Accord­ing to a sto­ry in The Kit­sap Sun, State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jan Angel (R – Port Orchard) was absent for almost the entire spe­cial ses­sion of the Leg­is­la­ture – because she was on a Euro­pean cruise.

Angel won the Euro­pean cruise at a Port Orchard event in Novem­ber and claims to have con­sult­ed with Repub­li­can lead­ers before depart­ing on May 12, after the spe­cial ses­sion had begun.

Accord­ing to the right-wing Wash­ing­ton Pol­i­cy Cen­ter, Angel was excused from vot­ing thir­ty-sev­en times between May 13 and May 24. Among the votes she missed was one on the oper­at­ing bud­get (pret­ty much the very rea­son there was a spe­cial ses­sion) and a vote on fund­ing for Wash­ing­ton State Fer­ries (which has two docks in Angel’s dis­trict serv­ing tens of thou­sands of her constituents).

“How many times do you ever win some­thing like that?” she asked rhetor­i­cal­ly, jus­ti­fy­ing her absence from the Leg­is­la­ture dur­ing the great­est eco­nom­ic cri­sis since the Great Depression.

Note­wor­thy is the fact that Angel’s home­town paper of record, the very con­ser­v­a­tive Port Orchard Inde­pen­dent, nev­er report­ed on the fact that Angel was miss­ing in action for eleven days – although they ear­li­er report­ed on the “Port Orchard Par­ty” event at which Angel won the Euro­pean cruise.

To date, the Port Orchard Inde­pen­dent has updat­ed their web­site with such hard-hit­ting news as “Break­ing News — Coun­ty wants 10-year-old twins to remove tree­house” — but no news on their favorite state leg­is­la­tor, upon whom they reg­u­lar­ly heap fawn­ing praise via both their edi­to­r­i­al page and biased news coverage.

Angel has a track record of not being par­tic­u­lar­ly atten­tive to her constituents:

  • She is among the throng of Repub­li­can leg­is­la­tors who had nev­er held a live, in-per­son leg­isla­tive town hall forum for her con­stituents, instead hold­ing ‘vir­tu­al town halls’ via tele­phone — typ­i­cal­ly for only one hour on a week­night while her hard-work­ing con­stituents are either stuck in traf­fic or hav­ing dinner.
  • She lim­its her ‘pub­lic’ appear­ances to those host­ed by con­ser­v­a­tive groups such as cham­bers-of-com­merce where she can expect soft­ball ques­tions from a friend­ly audience.
  • She gen­er­al­ly keeps her office door in Olympia closed and does­n’t accept vis­its from con­stituents unless they’ve been care­ful­ly screened.

So how does some­one with such a low regard for the very peo­ple she rep­re­sents get re-elect­ed time again?

As a for­mer res­i­dent and polit­i­cal activist in Jan Angel’s dis­trict, I’ve heard peo­ple time and again express an atti­tude that I call “affir­ma­tive action vot­ing” by say­ing things like:

  • “Our oth­er two mem­bers of the Leg­is­la­ture are men, so I fig­ure I should vote for at least one woman.”
  • “Our oth­er two mem­bers of the Leg­is­la­ture are are from Pierce Coun­ty, so I fig­ure I should vote for at least one from Kit­sap County.”
  • “Our oth­er two mem­bers of the Leg­is­la­ture are Democ­rats, so I fig­ure I should vote for at least one Republican.”

Per­haps next year, the folks who ratio­nal­ized vot­ing for Angel will opt to replace her with some­body who is actu­al­ly inter­est­ed in pub­lic ser­vice. Like Angel’s two seat­mates. Nei­ther of them missed a sin­gle vote in either the reg­u­lar or spe­cial ses­sion of the Leg­is­la­ture. Their pri­or­i­ty is their con­stituents. Angel’s pri­or­i­ty is… enjoy­ing that Euro­pean cruise she won.

Adjacent posts

One reply on “Republican state legislator skipped special session to go on a European cruise”

Comments are closed.