Jeff Flake: Family vs. Country?

There is a raging debate over Congressman Jeff Flake’s absence last Friday when the U.S. House barely passed the largest tax increase in U.S. history by a vote of 219-212.

Congressman Flake was at a family event in Mobile, AL for his daughter’s competion in the 2009 Junior Miss pageant.

Given the immense gravity of the vote on Friday, some are saying Flake’s absence was inexcusable.

This is a hard call given the importance of family but given the massive government usurpations and takeovers, Flake’s presence was probably more needed in D.C. in the fight.

Congressman Flake has posted a response to those angry that he was found missing in action during such a critical vote:

Obviously, it was a tough decision to miss voting against the cap and trade bill. But I’ve let my daughter down enough over the years, and I felt I just couldn’t let her down again.

All this is fueling speculation that Congressman Flake may have just invited a challenger in a Republican primary.

Others are also suggesting that Flake’s conflict with performing his job and family matters may prompt him to stay local and jump in the Governor’s race.

Either way, Jeff Flake will need resolve and reconcile his job duties with family commitments.



  1. They knew exactly what the vote was going to be before they called it to a vote, as did Jeff Flake, if it was going to come down to his vote he would have been there. THis debate is pointless and if it invites a primary challenger it will be the biggest of money and energy that this state will have this year…

  2. James Davidson says

    It looks bad, but Johnny is right that it would not have made a difference. Speaker Pelosi had the votes. She would have realed in Congressman Mitchell and Congresswoman Kirkpatrick, or other Dems in red districts, if she needed them.

    I’m not sure that excuses Congressman Flake. He took the job. I agree family comes first, and many fathers wrestle with the same issue. I know I do.

    But if he can’t square it with family duties, maybe he shouldn’t be there. That’s no slam on him. I like the way he votes. But we’re entitled to a Congressman who will be there for the really important votes, even if it is only to go down with the ship. Principle matters.

  3. Carl Hay says

    I positively loathe Flake, but, I cannot critize his choice in this case.

    Now, if we could only have his daughter in a competition the next time an amnesty for illegal aliens bill comes before the House, we will see which he cares about more, his daughter of his dedication to amnesty for illegal aliens.

  4. kralmajales says all eat your own.

    Not that I always defend Flake (love his position on Cuba!!!!), but this is pretty amazing and from the party of “family values” too. WOW. Its not like the guy misses that many votes, or does he? If this is a big problem and he is missing as many votes as John McCain did last year, then that is another thing.

  5. Conservative does not mean Republican says

    I listened to J.D. “The Windbag” Hayworth rant and rave about Flake on his show Friday. He insisted that missing this vote demonstrates Flake’s “arrogrance.” Puhlease. I’ll agree with the others here that if it would’ve come down to his vote, Jeff would’ve been there. He doesn’t make a habit of missing votes and is very dedicated to making his voice heard in Congress. ALL Congressman occasionally miss a vote, especially those that live on the far side of the country. Let the person that has never missed a day of work cast the first stone here.

    As for my pal, J.D….is anyone more arrogant than he? His arrogance LOST him his seat!!! Is he jealous that Flake is relevant and he is not? My guess is yes. Seriously, are we going to destroy each other over things like missing one non-consequential vote???!!!

  6. pragmatist says

    Does anyone really think that Jeff Flake would have missed the vote if he was the deciding vote? However, I understand why people would want him to represent them with a no vote. For most people, that is what Jeff Flake is known for. He is the guy who votes no on bad bills. I look forward to seeing this bill killed in the Senate. On a side note, nice to see Rep.Flake considering his families feelings in the age of Sanford, Ensign, etc.

  7. The votes where already in the bag, Flake would not have made a difference. He knew that. JD is making hay and using this as another way to paint himself as the only true guardian of all things good and conservative.

    Jake has been advertising on Drudge, obviously setting himself up for a run at something other than his current seat. Could it be that JD is trying to narrow the field?

  8. Mr. Flake’s vote attendance is the worst of any of the US House delegation from Arizona.

    I support his efforts to increase trade and travel to Cuba.

    Harry Mitchell has managed to miss 0 votes, good for him! (of course he has voted to continue the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan so boo on Harry! Boo!!)

  9. Ann: Jake?

  10. Did Foghorn Leghorn miss any votes when he was in the House?

  11. At least his daughter won a $2000 scholarship in the contest.

  12. Shivers…huge ooops! Big apology for such a careless mistake.

  13. I think that anyone who thinks this one missed vote will invite a primary challenge needs to get a better perspective.

    I think this was not a good vote for Flake to miss. He should have made it to other family events before that so he wouldn’t have been under so much family pressure now. Even so, it is understandable that he would want to be with his daughter for this even if I think he should have planned better.

    This is something to chide him about, but firing him for missing one vote where the outcome didn’t change is just not going to happen.


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