Sen. Pflug needs to show up
April 20, 2010
If your employee didn’t do his job 14.5 percent of the time, how long would it be before you had a serious conversation?
Well, guess what. Your employee, State Sen. Cheryl Pflug, R-5th District, missed 78 of 538 Senate votes this year — while collecting a salary of $42,106 per year and $90 per day to help defray rent and meal expenses during the session.
During the 2009 session, she also missed 14 percent of the votes and presented a laundry list of reasons including landlord problems. This time, the senator says she was attending law school and couldn’t be in both places at once so she missed some “routine” votes.
Attending school? Really? She’s been in the house and now the senate for 12 years. She knows what the workload is.
Pflug’s law classes began Jan. 11, the same day as the start of the legislative session. Seems obvious there was going to be a conflict if she wanted to both do her job in Olympia and go to school in Seattle.
She knew the state would be dealing with a huge budget problem – an all-hands-on-deck moment in time. But Pflug said the votes were just routine.
It is true that the majority of the votes she missed were passed unanimously or by a lopsided margin. But the voters of the 5th District are paying her to be there engage in debate with her colleagues on behalf of her constituents, and then to vote accordingly. Instead, the citizens of the 5th District went without a voice more than 14 percent of the time for the last two years.
We don’t necessarily expect a perfect voting record, although six members of the 49-member Senate did just that and another 15 missed fewer than 10 votes.
We admire the Senator’s desire to go back to school for a law degree, but we sure didn’t expect to be subsidizing her further education in lieu of getting her job done.
Sen. Pflug needs to return her per diem for the days she was absent. The money was to defray expenses in Olympia, not sit in a lecture hall in Seattle.
And if she can’t step up to a better attendance record, she needs to step aside.
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