Now that Will has announced he is running for the House of Representatives, I want to thank him for his thoughtful and principled service to his constituents, communities and the commonwealth. His is a fine record to run on, but most people may not know much about it. As a state rep and senator, he has cast votes on many bills and given significant input to the legislature. I think the voters should know more about that, and so am requesting Will to post his voting record here and on his campaign site.
His and all other state representatives and senators voting records are in theory official documents, but the legislature does not make them easy to find. You can, however, see a tabulation of the 2011-12 ones – at least the roll call votes – at Progressive Massachusetts’ web site: http://www.progressivemass.com/2/2013/03/29/houserollcall2011-12/, tabulated and rated from a progressive point of view. (Senate votes are at http://www.progressivemass.com/2/2013/03/29/2011-2012senaterollcall/, but Will wasn’t a yet member for most of them.)
These are only the recorded votes. Most votes were by voice, hence not tabulated. Maybe Will can publish his voting record and also indicate how he came down on some of the unrecorded votes. Candidates don’t ordinarily do that, but Will is no ordinary candidate.
Not sure what you are envisioning. I try to identify and explain all of my major votes on this website. I think I’ve done that.
If you are suggesting I could create a better visible index of the site, I’m willing to work on that over time.
But I don’t have a mechanism to post all the votes. All of those votes are available in the journals of the legislature at mass.gov/legis. It would be a huge job to create a duplicative record of those and would serve little purpose.
There are hundreds of non-controversial, unrecorded votes — the sick leave banks, bridge namings, commemorative resolutions, etc. There are also many other recorded but non-controversial votes — land takings, etc.
Additionally, there are a number of potentially controversial but practically insignificant votes, often manufactured for the purpose of creating controversy. I don’t bother to write about all of those. Those are usually duly reported in the news media — e.g., the Beacon Hill Roll Call column.
I think I have to stand by this website — which is unequaled in its breadth of coverage — as my primary statement of my record on major issues.
That said, I am always ready to answer any question or try to improve the site.
Thank you Will. I understand you, but I don’t think the answer to providing voting record data is for individuals to go to the statehouse web site and piece together information on what reps have done.
I have another request. I want you to disavow any connection to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which should need no introduction. Specifically, I ask all state legislators to publicly take a simple pledge:
“I am not currently a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, nor will I ever become a member of it.”
This would mean a lot to me. I don’t have a good sense of how entrenched ALEC might be in our legislature or if any of its model legislation has been introduced in it, but this creepy group worries me enough to seek affirmation of non-affiliation from state reps and senators.
If you or anyone else needs background information on why ALEC is such bad news, I would be happy to provide it.
Thanks, Geoff. That’s an easy pledge for me to take. I hereby do take that pledge.
By the way I really haven’t seen much presence of that organization in Massachusetts.
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