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Posts tagged: absenteeism

MIA: Have You Seen Raul Lately?

Democratic congressional hopeful Jimmy Farris has all but put Congressman Raul Labrador's face on a milk carton with the frantic headline: “Have you seen his man?” After all, the freshman Republican hasn't just blown off his under-funded opponent or even the independent Project Vote Smart; he's also AWOL much of the time from his day job. According to GovTrack, which follows Congress, the freshman Idaho Republican has missed 72 of 1,531 recorded votes — 4.7 percent. During the first quarter of this year, Labrador missed more than one in 10 recorded votes. “He owes it to the people of Idaho to tell them why he's missed those votes,” Farris said. Labrador's overall absentee rate is nearly double that of his Idaho Republican colleagues. Second District Congressman Rep. Mike Simpson has missed 2.9 percent of the votes during the nearly 14 years in office. Sen. Mike Crapo has missed 2.2 percent in the last 19 years. Since January of 2009, Sen. Jim Risch has missed just 1.5 percent/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Wikipedia photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: Has freshman Congressman Raul Labrador already put his personal interests ahead of Idaho's?

Farris Rips Labrador Absenteeism

1st Congressional District candidate Jimmy Farris called out Congressman Raul Labrador today for his dismal attendance record in Congress, and wondered what exactly is keeping the congressman from doing his job. “Congressman Labrador has been absent from Congress twice as much as the average representative,” said Farris. “He’s been absent for more than twice the amount of votes that Idaho’s last three First District congressmen – Minnick, Sali, and Otter – had missed. Congress is only in session an average of 140 days a year, so where is he? This is just another example of how Congressman Labrador is not earning his $174,000 a year salary. If any average person – who has to work a lot more than 140 days a year and does not have the luxury of skipping out on work whenever they want – was absent from their job twice as much as their co-workers, they would be fired”/Jimmy Farris for Congress news release.

Question: Farris is referring to a report that shows freshman Congressman Labrador has missed 4.7% of roll call votes, almost twice the congressional average. Do you think that's too much?

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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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