Rep. Kathy Hawken Claims Report That She Missed Abortion Votes Wasn’t Factual


Earlier today Rep. Kathy Hawken (R-Fargo) had a legislative colleague pass to me her phone number. She wanted me to call about my post from over the weekend which broke the news that, despite being an outspoken opponent of pro-life legislation, Hawken took a little viva Las Vegas time instead of showing up to vote on some pro-life bills.

I’ve since called Rep. Hawken and left her a message, but in the mean time she has taken to Facebook to claim that I didn’t have my facts straight in my post:


The North Dakota chapter of the ACLU is attacking my report as well:

I’ve yet to hear from Rep. Hawken, or the ACLU, which facts it is I got wrong. The vote on the Senate version of the bills was held on Friday. That day, per dozens of status updates and Facebook photos, Rep. Hawken was on vacation in Las Vegas. Neither of these facts are in dispute, and the reaction I’ve seen from both the left and the right is disappointment and disgust that Rep. Hawken would miss votes on an issue she claims to care so much about.

Rep. Hawken can try to blame me all she wants, but I’m not the one who decided to take a vacation – while still collecting legislative pay – in the middle of the legislative session.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Kevin Flanagan

    I’m not surprised. When is she going to stop masquerading as a Republican?

    • Lianne

      I haven’t heard democrats state that an absence is a no vote. They may have said it, but put the blame solely on her, not party or the other.

    • VocalYokel

      Unfortunately for ND, she is not the only elected official “masquerading as a Republican.”

  • Guest Observer

    Hawken is pissed that her vacation during this series of votes was exposed on the states premier political blog. In typical liberal fashion, she and the NDACLU are trying to divert attention from her transgression by blaming Rob for posting it. All Rob did was expose the light on Hawken’s deception on her constituents.

    • RCND

      Typical liberal tactic- when the facts are inconvenient deflect attention away from them by trying to discredit anything or anyone but the facts. Unfortunately for her, the House Journal and Facebook photo timestamps don’t lie

  • Lianne

    IF an “absent is a no vote,” why are they not tallied into the final count. Why are they posted as ” ABSENT AND NOT VOTING: Hawken; Headland”, for example. If they are considered a ‘no’ vote, why are they not listed with the other no votes?

    • RCND

      Agreed. In other news, it is my understanding Headland had a legitimate family emergency or something along those lines

      • Lianne

        Yes, It was reported that his absence was due to a sad family situation. I don’t mean to bring him in under a bad light. I don’t know him personally and I apologize for any negative that befalls him because I include his name is this. If I left his name off, then someone would say I am not being ‘fair’ because Hawken was not the only one who was absent. I would like some one from the legislature to answer a couple of questions. I have sent an e-mail to several members and so far, I have received no response from any one. Along with the questions above, I would like to know if rules are as Rob reported—that an excused absence is used so they paid no matter what the reason for not showing up for work.

    • ND observer

      It is my understanding that it takes a majority of the House, not a majority of those voting, and an absent vote does not count towards passage of a bill. That does not excuse her absence, but does explain why an absent vote counts as a ‘no’ vote.

      • Lianne

        So in other words, it is a ‘not vote’. and her explanation was imho, a bunch of peelowsii ;-)

  • Roy_Bean

    “I’ve yet to hear from Rep. Hawken, or the ACLU, which facts it is I got wrong.”

    It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is, And really, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

  • devilschild

    “the blog guy” as if she doesn’t know his name … or it’s a curse word or something along that line.

  • robertwetsch

    What the hell does it matter if it was pre-planned. Like the legislative session wasn’t pre-planned.

  • DelawareBeachHouse

    Here’s the House Journal from Friday. Absent and not voting: Hawken, Headland.

    • Rob

      Headland was at a funeral.

      • Lynn Bergman

        Sad that conservative Craig Headland is mentioned in the same sentence with ultra liberal Kathy Hawken… but that’s accurate journalism!

        • Rob

          True, but a legislator missing a day because of a funeral isn’t quite the same thing as a legislator taking off to Vegas for a vacation.

          • devilschild

            So why does Espegard get away with wintering in Florida when he is chairman of the SBHE? It comes down to “do you want the job and the hours that go with it or not?”

          • DRO

            The session last less than 4 months, then (aside from some committee work and campaigning) they’re off 1 year and 8 months. Why isn’t anybody asking why she would need to take a [pre-planned] vacation during the session? Due to the short period of time that they are actually in session, there is no reason any of them need to take a vacation…pre-planned or otherwise.

  • Dusty

    District 46 leadership and the other 2 serving with her must be very proud. This woman could have been gone like Kelsch and Ollefson if back room deals had not been made.

    • pissedofffred

      Yup…and then Jimmy the Weasel Kasper lied through his teeth about the shenanigans he pulled to keep this RINO in her seat.

  • Conservative_Egghead

    By her logic, that means that she voted “No” then on every other bill that day, as well as any amendments in her subcommittee. Of course, given what I’ve been told by other legislators on her subcommittee, her not being there would probably be a good thing, since she’s become a reliable vote for the Democrats. I live in that district – I am completely fed up with her.

    • Lynn Bergman

      Talk is cheap; action speaks louder than words. Next time get involved and see that she is defeated for the nomination! For starters, go to the NDTPC website and get to know us.

  • Nelly

    Hawken enjoys trying to attack others through her misrepresentations, such as Chancellor Shirvani, but she cannot stand to be called out when she is factually inaccurate.

  • VocalYokel

    “Factual” is like so many other words when used by politicos…subject to whatever definition will allow them to weasel their way in or out of a given situation.

  • Sh

    She’s not entirely wrong. There’s a minimum number of votes that needs to be reached for a bill to pass – its not just a majority of those present.

    • Guest

      No matter what, a bill needs at least 48 votes. A simple majority doesn’t cut it.

  • Germ Blanston

    If she says its not true what you said them thats good enough. No need to ask follow up questions like “we’re you at the vote and not in Vegas?”

  • sbark

    She’d be happy if the decison were just left up to a Dem’cat stacked court……….people and their representatives just cannot be trusted with making any meanfull decisions….
    ………on that note, be sure to keep track of the SCOTUS decsions on Gay Prop 8 and Doma

  • camsaure

    I guess everything about her is a lie. That includes being a republican, I bet she would not admit to being a RINO either.

  • opinionated

    This is so easy to straighten out, she either was or was not in Vegas

  • Stuart

    Progressives and liberals can rationalize their behavior …so it will not help to waste energy on thinking what is rational.

  • Vugg

    pretty clever to pre-plan a trip during the session. i guess she thought she might as well do a little vacationing and let the dumb ol’ taxpayer foot the bill. i hope she was able to take in a few shows anyway.