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Miss Day, Miss Pay? 13 Metro Detroit Lawmakers Missed 100+ Votes This Year In Michigan Congress

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Tar and feather? Run out of town on a rail? Ok Ok...just take their money I mean why not? They take ours.






A total of 17 lawmakers missed more than 100 votes this year in the Michigan House and Senate, according to an annual report from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Thirteen of them represented Metro Detroit.


That list includes Sen. Hansen Clarke, who has missed votes as he prepares to take a seat in the U.S. House; Rep. George Cushingberry Jr., who missed time in April when he was hospitalized with high blood pressure; and House Speaker Andy Dillon, who campaigned for governor before losing in the Democratic primary.


Here's the full list of Metro Detroit lawmakers who missed more than 100 votes in the 2009-10 legislative session (out of 1,388 roll calls in the state Senate and 1,314 in the House):


* Sen. Hansen Clarke, D-Detroit (177)

* Sen. Bruce Patterson, R-Canton (103)

* Sen. Martha Scott, D-Detroit (194)

* Sen. Buzz Thomas, D-Detroit (128)

* Rep. George Cushingberry, D-Detroit (239)

* Rep. Andy Dillon, D-Redford Township (173)

* Rep. Kate Ebli, D-Monroe (220)

* Rep. Shanelle Jackson, D-Detroit (176)

* Rep. LaMar Lemmons Jr., D-Detroit (200)

* Rep. Jim Marleau, R-Lake Orion (103)

* Rep. Fred Miller, D-Mt. Clemens (188)

* Rep. Bettie Scott, D-Detroit (348)

* Rep. Jon Switalski, D-Warren (119)


Notice the number of Democrats on this list?!


On the flip side, a handful of local lawmakers did not miss a single vote last year, including Reps. Tim Bledsoe (D-Grosse Pointe) and Peter Lund (R-Shelby Township).


Michigan legislators earn a base salary of nearly $80,000 per year, one of the highest in the nation. As referenced above, some of those who missed significant votes had reasonable excuses, and it'd be a mistake to assume they knowingly abused taxpayer money.


However, proposals have been floating around Lansing for a while that would dock pay for lawmakers when they miss a daily session. And in an editorial published today, The Detroit News backed that approach, arguing that as legislators re-examine state spending next year, the "least they can do is deliver an honest day's work for their own paychecks."


Dec. 27, DetNews.com: The pay docking idea should be explored further. After all, it's not uncommon in the private sector to lose a day's pay for an unexcused absence. Lawmakers shouldn't have the luxury of simply not showing up for work. There should be some accountability.


...Lawmakers are employees of the people. They owe the people their 100 percent effort.


That means showing up for work, getting up to speed on the issues and casting votes.


What's your take: Should Michigan lawmakers who miss votes without a valid excuse see their paychecks docked?

Edited by EdwardGlen
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I would be curious to see how many votes Hoekstra missed when he was running for governor he skipped the vote for unemployment extensions, I just don't see how someone can do that when we are in one of the states with the highest rates of unemployment.


Another thing I have issue with is the politicians who run for office while they are already in office in another position, they just spend time on the campaign trail instead of focusing on issues and then when they lose they just go back to their old job like nothing happened. I feel they should have to forfeit some of their pay while on the trail.

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There are no statesmen anymore nothing but career politicians trying to stack as much money as they can before losing at re-election or breaking the law and getting booted out. No more do people seek office for the greater good and common cause of all but solely for the advancement of personal agendas and or lobbying on behalf of some large corporation knowing a cushy high paying job waits with that company after politics.


Term limits can help stop a lot of the continuous campaigning but rules also need to be put in place to limit the amount of campaigning can be done while still in office. Focusing two years out of four of a term on getting re-elected does not allow enough time for the job to get done they were elected for to begin with.


Right now you're hearing talk about the 2012 election cycle and politicians are already making their positions known and the rhetoric is ramping up.

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