Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Arizona Congressmen Finished Before They Start; Sen. McCain Gone, Too

Shockingly, Arizona's three new Representatives in Congress - Paul Gosar (R-CD1), Ben Quayle (R-CD3), and David Schweikert (R-CD5) - already have a "former" in front of their new titles.  In addition, John McCain is now a "former Senator".

This shocking news today from the website http://www.govtrack.us/ , which (often) provides very useful information about Congress. 

Arizona's Politics discovery of this peculiar development came while researching the report on Paul Gosar's staff connections with Sarah Palin and the Alaskan dental profession.  Here is what we found:


(Appropriately, your mouth might now have dropped open wide enough for your dentist to begin the examination.)

As it turns out, Schweikert's and Quayle's profiles have the same "former" designation.  More startlingly, Sen. John McCain is also listed as our "former" Senator.  (Ruining the effect somewhat, the incumbent Representatives who were re-elected on November 2 also appear to have left the House.  In fact, only Sen. Jon Kyl - who is in the middle of his 6-year term - is listed as representing Arizona in D.C.)

The creator/developer/etc of govtrack.us, Joshua Tauberer, tells us that this anomaly is "confusing" and a result of the "true legal question about who actually holds any office right now."  And, he does indicate on the site that much of the content is automatically collected from http://www.thomas.loc.gov/ .  (Although that does not explain why members who have not yet served in the House are listed as "former".)

So, sure it is a glitch that will be corrected tomorrow when the new Congress is sworn in.  But, it sure got our attention, and while we were there, we checked out some of the other features of the website - it's a keeper!

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com. Thanks.

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