October 9, 2012

Projo Tilt on RIVotes.org

Justin Katz

I'd finished an email exchange with Providence Journal reporter Philip Marcelo somewhat encouraged, on Friday night.  He apparently had some questions about the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity's RIVotes.org site; some legislators disputed that they'd missed as many votes as the site says.

On my way out the door to a social function, I didn't exactly perform an extensive review, but I checked the House Journals for five randomly selected bills for which RIVotes says Rep. Robert Flaherty (D, Warwick), the most vote-missingest legislator, did not cast a vote.  For one of the bills, he was absent; for the others, he was noted at the top of the journals as in attendance, but the roll calls did not have his name.  That is, on all five, RIVotes was accurate.

I explained this to Marcelo, and he said the information was helpful.  Not helpful enough, it appears, to include in the article ...

Continue reading on the Ocean State Current...

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This article emphasizes the electronic vote record, making the point that it is not necessarily accurate, whereas the votes in the daily Journals are.

This is very puzzling because the RICFP database is, in fact, based upon the daily Journals.

The result is that the reader is left with the very distinct impression that this database is inaccurate. Why would the ProJo promulgate such substantial misinformation?

Posted by: Monique at October 9, 2012 1:53 PM

What a biased, misleading article. It could essentially be summarized: "political group creates a votes website of questionable accuracy." The article should mention that the data comes directly from the same records that the lawmakers are endorsing as accurate.

Posted by: Dan at October 9, 2012 4:18 PM
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