Democrats Ananich, Smith Top List of Lawmakers Who Failed to Show Up for Work (a lot) in 2015

State Democrats Cash Paychecks for a Job They Often Failed to Do

LANSING, MI, January 13, 2016 –As lawmakers return to Lansing today for the start of the 2016 legislative session, the Michigan Freedom Fund reminded lawmakers about the importance of showing up to work each morning.


In 2015, dozens of lawmakers missed hundreds of total votes.  According to vote-tracking website, Democrat state Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich missed more votes than anyone else in the state Senate—71 of 642—missing work more than 11% of the time. 

Missing work 11 percent of the time is the equivalent of failing to show up on the job for nearly a month-and-a-half.

“Democrats in the state legislature failed to show up for work a lot last year, but had no problem cashing their paychecks,” said Terri Reid, President of the Freedom Fund.  “Michigan workers who do their jobs every day expect their employees in the legislature to do the same.

“While illnesses and family issues happen, missing work for a month and a half simply isn’t an option for working class families.  It shouldn’t be an option for Democrats in Lansing, either.”

Democrat Virgil Smith, mired in legal proceedings following his alleged violent assault of his ex-wife, ranked second on the list of missed votes in the state Senate, failing to show up to vote 59 times in 2015, nearly 10 percent of the time.

In the state House, 9 of the 10 most absent members were Democratic lawmakers.  Democrats David Rutledge, Paul Clemente, John Kivela, Brandon Dillon, Rose Mary Robinson, Phil Phelps, Julie Plawecki, Jim Townsend, and Gretchen Driskell racked up the absences while pulling down a full paycheck and benefits package at taxpayer expense.


Michigan Freedom Fund is a nonprofit organization run by Michiganders for Michiganders, working to advance, promote, and protect Michigan workers’ Constitutional rights.  For more information on the Freedom Fund, please visit