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Filner Sits Out Votes In Congress While He Runs For Mayor

While he’s been running for mayor this year, Congressman Bob Filner has missed voting on well more than half the votes in the House, more than any other California congressional member.

While he’s been running for mayor this year, Congressman Bob Filner has missed voting on well more than half the votes in the House, more than any other California congressional member.

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The KPBS/I-Newsource investigations desk crunched some numbers on voting records through the legislative research site govtrack.us and found Filner not only topped the list in California this year, but also last year.

Filner missed 353 out of 602 votes, or 59 percent. In 2011, he missed 137 votes out of 948, or a little more than 14 percent. These were on issues such as domestic energy and jobs, national defense and violence against women.

To put the numbers into context, Filner’s missed 14 times more votes this year than the other four San Diego-area congress members combined.

Rep. Darrell Issa, at second place for most missed votes as a San Diego representative, has missed 10. The remaining three representatives — Duncan Hunter, Susan Davis, and Brian Bilbray — have missed 15 votes combined.

Filner's opponent for mayor, City Councilman Carl DeMaio, called a news conference Thursday that focused on Filner's voting record.

"Congressman Bob Filner has failed to do his job in Congress,” DeMaio said, “missing 60 percent of votes this year alone. And that puts Congressman Filner in a very notorious group of Congress people who have literally walked off the job this year."

But, Filner has been in Congress since 1993, and his performance throughout the vast majority of those years has been stellar.

Filner’s camp released a statement Thursday highlighting that fact.

“Through 2010,” it says, “I cast 11,433 votes and only missed 392. That is a voting percentage of 96.7 percent.”

By our calculation, he missed only about 2 percent of votes during those 18 years.

In addition to the statement, Filner posted a web video talking about his voting record. In both, he makes no excuse for missing votes over the last two years: He’s campaigning for mayor.

"If I had spent all my time in Washington, D.C.," he said in the statement, "DeMaio would have attacked me for missing debates in San Diego."

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