Gibbons goes AWOL



U.S. Rep. James Gibbons is taking the rest of his term in the U.S. House of Representatives off, according to a Washington newspaper.

The Hill reported on Dec. 7 that Gibbons has missed every roll call vote since the November election.

A Gibbons spokesperson, Melissa Subbotin, blamed it on the fact that Gibbons is governor-elect. “Currently he’s wearing two hats. … It’s not like we have completely rolled up the carpet and closed up shop. He’s on the phone regularly and still very much in touch with people in D.C. He is still a congressman until his inauguration; he just can’t make it back to D.C.”

But the newspaper noted that the other two members of the House who are moving up to governor have still made every vote. Clement “Butch” Otter of Idaho and Ted Strickland of Ohio, are both preparing to take over their states’ governorships and have not missed any votes on Capitol Hill.

One lobby group, Citizens Against Government Waste, was critical of representatives like Gibbons who failed to finish out their terms of office. CAGW has had difficulty making up its mind about Gibbons. It once criticized him for wasting taxpayer dollars on pork barrel projects and then later praised him for reducing wasteful spending.