Put them on a milk carton

Wow.

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.

12 comments

  1. Tea Party says:

    I’d give Rep. Millar a pass, he votes on what is important to his constituents. He is at every city of Dunwoody meeting, vote, etc. that there is.

  2. drjay says:

    yeah, no — it is only 3 months of the year–if you are going to commit to service, you arrange for a sitter or have your spouse take some time off–once or twicw can happen to anyone and be excused but to be 6th on the list and use your kids as an excuse is lame–if i miss work i do not get paid–is the same true of our reps???

  3. ksuowls81 says:

    I think that this is horrible. As Drjay said it is only three months out of the year. And I understand voting on what is important to your constituents, but you got voted into the GEORGIA General Assembly, not the DUNWOODY General Assembly.

    If you do notice the most unexcused absenses goes to four democrats. I guess that is because the only place democrats have any real power is in the Atl/Fulton delegation.

  4. Doug Deal says:

    drjay,

    Much of what they vote upon is worthless crap anyway. Why even have a legislative session in Atlanta, why not set up web conferences and have them vote and debate from home in the evening? If nothing else, it would give lobbyists a harder time since they aren’t all in one place. Maybe then normal people (non-lawyers) could have an easier time serving.

  5. drjay says:

    if the assembly was able to or chose to conduct business in that way i would not necesarrily oppose i–but for now they do meet in atl and they are sked to vote (even if it is over “worthless crap”) and mrs. benfield in particular has fortutious geography in being able to go home and tend to the sick kiddies–it would be a 3 1/2 hour commute for my state rep. i understand stuff comes up–but like i said if i miss work –i do not get paid–is their salary prorated for all of these “unexcused abscences”?

  6. Old Vet says:

    Well, I’ve seen Reps watch themselves vote on the monitor. Having your seat mate press your voting buttton is one of the most violated of House rules. There have even been instances of a member puting a toothpick in the “yes” or “no” button. Some say Rep. Bobbby Franklin could jam his “no” button and just stay home.

  7. john.d says:

    AFAIK, they would receive their salary, which is modest. What they would not / should not receive is their Per Diem, which is ~180 a “day.”

  8. SpaceyG says:

    The arch libertatian full time slut in me really thinks that prosecuting prostitution is about as useful as reading Peach Pundit.

  9. Rogue109 says:

    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.

    What does being conservative have to do with this? There is nothing rational about giving an elected official a pass for not doing the job she was voted into office for because she made decisions to have children. She SHOULD choose between the two.

    If a female lawyer didn’t take her CLEs because she had to raise a child protested her loss of a bar license, would you take up her cause, as well? Does the female surgeon get a pass for not making it in for a scheduled surgery because she has some wee ones at home?

    She should not be punished for having children but neither should she punish her constituents for her failure to do the job they elected her for.

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