Fargo Rep. Kathy Hawken has made a lot of headlines of late as a supposedly pro-life Republican who is opposed to the pro-life legislation passed in the state legislature of late. Hawken’s opposition fits the media’s narrative about the legislation perfectly. Even though the legislation passed with wide, bi-partisan majorities Rep. Hawken allows the media to cast supporters as “zealots.”
Because she’s a Republican. A moderate one. With the voting record of a Democrat.
But for all the noise Hawken and a small, but vocal, minority of Republicans are making about the pro-life legislation Hawken herself couldn’t even be bothered to be in the state last week to vote. She was absent from the legislative session Thursday and Friday, Republican legislators tell me, and her absences were excused so she could collect her pay (a common practice, as anyone who has watched the floor sessions knows).
The pro-life legislation she so vehemently opposes passed without her vote.
So where was Rep. Hawken? According to Facebook, she was in Vegas baby. Here’s a photo:
Here’s another photo indicating that this is an “annual trip.” Which I take to mean a vacation.
It’s nice that Rep. Hawken can get paid for her service in the legislature while she’s simultaneously vacationing in Nevada. It’s nice that Rep. Hawken can weigh in on controversial legislation before the state House while she’s not only absent from her seat in the House, but not even in the state.
It would be easy to name Rep. Hawken to the SAB Hall of Shame on any given week for having a voting record more liberal than a lot of Democrats. But the hypocrisy of being a vocal opponent in the media of legislation you can’t even show up to vote on? That’s something everyone should be upset about, regardless of political affiliation or position on the issue of abortion.
It’s more than enough to earn Rep. Hawken our Week 11 Hall of Shame designation. Not for being a liberal masquerading as a Republican, but for not even having the gumption to show up for work in the legislature when controversial legislation is on the table.