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Mack Fails To Vote, Answer Adam Smith’s Questions

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"As Mack was campaigning in Beef O’Brady’s in Dade City, the House was voting on a major foreign relations spending bill, one that included funding for programs to break up terrorist plots and battle narcotics trafficking…While Mack spokesperson David James has claimed most of the missed votes are “largely procedural matters,” HR 6018 was not minor or procedural. The last time the full House passed a foreign aid authorization bill was in 2002. What’s more, the bill originated in the House Foreign Relations Committee—the committee on which Mack sits."

FL DEMOCRACY 2012: Mack Fails To Vote, Answer Adam Smith’s Questions

While launching into Sen. Bill Nelson on Tuesday for his voting record, Rep. Connie Mack was simultaneously adding to his own voting record. Specifically, a record of not being around for votes.

“He can’t run from his record, he can’t run from his support of Barack Obama,” Mack said of Bill Nelson’s record of voting with Obama.

As Mack was campaigning in Beef O’Brady’s in Dade City, the House was voting on a major foreign relations spending bill, one that included funding for programs to break up terrorist plots and battle narcotics trafficking.  One of bill’s key provisions was a comprehensive strategy on how the U.S. should fight international cyber-terrorism, establishing a coordinator for cyber issues in the Secretary of State’s office.

While Mack spokesperson David James has claimed most of the missed votes are “largely procedural matters,” HR 6018 was not minor or procedural. The last time the full House passed a foreign aid authorization bill was in 2002. What’s more, the bill originated in the House Foreign Relations Committee—the committee on which Mack sits.

Mack has been targeted by his primary opponents, first former Sen. George LeMieux and now Dave Weldon, for his attendance.  He notably missed the House vote on the Paul Ryan budget because he was campaigning in South Florida.

All told, Mack has missed votes a whopping 142 times this year.  Since the start of the year, Mack has missed 142 of 469, or more than 30 percent of all votes.  In the first three months alone, he missed more votes than almost anyone else in the entire Congress, 65 out of 151, or 43 percent.

By contrast, Nelson- who Mack wants to run against – has missed only one vote out of 180 cast in the Senate this year.

While Mack was more than happy to talk about Nelson’s record, he was less inclined to talk about his own. He refused to answer Tampa Bay Times’ political reporter Adam Smith’s questions, telling him: “When you decide to be a real journalist, I’ll be more than happy to talk to you.”

Smith received the wrath of the Mack campaign after his paper’s editorial board–not Smith–failed to endorse the congressman on Sunday. Mack campaign manager Dave Cohen wrote an open letter calling the paper the “National Enquirer of Florida politics” and accusing Smith of “waging a tireless campaign against conservatives and Republicans.”

One of the reasons the Tampa Bay Times did not endorse Mack was because of “questionable work habits,” including his record of missed votes. “By one measure, he has missed more than twice as many votes in the House as the average member since taking office,” the Tampa Bay Times editorial board wrote on Sunday.

It seems that’s a record Mack can’t run from.