Issaquah legislators top list on missed votes tally
April 24, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 3 p.m. April 24, 2012
Local legislators missed the most votes in the Legislature during the 2012 regular and special sessions.
The information, released Tuesday in a report from the nonpartisan organization WashingtonVotes.org, ranks state Rep. Glenn Anderson at the top for both chambers, followed by state Sen. Cheryl Pflug and state Rep. Jay Rodne.
Anderson missed 95 votes to top the list for Senate and House of Representatives members. Pflug did not participate in 64 votes and Rodne did not participate in 62.
The lawmakers represent Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District.
In the just-concluded regular and special sessions, the Senate held 423 roll-call votes. In the same period, the House held 498 roll-call votes.
“There are a many reasons why legislators miss votes, such as other public service or business obligations, legislative negotiations, and medical and family emergencies,” WashingtonVotes.org Director Sonya Phillips said.
WashingtonVotes.org asked the top lawmakers on the list from each chamber to respond to the missed votes report.
Local legislators cited personal and professional commitments, or legislative business, as reasons for absences.
“I missed a number of votes due to prior business and personal commitments,” Anderson, a Fall City Republican, said in a statement to WashingtonVotes.org. Anderson, a candidate for lieutenant governor, does not plan to run for re-election to the House.
Pflug, a Maple Valley Republican, cited efforts to pass a Medicaid fraud bill as a reason for missed votes.
“Stepping out of the Senate chamber to talk with the governor or constituents is the most common reason I miss votes,” she said in a statement WashingtonVotes.org. “It took a great deal of time to secure support for the Medicaid fraud bill I negotiated this year, but that bill is law now, and to me it was worth every second. Of course, I keep an eye on the voting calendars for contentious bills and am careful to be present when my vote is crucial.”
Rodne, North Bend Republican and a Marine Corps Reserve colonel, said military service and the legislative calendar sometimes did not mesh.
“As you know, the Legislature convened five special sessions in the last 12 months,” he said in a statement to WashingtonVotes.org. “Since January 2012, the House convened numerous sessions during the weekend, and many of those weekend sessions conflicted with my military reserve duty from which I could not be excused.”
In 2011, Anderson, Pflug and Rodne also occupied spots near the top on the missed votes list.
Other legislators in the Issaquah delegation boasted impressive attendance records. The city sprawls across the 5th, 41st and 48th legislative districts. (Though, after November, redistricting limits the city to the 5th and 41st districts.)
The 41st District representatives, Democrats Judy Clibborn and Marcie Maxwell, boasted perfect attendance. The senator in the district, freshman Republican Steve Litzow, missed seven votes.
Democrat Deb Eddy, a 48th District representative, missed 14 votes. Democrat Ross Hunter, the other 48th District representative, missed seven votes. State Sen. Rodney Tom, a 48th District Democrat, did not appear for six votes.