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First time for everything

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* House Republicans have been avoiding taking stands on bill after bill this year. But this is the first time I can remember a newspaper calling a member out on it. From the Southern Illinoisan

State Rep. Terri Bryant is doing her damnedest to amass the most milquetoast legislative voting record possible. Her middling quest for ambiguity is a disservice to voters and her office alike.

Bryant, R-Murphysboro, yet again refused to pick a side Wednesday night when House Democrats unsuccessfully attempted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of SB 1229, legislation more concerned with empowering union bosses than serving the state.

The freshman Republican was in the chamber when the override died. She just didn’t cast a vote. Any vote. None. The roll merely registers Bryant as “no vote.”
Strong stand, indeed.

It’s just the most recent addition to a disturbing pattern taking shape since Bryant took office in January.

Put simply, she too often goes AWOL when strident leadership is most required. Right-to-work zones: present. July’s temporary budget: no vote.

Oof.

Go read the whole thing. It’s quite harsh.

And considering all the grief that Rep. Ken Dunkin has taken this week for skipping Wednesday’s session, it’s about time other folks who refused to hit a button right in front of them took a bit of heat as well.

Frankly, I don’t care how a legislator votes, as long as it’s reasonably consistent with their own ideology and/or their districts. But when you skip a vote, you’ve crossed over into unacceptable behavior.

posted by Rich Miller
Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:35 pm

Comments

  1. I was told this once and it pops in my head every so often when I see so many “Yellow” or NVs

    “I can explain a yes, I can explain a no, or at least I should be able to if I’m doing my job, but if I put myself in a position that a constituent asks me why no vote on something, I can’t make that ever sound like I resaonsbly know why.”

    Comment by Oswego Willy Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:46 pm

  2. They’re not wrong. Bryant wasn’t elected to run away from every vote that might displease a powerful interest.

    Comment by Tournaround Agenda Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:47 pm

  3. The amazing thing is how open these reps are about how they can’t do the right thing because of their district. They should lead, or follow. But not neither.

    Comment by State worker Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:47 pm

  4. Doesn’t matter your party - Not only Gutless, it’s nonfeasance (great word I learned today) plain and simple. Own your vote. Not voting is gutless. Especially if you are on the floor during the vote. At the end of the day, both sides will gun for you and you will have no friends to support you.

    Comment by RunBikeSwim Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:50 pm

  5. Senator Neil Anderson, take note!

    Comment by Just a guy Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:52 pm

  6. === but if I put myself in a position that a constituent asks me why no vote on something ===

    … I tell them the dog ate my key.

    Comment by Norseman Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:54 pm

  7. there should be a loss of per diem for non votes.

    Comment by hisgirlfriday Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:55 pm

  8. What? A newspaper is finally calling out the politicians who don’t do their job? Shocker!

    Comment by Shanks Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:55 pm

  9. They must have loved all the votes a gentleman named President Obama didn’t vote on or only voted “present” on while he was in the legislature. This has been going on for many years by both parties, but they single out this vote for some reason. Maybe the author has ties to labor?

    Comment by Anonymous Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:55 pm

  10. I guess she learned from the master himself, Obama. I recall he voted “present” quite often.

    Comment by sloman2001 Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:55 pm

  11. - Norseman -,

    “You sure you have the right roll call?”

    Comment by Oswego Willy Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:58 pm

  12. How was President Obama’s voting record as a St. Senator

    Comment by Just saying Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:59 pm

  13. Jeez, most of the folks voting present this year are GOP so of course someone has to bring up Obama, as if somehow that’s relevant. Those who continue to vote present are no better than the guy who decided to go on vacation at a time when important votes are called. It’s not a full time job to start with. these folks that are voting present aren’t doing their job and honestly they don’t deserve their full salary.

    Comment by The Dude Abides Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 12:59 pm

  14. In Illinois, a “present” or “nv” is the same as a “no” vote. They don’t fool anyone paying attention, and you don’t have to fool the people not paying attention.

    So I don’t get the point.

    Comment by Wordslinger Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:00 pm

  15. Present and no votes are a product of gerrymandering plain and simple. If districts were more competitive, reps couldn’t get away with being spineless.

    Comment by Ducky LaMoore Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:02 pm

  16. ==Her largest victory so far, naming Murphysboro the BBQ capital of Illinois, is the participation trophy of legislative achievement. ==

    “Oof” is right.

    Comment by T.T. Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:02 pm

  17. Oh no, the blame Obama brigade found its way to CapitolFax.

    Comment by Tournaround Agenda Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:04 pm

  18. Gutless sounds so harsh. In keeping with a kinder, gentler description I refer to the following Synonyms picked up from the Web: abject; faint-hearted; feeble; irresolute; pusillanimous; submissive; weak, and wimpy.

    Comment by Norseman Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:04 pm

  19. =Frankly, I don’t care how a legislator votes, as long as it’s reasonably consistent with their own ideology and/or their districts. But when you skip a vote, you’ve crossed over into unacceptable behavior. =

    Regardless of party affiliation they were elected to help govern. They need to do that!

    Comment by JS Mill Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:05 pm

  20. My guess would be that she desperately wants to keep this legislator job as long as she possibly can and has decided that voting as little as possible is the best way to accomplish this goal. When being “state legislator” in a state renowned for its poor governance is the best job someone can hope to qualify for, this kind of behavior is predictable.

    Comment by Cassandra Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:14 pm

  21. Well, it should save space on the mailer showcasing her record.

    Comment by Wensicia Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:15 pm

  22. How else should they object to extremism from the parties? It makes a statement to your party leadership.

    Comment by LIberty Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:18 pm

  23. I’m not defending Terri Bryant and I don’t agree with her ducking the vote.

    That being stated, that editorial board is now controlled by an absolute lunatic who is the most crusading “progressive” that has hit SI in a long time. This guy is a lot to the left of Bernie Sanders.

    They would have had her on a spit-roast no matter what she did.

    Comment by Blago's Luxurious Grey Mane Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:18 pm

  24. For me, the Southern Illinoisan has forfeited the right to lay into any legislator (along with with most other newspaper editorial boards). I am not saying they don’t have a point sometimes. I am saying it would be more valid coming from somebody else.

    Comment by BigBen Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:19 pm

  25. Hmm…did they read my comments yesterday about this?! HA!

    Comment by Team Sleep Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:22 pm

  26. Blago’s Mane - I’ve noticed that over the last few months.

    Comment by Team Sleep Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:22 pm

  27. You all may recall that the Obama “present” votes became an issue when someone with the initials HRC called him out on it. Nice to see so many Hillary supporters out today.
    I’d be stunned if there’s anyone on the SI edit board now who was even working at the paper back when Obama was in the Illinois Senate. Heck, there’s probably no one in the top administration at that paper who was there when Obama was in the U.S. Senate.

    Comment by Michelle Flaherty Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:23 pm

  28. Rep. John D. Anthony take note.

    Comment by Tobor Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:24 pm

  29. Thanks for sharing, Rich.

    Comment by Austin Blvd Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:25 pm

  30. Blaho’s Mane:
    A left-leaning editor at the SI can’t possibly make up for the rest of the Tea Party and Illinois policy institute-biased editors at the rest of Lee’s newspapers.

    Comment by Austin Blvd Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:30 pm

  31. The Southern is not far left, they ran an anti-AFSCME editorial within the last couple weeks.

    Comment by Anonymous Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:31 pm

  32. This situation is a microcosm of what’s wrong with our state. Absolutely no leadership. Both Democrats and Republicans are to blame. It’s not just Rauner’s fault. We are elected by a bunch of ciwards who can’t take a stabd on anything. This is why we don’t have a budget yet. Majes me want to leave this sinking ship.

    Comment by DHSJim Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:35 pm

  33. This is a more than fair criticism. Why even show up? I think present votes are pathetic (unless you have a legitimate conflict of interest) but simply not voting? That’s dereliction of duty. Grow a pair and stand for something. Anything.

    Comment by Demoralized Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:37 pm

  34. - DHSJim -

    Bro, relax. The sun will indeed come out tomorrow.

    Also, are you calling the electorate a bunch of ciwards, or those they elect a bunch of ciwards?

    I’ll disagree. We don’t have a budget yet because each side has taken a stand.

    Comment by Under Influenced Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:43 pm

  35. A legislator Not Voting (NV)….. Rather than voting Yes or No…..Translates into….a No Vote from me during the next election. Especially When voters in a legislative district overwhelmingly support a piece of legislation…. And their legislator chooses to vote something other than a yes or no. Cowards…fence sitters….indecisive….whatever you want to call them….those type of legislators need to Step down because they no longer represent the people that elected them into office.

    Comment by Trickster Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:46 pm

  36. This was my favorite quote from the editorial:

    “Her largest victory so far, naming Murphysboro the BBQ capital of Illinois, is the participation trophy of legislative achievement.”

    BTW, how can the editor be to the left of Bernie Sanders and yet say they disagreed with Bradley and Phelps who voted with AFSCME. Doesn’t seem very left to me.

    Comment by Chicago Cynic Friday, Sep 4, 15 @ 1:46 pm

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