Sen. Cheryl Pflug ranks high for missed votes, annual tally shows
April 20, 2010
State Sen. Cheryl Pflug ranked No. 4 for the number of missed votes during the just-concluded legislative session, a tally released last week shows.
Pflug, a Maple Valley Republican, represents Issaquah and the 5th District in Olympia. The senator missed 78 votes. Senators held 538 votes during the 60-day regular session and a nearly monthlong special session.
Pflug said she missed some “routine” votes due to nighttime law-school classes.
“It wasn’t anything important,” she said last week. “I am there (in Olympia) all the time.”
WashingtonVotes.org — a nonpartisan organization set up to provide plain-English explanations of bills and legislators’ votes — compiled the tally.
State Rep. Glenn Anderson, a Fall City Republican, missed 18 votes during the session. State Rep. Jay Rodne missed the least votes of all 5th District lawmakers. Rodne, a North Bend Republican, missed a mere five votes.
Besides Issaquah, the district also includes Sammamish, Snoqualmie and parts of unincorporated King County.
State Sen. Randy Gordon — a Bellevue Democrat appointed to the 41st District seat in January — missed 10 votes. The district includes Talus and southwest Issaquah, Bellevue, Mercer Island and Newcastle.
State Rep. Judy Clibborn, a Mercer Island Democrat and a 41st District legislator, missed 18 votes. State Rep. Marcie Maxwell, a Renton Democrat, missed six votes.
Throughout the regular and special sessions, the state House of Representatives had 643 votes.
Senators earn $42,106 per year. Senators also receive a per diem of $90 each day during the legislative session. The stipend helps lawmakers defray rent and meal expenses while in the capital. Pflug accepted her per diem every day of the session, Senate records show.
Pflug said a spotless record is easier to achieve as a representative, because lawmakers in the lower chamber use electronic devices to vote. The system enables representatives to vote without coming to the House floor. But the Senate does not use the same system, Pflug said.
“You have to physically stand there and they have to see you and hear you,” she said.
Pflug said she enrolled at Seattle University for law school this year because the Legislature had scheduled a “short” session.
“Next year, during the long session, I probably won’t try to do both,” she said.
Pflug — appointed to the Senate in 2003, elected in 2004 and re-elected since — also ranked No. 4 in the chamber last year for the number of missed votes. Pflug missed 120 votes; the Senate held 847 votes last year.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. J.B. Wogan: 392-6434, ext. 247, or email@example.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.
On the Web
Find a complete recap of state lawmakers’ records for the 2010 legislative session at www.WashingtonVotes.org.