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Lawmakers’ first duty: Show up and vote

Lawmakers’ first duty: Show up and vote

Here’s the simple mathematics of representative government: Arizona taxpayers pay for lawmakers to show up and vote on every bill in the Legislature. Now here’s the flaw in that equation: Lawmakers get paid whether they show up or not.

Unfortunately, many Arizona residents were underrepresented at the Capitol during last year’s regular legislative session. It was a dismal performance by the 21 lawmakers who failed to show up for one out of every five floor votes.

There were many excuses: late-night votes, last-minute calls to the floor, the fact that their votes wouldn’t change the final outcome, etc. It’s true that the session was marked by poor planning, rules changes and an inability to gain consensus on many substantial bills. It’s also a fact that most lawmakers have jobs outside the Capitol, and many had to travel long distances to Phoenix from their homes in outlying areas.

Still, they were elected for a singular purpose that in some cases went unfulfilled. If they don’t vote, their constituents may as well have checked a box on the ballot for “nobody.”

In the Senate, two Democrats from Phoenix – Sen. Debbie McCune Davis and Sen. Ken Cheuvront – topped the list of missed votes. The geography is significant; they live much closer to the Capitol than Republican Sen. Sylvia Allen, who has to drive about six hours roundtrip from her home in Snowflake. Allen, by the way, didn’t miss any floor votes.

Rep. Rich Crandall, a Mesa Republican, missed 254 of the 382 House votes. Did you catch that – Mesa, a Phoenix suburb. In comparison, Republican Rep. Nancy McClain has a seven-hour roundtrip from Bullhead City and didn’t miss any votes.

For the same reason it’s important that voters recognize who is not representing them, they also should take note of those who make it a priority to be in chambers when it matters.

Eleven representatives and seven senators voted on every single measure that reached the floor. All of them were Republicans, and five of them were freshmen.

Last week, we published a list of lawmakers who missed the final vote on measures during the 2009 session (it didn’t include missed votes in committee). But we failed to call attention to those who had perfect attendance on the floor.

So, here’s a list of lawmakers who deserve a gold star – not necessarily for the way they voted, but for rising above the rest to make sure their constituents had a seat at the table when the state’s newest laws were crafted:

Rep. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson (District 30)
Rep. Judy Burges, R-Skull Valley (District 4)
Rep. David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista (District 30)
Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills (District 8 )
Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale (District 9)
Rep. John McComish, R-Phoenix (District 20)
Rep. Nancy McLain, R-Bullhead City (District 3)
Rep. Carl Seel, R-Phoenix (District 6)
Rep. Andy Tobin, R-Phoenix (District 1)
Rep. Jim Weiers, R-Phoenix (District 10)
Rep. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler (District 21)
Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake (District 5)
Sen. Bob Burns, R-Peoria (District 9)
Sen. Chuck Gray, R-Mesa (District 19)
Sen. Barbara Leff, R-Paradise Valley (District 11)
Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa (District 18)
Sen. Steve Pierce, R-Prescott (District 1)
Sen. Jim Waring, R-Phoenix (District 7)

  1. Bob Johnson
    Bob Johnson02-22-2010

    I heard James Molina is running for Chuck Gray’s vacating Senate seat. Chuck did a great job representing us in District 19. Let’s elect Mr. Molina to fill Chuck’s seat. He has the common sense we need in our leaders.

  2. Andrew McLaws
    Andrew McLaws02-23-2010

    Couldn’t agree more. I was glad to hear James Molina was running for District 19 Senate. There are several more house and senate seats up for grabs in the coming election. I hope the citizens of Arizona will get out and vote this August and put good leaders in place. LD19 is just one of many. Thanks Chuck Gray for representing us well. We appreciate your dedication and hard work.

  3. David Thompson
    David Thompson03-01-2010

    Sign me up. James Molina is a stand up guy that will help clean up the system. There is entirely too much self interest, too much special interest, too many political games being played by our current group of non-representing representatives. Tax increases and bigger government IS NOT THE ANSWER. I’m tired of these “One-Solution” trick ponies that can only do one thing “Raise Taxes.” Boot ‘em all out and get some REALLY conservative representatives in office who will start representing us. Boot the self-absorbed career politicians in local, state, and federal government. We need more good people to jump into the process. I support term limits.

  4. Amanda C.
    Amanda C.03-01-2010

    Great article. Really shows who is committed and who isn’t.

  5. Andrew McLaws
    Andrew McLaws04-07-2010

    I’ve joined the James Molina for AZ Senate (District 19) committee. Glad to throw my support and energy behind James. His background and love for the constitution is inspiring. What you see is what you get. Best of luck James -

  6. Betty
    Betty05-11-2010

    Very good article. Glad to see who is working for us and who is not. It’s obvious that some of our leaders have alternative agendas.

  7. David B.
    David B.05-13-2010

    I’m sick of these political road signs. A “RICH CRANDALL” sign was placed in the roundabout near my home in East Mesa and some lady looking at it almost ran me over. Hey RICH, your supposed to be a law maker, not a LAW BREAKER. Get your stinkin’ signs out of the road. YOU’VE LOST MY VOTE!

  8. Doc
    Doc05-13-2010

    OFF TOPIC…BUT ON POINT! SB1024,amending sections 16-311, 16-312, 16-321, 16-341, 16-344, 16-502, 16‑507 and 16‑543.02, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to conduct of elections.

    The following 4 REPUBLICANS voted with Democrats, who think THIS piece of legislation is what has made Arizona the national laughing stock:

    Rep. Russell Jones (R), LD-24, 602-926-3002
    Rep. Adam Driggs, (R), LD-11, 602-926-3022
    Rep. Rich Crandall, (R), LD-19, 602-926-3020
    Rep. Vic Williams, (R), LD-26, 602-926-5839

    1st, this ain’t th’ legislation that has made us the laughing stock of America…True Conservatives can factually TELL anybody that!

    2nd, The “long form birth certificate” is a $36.00 document, in America. Why would the sitting president spend over $1,000,000.00 of his own money to NOT show it to Americans who want to see it? It would be a win,win,win for him & “Team Socialism”! Also, THIS IS ALREADY IN THE U.S. CONSTITUTION! Why we needed to even bring this up is a mystery to me. Why didn’t then Sec. of State Brewer simply envoke this constutional regulation before accepting his electorial documents?

    Lastly, what’s up with these 4 ?republicans? siding with the Dems on this issue? Why is it SO HARD TO READ & FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION?!?!?! Are these 4 also involved with voting “nay” on The ILLEGAL immigration legislation, & the topic of discussion on this thread, SB1070?!?!?!

    This type of garbage is why we conservatives are having such a rough go, presently, in my opinion…

  9. Doc
    Doc05-13-2010

    Rich Crandall, you are a disgrace. Why did you break rank and vote againstt his law? Get a backbone Mr. Crandall. Your pussyfoot actions are sickening.

    —————
    The Arizona House of Representatives has approved the “birther bill,” which would require the Arizona secretary of State to verify the citizenship of U.S. presidential candidates.

    The measure, Senate Bill 1024, passed with the minimum 31 votes, all from Republicans.

    Several Republicans joined Democrats to oppose the bill, which Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett has said is of questionable constitutionality.

    Democrats complained the bill is a frivolous distraction and another black eye to a state that is becoming a national joke because of its legislative actions.

    “This is the straw that will break the state’s back,” Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, said. “We are the laughingstock of the nation.”

    The House’s vote comes two days after the Senate gave final approval to a wide-ranging immigration bill

    that, if signed into law, would make it a state crime to be in the country illegally and would require police to check the citizenship status of anyone whom they might have a “reasonable suspicion” is in the country illegally.

    The “birther bill” has to return to the Senate

    for a concurring vote before it would go to Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk.

    Rep. Daniel Patterson, D-Tucson, said the bill is a waste of time when Arizona faces grave problems.

    “What I have a hard time with is our priorities,” he said. “Right now, someone’s home is being foreclosed on in Arizona because we failed to act. Right now, someone is driving by a closed rest stop.”

    Republicans said the bill is constitutional. Arizona already has statutes that specify presidential qualifications, said Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, and this just adds to them.

    The bill was introduced by Rep. Judy Burges, R-Skull Valley.

    Four Republicans

    broke rank and voted against the bill. They are representatives Rich Crandall of Mesa, Adam Driggs of Phoenix, Russ Jones of Yuma and Vic Williams of Tucson.

  10. Steve W
    Steve W05-14-2010

    Crandall did not provide answers to the 2008 Political Courage Test. The test provides voters with how a candidate would vote on the issues if elected. Voting record is a good test… but he missed over half the votes in 2009. Most absentee Rep in the State. I give him an F for Failure to Show up!

  11. Chucky-O
    Chucky-O05-14-2010

    Yeah… but Sen. Debbie McCune Davis and Sen. Ken Cheuvront missed alot too. We have way too many representatives that are MIA.

  12. JJL
    JJL05-19-2010

    It’s very frustrating to see those whom should represent up, profiting from their positions on the legislature. Those with poor attendance records should step down. I;m shocked with what I’m seeing and reading. Rich Crandall, Debbie McCune, Ken Cheuvront, and all the other MIA non-representatives need to go. Let’s show them the door. WE’RE SERIOUS!

  13. Koolz
    Koolz05-25-2010

    And you can be sure they all have excuses why they couldn’t show up and vote. I’ve heard them all; prior commitments, out-of-town work, session went too long, blah, blah, blah. Bottom line is these shmucks make no sacrifice for us yet they expect us to dig deeper in our pockets to correct their poor management of our tax dollars. LIBERAL LIBERAL LIBERAL. Tax and spend. Some of these clowns are making millions off their connections in politics. Shameful and disgracful. I’m casting my vote for change… CONSERVATIVE CHANGE! You can bet there will be sweeping CHANGE come November. Tell a friend and get out the vote!

  14. Jill
    Jill05-28-2010

    Shame on Rich Crandall and the other Republican Libs for placing Prop 100 on the ballot. Your scare tactics and dishonest representation is shameful. Shame on you Rich Crandall!

  15. Farmhand
    Farmhand05-29-2010

    AZ Rep. Rich Crandall’s comments to Arizona Capitol Times tells us how he really feels:

    Crandall said, attendance doesn’t really matter.

    “I did nothing different this time, except that I didn’t have any commitments before June 15,” Crandall said. “And the number of votes missed isn’t very important anyway.”

    Crandall said the residents of his district don’t put a high priority on voting for what he sees as unimportant bills.

    You’re DEAD WRONG Mr. Crandall.

    http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/arizona-capitol-times/mi_8079/is_20100521/arizona-lawmakers-votes/ai_n53801616/?tag=content;col1

  16. AZ Bill
    AZ Bill06-01-2010

    Shame on us for electing Rich Crandal to begin with!

  17. Forester
    Forester06-03-2010

    Our absentee representatives are a frightening bunch of politicians.

  18. Mary F.
    Mary F.06-05-2010

    Somehow, none of this surprises me.

  19. Tom -Tom
    Tom -Tom06-07-2010

    Disgraceful. What has happened to the Republican Party in Arizona? The day Rich Crandall becomes the Face of our party, that’s the day I start packing my bags. Unbelievable!

  20. Sue Johnson
    Sue Johnson06-08-2010

    Couldn’t agree more.

  21. Ivy
    Ivy06-09-2010

    Thanks to all our elected officials who actually showed up to work in 2009. We appreciate your efforts:

    Rep. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson (District 30)
    Rep. Judy Burges, R-Skull Valley (District 4)
    Rep. David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista (District 30)
    Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills (District 8 )
    Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale (District 9)
    Rep. John McComish, R-Phoenix (District 20)
    Rep. Nancy McLain, R-Bullhead City (District 3)
    Rep. Carl Seel, R-Phoenix (District 6)
    Rep. Andy Tobin, R-Phoenix (District 1)
    Rep. Jim Weiers, R-Phoenix (District 10)
    Rep. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler (District 21)
    Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake (District 5)
    Sen. Bob Burns, R-Peoria (District 9)
    Sen. Chuck Gray, R-Mesa (District 19)
    Sen. Barbara Leff, R-Paradise Valley (District 11)
    Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa (District 18)
    Sen. Steve Pierce, R-Prescott (District 1)
    Sen. Jim Waring, R-Phoenix (District 7)

  22. Drewberts
    Drewberts06-12-2010

    Rich “Big Money” Crandall is now doing fund raising for liberals and Democrats. Molina was right to call Rich out and urge him to cancel fund raising for Dems.

    http://sonoranalliance.com/2010/06/08/james-molina-on-rich-crandall-democrat-fundraiser/

  23. J. Thompson
    J. Thompson06-19-2010

    Alot of our elected politicians would do well to read the 5000 Year Leap and start defending the Constitution of our land. It’s sad to see how out of control our current lot of leaders have become. RINOs doing fund raising with Democrats and known liberals. Breaking their promise to show up and vote on every bill. Taking millions of dollars from tax payers to stockpile their personal bank accounts. Speaking out of both sides of their mouth. Didn’t these same people raise their arm to the square and make a solemn oath and promise to support, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution? I’m sickened by the whole lot. Only a small handfull have kept their word… and they are to be praised. Thank you Chuck Gray, for keeping your word.

  24. Andrew
    Andrew06-20-2010

    Chuck Gray is a true patriot. He has served district 19 well. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

  25. AZ-Lady
    AZ-Lady06-21-2010

    Chuck Gray was an awesome Senator! We will miss you Chuck Gray!

  26. Sam
    Sam06-23-2010

    Everything here is old news! Everyone knows Crandall – he’s a nice guy, but as liberal as they come.

  27. L. Thompson
    L. Thompson06-26-2010

    … and Mr. Crandall just pocketed $30 large from the Liberal fundraiser earlier this week. Who is this guy, and who does he think he is joining forces with RINOs and Democrats to raise 1/4 million dollars for liberals and socialists? How does Rich “Big Money” Crandall sleep at night? Has he no morals? Why did he miss over 66% of his votes in the House last year? Why is he lining up for Obama’s Race-to-the-top funds so the FEDs can dictate to us what our children are taught? Why Mr. Crandall do you want to represent a district who opposes everything liberal about you? Is it so you can make millions more off the backs of the struggling tax payers? While you set in the security of your multi-million dollar house with your multi-million dollar bank accounts, the rest of us in District 19 are struggling to feed our families. 2 parent incomes are no longer enough to support the family, all the while you keep running up taxes, missing or walking out on crucial house votes, fundraising with democrats, taking up residency in NY State to secure more FAT CAT contracts for you business, and refusing to answer to your constituency! Your hypocrisy runneth over. Rich Crandall your day of judgment is coming August 24th, I only pray the rest of us wake up before it’s too late.

  28. Choose Well
    Choose Well06-26-2010

    Liberty is the right to choose, freedom is the result of that choice.

    Choose well Arizona -

  29. Mesa Boy
    Mesa Boy07-09-2010

    I’m going to show up and vote on Augusat 24th for change. It will be my first duty of the day!

  30. East of the Tracks
    East of the Tracks07-22-2010

    Mr. Crandall received his report card today and he got a failing grade. One of the most liberal Representatives in the House. His absence from voting is the least of his worries. The times he actually showed up clearly marks him as a Big Government, tax and spend, liberal politician. Mr. James Molina has my vote.

    Crandall Report Card!

  31. Gilbert-bound
    Gilbert-bound07-27-2010

    Sad day for Arizona. Crandall wins by default. LD19 is going to the dogs!

  32. Gilbert-bound
    Gilbert-bound07-30-2010

    Now we can see Crandall for the liberal that he is. Thanks for shining the light on this RINO.

    CRANDALL REPORT CARD

  33. Gilbert-bound
    Gilbert-bound08-14-2010

    Can’t wait for the election to be over. The incompetence of our elected officials knoweth no bounds.

  34. Janice
    Janice08-16-2010

    I too voted for Molina. We need more outstanding candidates like him.

  35. Choose Well
    Choose Well01-04-2011

    Our good friend Rich Crandall is sticking it to the tax payers again… this time he is SHORT SELLING his $1.2 million dollar home for $550,000. Way to go… get “Richer” Crandall. You should be ashamed of yourself!

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