The Rio Grande Foundation has a very cool project going, NewMexicoVotes.org, that you ought to check out. Basically, they realized that there wasn’t any easy way for the general public (you know, the taxpayers that fund all of the goings on in the state) to look up how legislators were voting on the issues. So, the Rio Grande Foundation took it upon themselves to provide this service.
I hopped on last night, and looked up a few of my favorite legislators and was amazed at the ease of use of this site. As I started clicking around, I was surprised to learn that the vast majority of legislators only miss a handful of votes.
Well, before I knew it, I had clicked through every single legislator, and I was surprised to find that one legisaltor to date had missed SIGNIFICANTLY more votes than all of the others. And, the winner is… State Representative Eleanor Chavez from District 13.
Representative Chavez has MISSED A WHOPPING 64 VOTES so far this session. Overall, that looks to be somewhere between triple and quadruple the number of average missed votes by a legislator. Now, I don’t know Representative Eleanor Chavez. I’ve never met her. I don’t wish her any ill will, and I don’t live in her district.
But, here is the thing. Representative Eleanor Chavez is a freshman legislator. This is her first session up in Santa Fe. She only sits on two committees, so committee conflicts can’t explain the missed votes. So, I can’t help but wonder if Representative Eleanor Chavez is not up their to vote on behalf of her constituents, then what is she doing up there?
Update: Ok, I have egg on my face. Just heard that Representative Eleanor Chavez spent about five days in the hospital with a major gall blader problem. My bad. Being hospitalized is about the best excuse I can think of. for missing all of those votes. I hope you’re feeling better Representative Chavez.
Our new first place winner is State Representative Miguel Garcia from District 14 with an EQUALLY IMPRESSIVE 56 MISSED VOTES. Anyone know if Representative Garcia has been out sick this session?
Update to the Update: Hmm, now I’ve been informed the Representative Miguel Garcia was out at least three days due to food poisoning. Although, not hospitalized, it is, nonetheless, a good reason to miss some votes. My apologies to Representative Garcia. Feel free to contact me, and, as restitution, I’ll take you out for a meal that won’t give you food poisoning.
Well, at this point, I guess I ought to just leave the missed votes alone (I’m starting to feel a little like Jim Cramer). Instead, I recommend everyone use NewMexicoVotes.org as it was intended. Namely, to see how you’re legislator voted on the issues.
I will now crawl back under the rock from which I came, and hope no one gives my number to Jon Stewart.