Monday, March 26, 2012

Candidates missing committee votes by the handful

It's still early in the legislative session, and earlier on the campaign trail, but both Andrew Roraback and William Tong have missed swaths of committee votes, at least in the one committee on which they both serve.
The legislature's Judiciary Committee has had an important year, looking at, and voting in favor of, a death penalty repeal bill and a proposal to allow medical marijuana.
And William Tong has missed both of those votes.
In fact, the state representative from Stamford and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate has missed a total of 39 Judiciary Committee votes since the start of this year's legislative session.

But he's not alone.
Republican state senator and Congressional candidate Roraback has missed 31 committee votes in Judiciary, though he did cast votes on both medical marijuana and the proposed death penalty repeal (one yea, one nay).
It's worth it to note that Chris Donovan, Democratic candidate for the 5th district, hasn't cast a single committee vote, but not because he's too busy or doesn't want to make a statement. As the speaker of the house, Donovan is not on any committees.
Now, these are committee votes, with only relative importance. Many were appointments to the bench, and Tong's votes on the big issues clearly didn't matter that much to his fellow Dems - both proposals were passed through committee without his support.
Roraback, though, made it a point to cast a vote on the death penalty. Perhaps he had to - he's been a long-time supporter of repeal and it was a shift his Republican opponents have been slamming him on since making it an issue. Perhaps it was incumbent on him to make a statement, considering his previous support.
Many votes and speeches made in the legislature, even at the committee level, are intended to get "on the record," and while we can probably guess which side of the fence Tong leans over on both the death penalty and the palliative use of marijuana, it would have been nice to have his votes on record.
And seeing how at least one blogger believes the end is near for Tong's campaign, maybe he'll have more time in committee.

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