Obama's “Present” Votes Rumor - Exposed

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posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 03:46 PM
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What does voting "Present" mean?
And what do 129 “Present” votes say about Barack Obama?


One criticism of Obama is that he voted “Present” 129 times in his 8 years as a State Senator. Firstly, 129 “Present” votes represent a whopping 3.2% of the over 4,000 total votes he cast, so 96.8% of the time, he voted either Yea or Nay. Sounds like a pretty fantastic record to me…



Mr. Obama’s aides and some allies dispute the characterization that a present vote is tantamount to ducking an issue. They said Mr. Obama cast 4,000 votes in the Illinois Senate and used the present vote to protest bills that he believed had been drafted unconstitutionally or as part of a broader legislative strategy.

An examination of Illinois records shows at least 36 times when Mr. Obama was either the only state senator to vote present or was part of a group of six or fewer to vote that way.
In more than 50 votes, he seemed to be acting in concert with other Democrats as part of a strategy.

Source

I’m not sure people know what voting “Present” actually means.

In Illinois (and some other states) there are 3 choices. Yea, Nay and Present. Yea and Nay are self-explanatory. But “Present” can be used to signify that a person supports a bill, but there’s “pork” on it that they object to. Or they may think the bill is a good idea, but they don’t want to vote for the means laid out in the bill. It CAN be used to indicate an indecisive state of mind, but most times, it’s to signal others to be cautious about voting this bill in or to indicate some objection, not strong enough to vote “No”.

What it DOESN’T mean is I’m here, but I don’t have the guts to take a position one way or another. And this is the criticism that Obama’s taking for his record of 129 “Present” votes in 8 years. Sometimes he voted with caution… with reservations.



To insinuate the ‘present’ vote means you’re indecisive, that you don’t have the courage to hold public office, that’s a stretch. But, it’s good politics,” said state Rep. Bill Black (R), a 22-year veteran of the House and his party’s floor leader.

The “present” vote in Illinois is sometimes cast by state lawmakers with a conflict of interest who would rather not weigh in on an issue. Other times, members use the option to object to certain parts of a bill, even though they may agree with its overall purpose.

“The ‘present’ vote is used, especially by more thoughtful legislators, not as a means of avoiding taking a position on an issue, but as a means of signaling concerns about an issue,” said state Rep. John Fritchey (D), an Obama supporter.

Source

As regards Senator Obama’s record in the Illinois State Senate, he sponsored 800 bills on Health Care, Poverty, Crime, Civil Rights and more. That’s 100 bills per year that he sponsored. He was HIGHLY active and involved in his 8 years as State Senator.

Source

US Senate voting records:

Since Obama took the US Senate seat in November of 2004, he has voted NV (Not Voting, Excused, Absent or Present) a total of 189 times. During that same time period, John McCain has voted NV 247 times.

McCain's Voting Record: Source

Obama's Voting Record: Source

So, when people criticize Obama for his 129 “Present” votes, be aware that, as with most of these Obama rumors, the facts do not support the allegation that he's somehow deficient or doesn't have the experience to be an impressive and effective leader. When the truth is put out there, the rumor falls flat on its face.

Edit: Title changed for clarity.

[edit on 23-6-2008 by Benevolent Heretic]




posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 03:53 PM
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present means you are there but you are neither against or for it, but atleast you were there to hear about it

its like being on noones side so you dont offend anyone

also called being passive

just my opinion



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by MurderCityDevil
 

Try reading the post.


I have changed the title from: What Does Voting "Present" Mean? to: Obama's "Present" Votes Rumor - Exposed to clarify the purpose of the thread.


[edit on 23-6-2008 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 04:17 PM
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i know that on my Stock Proxy forms that companies send me (as a stockholder) have 3 blocks [ ] to put a 'X' in:
yes....... [ ]
no ....... [ ]
withhold [ ]

many times i 'withhold' my vote because of several different factors...
pretty much like Obamas' votes some 3% of the time

the Yea - or - Nay sometimes does not send the message one wants to express !


such as if the 'winner' garners a mere 20% of the vote, that signifies there is not a grass roots support for that issue or candidate...
but the voter knew that if the 'Board' recommended a favorable vote
then tyhe margin of victory and instituting that policy change or upper eschelon position had a significant number of abstinations... which may well revisit the people who recommended the 'for' vote that was destined to go sour.

sorry if that explaination was too longwinded



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 04:36 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


regardless of how one interprets voting "present" (and i agree with BH on this one)

voting "present" is always, 10 times out of 10, 100% of the time, better than not voting at all


Its funny how easy it is to dispell any notion that neocons throw out in the wind.

its like there is a factory somewhere pumping out randomly generated insults towards obama, trying to discredit him....and every single one of them (thus far) either

A.) Has zero credibility
B.) Is easily debunked despite "credibility"
C.) Talks about issues that have nothing to do with being POTUS:
1.) Skin Color
2.) Religion

Isnt it hilarious what people do out of overwhelming, and paralyzing fear?



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 08:38 PM
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Well said, and good job on the research, BH!


Looks like another "Obama is the devil!" rumor bites the dust!



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 09:10 AM
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Where are all the people who are using this as one of their reasons NOT to vote for Obama? Are they going to vote for him now? Or continue to believe (and spread) the rumor that there's something "WRONG" with voting present?


Originally posted by St Udio
many times i 'withhold' my vote because of several different factors...
pretty much like Obamas' votes some 3% of the time

the Yea - or - Nay sometimes does not send the message one wants to express !


I know exactly what you mean. There's no place for "comments" so sometimes it's wise to pick the third option to send a message.



Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
Looks like another "Obama is the devil!" rumor bites the dust!


Yeah!



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 09:45 AM
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isnt it funny how quiet a thread gets once the case has been proven?

I mean

the opposition never comes back to say

"hey - my bad, i was wrong in my assumptions, and you have shown me the way"



Nice post, BH. Starred and flagged.



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
isnt it funny how quiet a thread gets once the case has been proven?

I mean

the opposition never comes back to say

"hey - my bad, i was wrong in my assumptions, and you have shown me the way"



Yeah, funny, aint it? Nor do they come back and say "You know, I don't like Obama, but I'm going to have to start taking a closer look at all these rumors I've been hearing (or spreading). So many of them turn out to be pure hogwash, maybe I don't like him for reasons of fantasy."



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 12:47 PM
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Very nice work BH, well done.


I thought this myth was dispelled after the first or second debate between Barack and Hillary, when she brought it up, but I have also seen it rehashed here.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
As regards Senator Obama’s record in the Illinois State Senate, he sponsored 800 bills on Health Care, Poverty, Crime, Civil Rights and more. That’s 100 bills per year that he sponsored. He was HIGHLY active and involved in his 8 years as State Senator.

That is quite impressive, but I would also be interested in hearing if the state taxes had gone up or not due to these bills passing. That might help clear the air about that issue.

Barack does have a lot of programs planned that will cost a lot of money, and many people fear that our taxes will go up. I personally would like to see his Universal Health Care plan passed, but I don't know about some of the others. I think ending the war in Iraq and bringing our troops home will save us billions, and I would like to see the next administration get back to being fiscally responsible.



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by Hal9000
That is quite impressive, but I would also be interested in hearing if the state taxes had gone up or not due to these bills passing. That might help clear the air about that issue.

Barack does have a lot of programs planned that will cost a lot of money, and many people fear that our taxes will go up. I personally would like to see his Universal Health Care plan passed, but I don't know about some of the others. I think ending the war in Iraq and bringing our troops home will save us billions, and I would like to see the next administration get back to being fiscally responsible.


I agree with your point, and I know I'm a bit at risk here of being off-topic, so just this once... taxes are going to go up. They'll either go up when we get an honest/honorable administration that recognizes that not even a government can spend money it doesn't have forever, or they will go up when whatever administration is in power at the time faces acute economic collapse due to government spending money it doesn't have.

I'm no more in favor of high taxes than anybody, and I always have a nice laugh when I hear people like GW talk about fiscal responsibility (Iraq: ~$5000/second).

People need to wake up on this subject.

My apologies for the temporary hijack, BH. Now back to your regularly scheduled topic.



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 07:09 PM
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Obama explains his reasons for abstaining from votes in his book, "The Audacity of Hope." BH has explained this strategy well. Unfortunately, many of his critics won't read his book or this thread.

One thing that Obama might want to consider is the fact that his voting record on his U.S. Senate website shows him not voting a number of times on the first page or so (obama.senate.gov...):

Senate voting record

To see a string of "not voting" decisions right off the bat might put people off a little. Though he has nothing to be ashamed of, it might be politic to reorganize the list.

That said, I'm satisfied with his explanation and to me it's a non-issue.

[edit on 24-6-2008 by Sestias]



posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by Andrew E. Wiggin
 


The Rules of Propaganda

The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.
Coined by Joseph Goebbels, this truth has been proven time and time again, especially in times of war.

The rule of orchestration
Endlessly repeating the same messages in different variations and combinations. People will remember the message, the accuracy of the message takes a back seat.

Generalize as much as possible.
Specifics are not very important. Most people would prefer to think in the simplest terms.

The rule of transfusion
Manipulating the consensus values of the target audience for one's own ends.

Stack the cards with "information" Notice the quotation marks
Statistics and facts work wonderfully, especially when the average person only partially understands them, and when conflicting data is omitted or censored.
In modern times this equates to linking to websites and assuming the average internet browser will not examine the source too closely or search for conflicting data.

Confused people are easily led.
When a person hears the truth, he won't know it, because it will be lumped together with disinformation, half-truths, and lies.

Get the "plain folks" onto the "bandwagon"
John Doe is your propaganda agent. Middle Americans will "relate" to him, and so will their friends, and their friends, and their friends, and their friends . ..

* When all else fails, use FEAR. Fear of different religions, race, cultures, and of course terrorism.

Get the propaganda out there. The more sensational the better. Don’t worry about accuracy, the sensationalism and appeal to values or emotion overrides most peoples concern for accuracy or truth and most people aren’t going to research the facts. When the facts are brought to light by anyone move on to another angle of propaganda. The topics should appeal to fear and focus on hot buttons to best succeed in overriding rational debate. This succeeds on many fronts. The headline outlives the follow-up discrediting it and it keeps the discussion focused on irrelevant issues, which is a safe place to be if you a weak on issues that are important to the people.


[edit on 25-6-2008 by maybereal11 for grammar]

[edit on 25-6-2008 by maybereal11 for grammar]

[edit on 25-6-2008 by maybereal11]



posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 01:37 PM
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Good point OP. I do not get why people try to pick nits while there are legitimate reasons to distrust this guy. If you ask me, the people who are making these accusations refuse to look at the bigger picture and are just tools for the McCainanites.



posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 01:44 PM
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I won't vote for the guy based on his tax policy, pure and simple. Whenever someone tells me that they are going to raise taxes (on any group of the population) I immediately dismiss them. It's evident from just looking around that anything the government touches is twice as large as it should be and costs five times as much. Throwing any money at the government is just as good as throwing it in the toilet and flushing. The money is gone and it's probably going to clog up the works in the process.



posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by BlueTriangle
 


My God


do you all realize what just happened?

Someone actually gave a real reason why they wont vote for Obama. Why it affects them personally

I disagree wtih you blue triangle, but i respect you for not sligning mud

star'd



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 12:36 AM
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Someone actually gave a real reason why they wont vote for Obama. Why it affects them personally


There are many real reasons, but these are not the things the media talks about. What does Hannity harp about for two hours? Nothing real. Just a bunch of knitpicky grievances that rival schoolyard trash talk. I don't even know why Obama fans respond to such baseless, stupid accusations....
.
.
.
Unless, of course, they don't have anything real to add to the debate ('feelings' don't count).

Instead of America asking "Is he a muslim?" they should be asking "From what he has done in the past, and his promises for the future, is this a man that should be president?". Or if you really want to delve deeper into ATS land, ask "Is this man a marionette for the Bilderbergers?".



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 07:48 AM
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Yes, there are many real reasons

they just havent been posted on ATS

its been all garbage

which is why i think bluetriange (despite his liking of the penguins) deserved to recieve a bit of credit for his post

you dont have to like obama
but if you dislike him for garbage reasons - then you - yourself - are garbage. (IMO)



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 01:55 PM
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I agree that I would not vote for Obama due to his stances on raising taxes. Just think about taxing the upper class. They hold all the jobs and they are not about to lose money. They need incentive to make money!
All you will do by taxing them more is forcing them to eliminate positions further damaging the economy.
Just like Obama's stance on increasing the tax on oil companies. All they are going to do is raise the price on you and I to cover those costs.

Another reason would be when Obama and other dems said that drilling for oil would not make any difference for years. But when a hurricane comes through shutting down a couple of wells, boom, the price immediately is increased. It doesn't take rocket science to say that if a couple of wells shutting down increases the cost of oil, then a couple more wells would decrease the cost.

Supply and demand at it's best here in the USA.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 03:05 PM
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Where are all the people who are using this as one of their reasons NOT to vote for Obama? Are they going to vote for him now? Or continue to believe (and spread) the rumor that there's something "WRONG" with voting present?


Good research.

Now why don't you do the same on the McCain rumor about him voting with Bush 90% of the time.

That's an arguement that you keep using so perhaps you should look into that so that you aren't going to be believing and spreading the rumors.

Just a thought.

Jemison





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