)
6
Sen. Debbie Regala (D-Tacoma)
11
Sen. Pam Roach (R-Auburn)
46
Sen. Phil Rockefeller (D-Kitsap County)
6
Sen. Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville)
0
Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch)
0
Sen. Paull Shin (D-Edmonds)
9
Sen. Val Stevens (R-Arlington)
29
Sen. Dan Swecker (R-Rochester)
24
Sen. Rodney Tom (D-Medina)
13
Sen. Joseph Zarelli (R-Ridgefield)
24

Rep. Gary Alexander (R-Olympia)
4
Rep. Glenn Anderson (R-Fall City)
18
Rep. Jan Angel (R-Port Orchard)
0
Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo)
0
Rep. Mike Armstrong (R-Wenatchee)
0
Rep. Barbara Bailey (R-Oak Harbor)
6
Rep. Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen)
0
Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Roy)
0
Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle)
75
Rep. Bruce Chandler (R-Granger)
1
Rep. Maralyn Chase (D-Shoreline)
0
Rep. Frank Chopp (D-Seattle)
3
Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island)
18
Rep. Eileen Cody (D-West Seattle)
0
Rep. Cary Condotta (R-Wenatchee)
80
Rep. Steve Conway (D-Tacoma)
1
Rep. Larry Crouse (R-Spokane)
5
Rep. Bruce Dammeier (R-Puyallup)
0
Rep. Jeannie Darneille (D-Tacoma)
67
Rep. Richard DeBolt (R-Chehalis)
66
Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-Seattle)
38
Rep. John Driscoll (D-Spokane)
6
Rep. Hans Dunshee (D-Snohomish)
2
Rep. Deborah Eddy (D-Kirkland)
8
Rep. Mark Ericks (D-Bothell)
31
Rep. Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale)
1
Rep. Susan Fagan (R-Pullman)
0
Rep. Fred Finn (D-Olympia)
0
Rep. Dennis Flannigan (D-Tacoma)
67
Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland)
2
Rep. Tami Green (D-Lakewood)
0
Rep. Kathy Haigh (D-Shelton)
8
Rep. Larry Haler (R-Richland)
0
Rep. Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle)
0
Rep. Jaime Herrera (R-Camas)
0
Rep. Bill Hinkle (R-Cle Elum)
40
Rep. Mike Hope (R-Lake Stevens)
47
Rep. Zack Hudgins (D-Tukwila)
0
Rep. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia)
0
Rep. Ross Hunter (D-Medina)
13
Rep. Christopher Hurst (D-Enumclaw)
163
Rep. Jim Jacks (D-Vancouver)
0
Rep. Norm Johnson (R-Yakima)
3
Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Lake Forest Park)
0
Rep. Troy Kelley (D-Tacoma)
39
Rep. Phyllis Kenney (D-Seattle)
6
Rep. Lynn Kessler (D-Hoquiam)
1
Rep. Steve Kirby (D-Tacoma)
2
Rep. Brad Klippert (R-Kennewick)
0
Rep. Joel Kretz (R-Wauconda)
12
Rep. Dan Kristiansen (R-Snohomish)
0

Rep. Marko Liias (D-Mukilteo)
14
Rep. Kelli Linville (D-Bellingham)
0
Rep. Marcie Maxwell (D-Renton)
6
Rep. John McCoy (D-Tulalip)
0
Rep. Jim McCune (R-Graham)
0
Rep. Mark Miloscia (D-Federal Way)
0
Rep. Jim Moeller (D-Vancouver)
0
Rep. Dawn Morrell (D-Puyallup)
0
Rep. Jeff Morris (D-Mt. Vernon)
51
Rep. Terry Nealey (R-Dayton)
0
Rep. Sharon Nelson (D-Vashon)
0
Rep. Al O’Brien (D-Mountlake Terrace)
0
Rep. Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama)
5
Rep. Timm Ormsby (D-Spokane)
0
Rep. Tina Orwall (D-Des Moines)
5
Rep. Kevin Parker (R-Spokane)
0
Rep. Kirk Pearson (R-Monroe)
0
Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle)
57
Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-Seattle)
5
Rep. Skip Priest (R-Federal Way)
0
Rep. Tim Probst (D-Vancouver)
1
Rep. David Quall (D-Mt. Vernon)
1
Rep. Dan Roach (R-Bonney Lake)
50
Rep. Mary Helen Roberts (D-Edmonds)
14
Rep. Jay Rodne (R-North Bend)
5
Rep. Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island)
6
Rep. Charles Ross (R-Naches)
0
Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D-Seattle)
0
Rep. Joe Schmick (R-Colfax)
0
Rep. Larry Seaquist (D-Gig Harbor)
0
Rep. Mike Sells (D-Everett)
0
Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane)
7
Rep. Shelly Short (R-Addy)
6
Rep. Geoff Simpson (D-Covington)
91
Rep. Norma Smith (R-Whidbey Island)
0
Rep. Larry Springer (D-Kirkland)
0
Rep. Pat Sullivan (D-Covington)
0
Rep. Dean Takko (D-Longview)
0
Rep. David Taylor (R-Moxee)
0
Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-Des Moines)
16
Rep. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim)
1
Rep. Deb Wallace (D-Vancouver)
36
Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla)
31
Rep. Judy Warnick (R-Moses Lake)
0
Rep. Scott White (D-Seattle)
0
Rep. Brendan Williams (D-Olympia)
23
Rep. Alex Wood (D-Spokane)
22

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. nonstopjoe says:

    I live in 98406 – therefore, WA residents would have been better off had people representing that stayed home.

  2. tommy98466 says:

    I think when numerous issues such as health or taking care of someone long term the representative should give up politics and stay home to take care of business. Missing a large number of votes means that the represenative is not doing their duty for their constituents.

  3. nwcolorist says:

    Thanks, Trib, for the accounting.

    There were also, it appears, a large number on the list who had perfect attendance. They could probably use a pat on the back.

  4. greenriverkate says:

    I totally understand an emergency at home or a health problem but the rest have NO excuse for not doing their jobs. They need to be replaced with people that are active, especially now that we NEED help in this state. I love Hattie Kaufman and turn to her for help and can count on her. Shame on all of you. There should be monthly reports on these paid for vacationers so we get rid of them and it should be on the record for the public to see when they come up for re election. We are not disagreeable if they have a medical emergency but there should be some way for them to vote from home or hospital.

  5. claire20101 says:

    I’m surprised Simpson missed 91 votes due to his daughter. He was only at the hospital for 5 overnights at the hospital. I wonder where he was the rest of the time?

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