If the Georgia General Assembly had a truant officer, the first lawmaker he’d likely look for would be state Rep. Ron Sailor (D-Lithonia).
If that officer could find Sailor, who’s missed 211 of 233 votes on bills, resolutions and procedural matters in the Georgia House, he might next go after state Rep. Pam Stephenson (D-Decatur).
Stephenson’s missed nearly half of the same number of votes.
He might also send a warning note to state Reps. LaNett Stanley-Turner (D-Atlanta) and Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), who’ve each been absent for one of every three votes cast in the Georgia House this session.
Sailor, Stephenson, Stanley-Turner and Millar are the 2008 General Assembly’s top four lawmakers with the most unexcused absences for votes on legislative matters, according to state House and Senate voting records compiled and analyzed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Votes on bills, resolutions and procedural matters were counted in the analysis. Attendance votes were not included.
I’ll give Stephanie Benfield (D-Decatur) a pass. She’s the sixth most frequently absent, but she’s a full time mom. While the arch conservative fundamentalist in me screams that maybe she needs to choose between the two, the more rational part of me thinks it is cool as all heck that she’s a full time mom and legislator. Get the kids out the door and head out to vote. Good for her being able to do it — and heck, it is only three months a year.
Who are the good ones:
only five House members haven’t missed a single vote this year. They are Joe Wilkinson (R-Sandy Springs), Mike Glanton (D-Ellenwood), Kevin Levitas (D-Atlanta), Billy Maddox (R-Zebulon) and Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming).
The AJC has a full list of the top absentees.