No, not the chicken dance, or chicken run. It's called the chicken walk.

I had an e-mail this weekend pointing something out to me where a reader remarked to me "did you see how Nancy Turbak did the chicken walk on the death penalty bill?"

Sure enough, it looks highly suspicious that it may have occurred.

What's the chicken walk? It's legislative slang for when a lawmaker can't or won't vote on a bill of some controversy. Symptoms include being mysteriously busy for a single vote, while being there for the non-controversial votes immediately before, and after.

In this case, it was the Senate's vote on House Bill 1175:

The question now being "Shall HB 1175 pass?"

And the roll being called:

Yeas 26, Nays 7, Excused 2, Absent 0

Abdallah; Albers; Apa; Bartling; Dempster; Duenwald; Gant; Garnos; Gray; Greenfield; Hansen (Tom); Hanson (Gary); Hauge; Heidepriem; Hoerth; Hunhoff;
Kloucek; Knudson; Lintz; McCracken; McNenny; Napoli; Olson (Ed); Peterson (Jim);
Schmidt (Dennis); Smidt (Orville)

Hundstad; Jerstad; Katus; Koetzle; Nesselhuf; Sutton; Two Bulls

Maher; Turbak

Read that here in the Senate Journals. Now, you'll note that I'm not including Ryan Maher in that same category. He was gone for several votes, which was likely attributable to the flu which was going through the Senate last week.

Unlike Nancy Turbak, who found herself conveniently gone from the chamber for one of the most important votes of the session. And only on that vote.

Almost as impressive as Scott Heidepreim's flip-flop on the issue between Senate State Affairs where he opposed the bill, before he decided to cast a vote in favor of it on the Senate Floor.


Anonymous said…
Maher was at a funeral.
Donkey Kong said…
Chicken walks, chicken hawks and flip-flops. Don't get me started. I've got the stats going back a while on your GOP hero/chickens, both in Pierre and Washington. If you'd like to rant accordingly, get ready for in-coming. You won't like it.
Anonymous said…
This is almost as bad as your pal Adelstein, who had a chicken habit of changing his vote after he saw which way the wind was blowing. Since he was at the beginning of the roll call, he would vote one way, then when it was over, ask to change his vote. This didn't hapeen just a few times. It happened a lot. But at least we don't have to put up with that anymore.
Anonymous said…
Nancy is not one to back away from a tough vote. Someone should ask her what was more important than the death penalty vote. I would like to hear her side before casting judgement.
Anonymous said…
She's gone for one vote, and you call her a chicken, without even knowing if she was being a chicken?

Wow. I bet if you couted up the number of excused votes so far, you'd find Sutton was at the top of the list, for obvious reasons.

Next would probably be Abdallah. Is he a chicken? If you think that, say that to his face.

In fact, if you think Nancy is a chicken, say THAT to her face.

She could kick your ass, PP.
Jake said…

Are you really suggesting a sample of ONE vote suggests causality that Nancy is a "chicken"?

Maybe talk to Donkey Kong, who seems to have actually put some time and effort into the topic, before you throw out random accusations. It is called political SCIENCE for a reason.

Then again, maybe you do have evidence. Maybe Senator Turbak is prone to such "chicken walks". But showing one vote and then calling a senator out is discouraging for someone who thinks himself to be a decent political blogger.

Your biased-laziness in assuming the Republican had a legitimate excuse (which he did, but it wasn't the reason you "thought") is also unacceptable.

Bottom line: I know a relatively baseless attempt to tear down a Harvard educated Democrat when I see one.

This post lost my continued readership.
Jake said…
Two mistakes:

Vote=Day in paragraph 1 and 3.
Anonymous said…
After observing Nancy Turback for the first time this session I would have to say that "chicken" is the last thing I would call her. The lady has brass ones, something that can't be said for most of her male colleagues.
Anonymous said…
I think Nancy Turbak is AMAZING. She is smart, articulate, thoughtful, and a great Senator. The last thing she strikes me as being is a "chicken" I agree with the person above who said they think you should tell her that to her face. Just make sure there are witnesses when you do it PP because I for one would love to hear what her "chinkinism" does to you when she eats you for LUNCH, She would too!! But if no one is around to hear it, we wouldn't get the truth from you on what really was exchanged anyway!!
scimitar said…
O.K. If we're going to call one democratic senator a chicken for missing one vote on valentine's day but voting on the bills that came immediately before and after, then let's call out the republicans who took the "chickenwalk" on one or more bills that same day.

Jerry Apa took the "chickenwalk" on HCR 1006. (present for the votes before and after).

Jerry Apa later took the "chickenwalk" on SB 132 - the Zaniya Project bill regarding a study of how to implement universal health coverage. (again present for the votes before and after).

Abdallah and Gant took the "chickenwalk" on HB 1078. (both were present for the votes before and after).

Gant took the "chickenwalk" on HB 1099. (again present for the votes immediately before and after).

So many GOP "chickens". Where's the outrage, PP?
Anonymous said…
This is simply pp trying to smear a very smart and capable dem, and also why bloggers should not be granted press credentials. When you swear off this type of hackery you'll improve your argument for credentials.
scimitar said…
Here's the GOP "chickenwalk" report for 2/13/07

Abdallah "chickenwalked" on SB 173 (the 150% rule bill - controversial property tax bill) - he was present for the votes immediately before and after.

Abdallah, Dempster and Gant "chickenwalked" on SB 206 - a bill to issue death certificates to stillborn infants (a controversial bill with abortion overtones). All were present for the preceding vote, and this was the last vote of the day.
Anonymous said…
2:42, Maher is also a Democrat. Dennert (also a dem) liked to "pass" and then see how the vote came out before he voted, and he also did the chickenwalk on a big abortion vote a couple years ago.
scimitar said…
Here's the GOP "chickenwalk" report for 2/12/07:

Abdallah "chickenwalked" on SB 180, then later on SB 56, then later on SB 219 (in each case he was there for the votes immediately before and after these bills).

Then Abdallah apparently decided he had done enough for the day, and just left - missing votes on the last 3 bills of the day: HB 1235, HB 1019, and HB 1075. (Call that the "nonfeasance walk")

He couldn't possibly need the bathroom that much or a cigarette that bad, could he?
Anonymous said…
PP, don't let the them equate not knowing why Maher was gone to knowing why Turbak did the chicken walk.

You're getting pounded a lot these days but your logic is still precise and your view clear. Keep your chin up and don't let the goofballs get you down.
Anonymous said…
ok donkey kong, let ur rip
Anonymous said…
Isn't it funny? PP points out that Turback does a chicken walk, not one of you gives a reason for the no show. Let's throw smoke in the air and try to point out where other people did it too.
Anonymous said…
9:16 there's a saying: what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

What? You can't handle a little fair and balanced?
Anonymous said…
Way to go Scimitar, Bringing forth all those bills that Abdallah and others chickenwalked on. Only problem is all those bills were passed with hardly any opposition, hardly high profile like the bill Turbak ducked out on, 1175, dealing with the death penality.

Here is the list you mentioned, all of which are basically non-contested with only one being a possible high profile bill that one would consider a chickenwalk.

1006 34-0
1099 31-1
1078 31-1
132 31-1
173 28-5 the except. 150% rule
206 30-1
180 34-0
56 33-1
219 33-0
1235 29-5 trapping bill
1019 32-2
1075 34-0

Not chickenwalk material here, you are grasping at straws.
scimitar said…
And 1175 passed 26-7. Your point is, 1:31?

I think your point is, look at Democrats who miss one lopsided vote, not Republicans who miss multiple votes.
Anonymous said…
It is not Dem or Rep it is the simple fact somebody who people claim to have "Brass Balls" as mentioned previously... ducked out on a rather controversial vote in her district.
Anonymous said…
Scimitar, the bill that Turbak chickenwalked on is a high profile bill on a much talked about topic that can spark debate anywhere. The bill was dealing with the death penalty.

There a advocates on both sides of the death penalty, on all aspects of it, that are just as passionate about it as there are on the abortion ban.

So Turbak didn't want any vote on her record dealing with this topic, hence the chicken walk.

Now Scimitar tell us which bill you listed that could come anywhere near the stature of the controversy that surrounds bills dealing with the death penalty
shazza said…
Sorry this is so late, but I just found it. I would like to know on SB 206 which bill you people were reading?
Here is your quote.
"Abdallah, Dempster and Gant "chickenwalked" on SB 206 - a bill to issue death certificates to stillborn infants (a controversial bill with abortion overtones). All were present for the preceding vote, and this was the last vote of the day."
SB 206 is a bill to give certificates of BIRTH resulting in stillbirth to parents of stillborns, and where do you find it to be controversial or have anything to do with abortion?
Just wondering.

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