Representative David Orentlicher was at his desk but elected not to cast a vote. Representative Bosma demanded he do so but the Speaker closed the machine. Orentlicher says his voting machine was not operating correctly. Normally when that happens a lawmaker will just stand up and call for the Speaker's attention to register a vote. Orentlicher was silent even after Rep. Bosma called for his vote. The Democratic candidate for the 7th District Congressional general election nomination did go up afterwards and ask that his vote but registered but only after everyone in the body was watching.
He later told me he would petition for an aye vote so the proposed amendment did fail by a 50-50 vote, but it is always a little easier to make sure your vote would not alter the course of the bill or, heaven forbid, go against the Speaker's wishes.
Running for office is all about leadership. That means voting. Not watching. Not waiting. Not wishing no one would notice. Not having to defend a vote to your constituents. Now Rep. David Orentlicher will have to explain not only to the voters but to his own peers why he didn't cast a vote. Rep. Carolene Mays cast a vote and she is also a candidate for the general election nomination of the Democratic party in the 7th. Rep. Jon Elrod voted and he is the Republican candidate for the special election in the 7th congressional district. And they both will have to stand up and explain their votes but something tells me that will be a whole lot easier than trying to stand up and tell Hoosiers why you just sat there.
Rader makes some very salient observations about Orentlicher's inaction on an issue he has made a number one priority. To their credit, Rep. Elrod and Rep. Mays, both candidates for the 7th District race like Orentlicher, took a stand. Elrod stood with the Republicans in favoring the 1% cap on a homeowner's assessed value. Mays stood with the Democrats and their 1% cap on a homeowner's household income. I just don't understand what Orentlicher was thinking. He already faces an uphill battle against Andre Carson in the May primary. This doesn't help him in the least. Carson will no doubt throw up the "bold leadership" stance he has taken in his primary battle against him. Of course, Orentlicher will never defeat Carson in my opinion unless Carson loses the special election to Elrod. If Carson wins the special election, Orentlicher, Mays et al. won't have a prayer against Carson.