In the political lexicon of western North Carolina's eleventh district, a reference to Congressman Charles Taylor's "botched" CAFTA vote is a gilded euphemism for Taylor's willingness to lie to his constituents about his vote on one of the most important issues they face.
Public Citizen: "Taylor released a statement the day after the vote claiming that he did in fact vote against CAFTA but blamed his “lost” vote on a machine error. Soon after his initial statement, Taylor’s staff offered different and contradictory stories of what happened. Originally his press secretary claimed that Taylor had not been on the floor during the customary voting time and cast his vote only at the end of the allocated time, suggesting that as a result, he had no opportunity to realize the technical problem.  However, the office quickly changed its story, announcing that Taylor had voted during the official 15-minute voting period and then had left the House floor with Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) in an attempt to escape GOP House leaders who might pressure them to change their votes.  Taylorclaims that he and Coble “voted ‘no’ together.”  However, Coble recollects that he and Taylor met up after Coble voted. “I didn’t see him [Taylor] insert the card,” Coble said.  Taylor says he and Coble then retreated to an Appropriations Committee office in the U.S. Capitol and watched the voting on C-SPAN with the sound turned off and that it was not until the next morning he discovered that his vote went uncounted, although Coble’s chief of staff reportedly did hear Taylor’s name mentioned on C-SPAN and tried to contact Taylor. 
The next version of the story, also offered by his staff, involved yet another new claim: that Taylor had mistakenly used the wrong voting card, somehow taking last year’s voting card to the floor with him for the CAFTA vote.  This seems unlikely, considering that Taylor successfully voted on numerous resolutions earlier in the day on July 27 and even managed to register his vote on the resolution calling the CAFTA bill up for a vote at 8:15 p.m., which is the vote that initiated debate on the measure.  Furthermore, the following morning, shortly before his office released a statement on his CAFTA non-vote, Taylor successfully cast another vote, this time on agreeing to the conference report on the energy bill. 
However, assuming that Taylor had been extremely careless with this important vote and that his vote was not counted because of any one of these explanations, the notion that an hour could elapse during which Taylor could not be located to remedy his mistake is unbelievable. All members of Congress wear official beepers that are used to contact them for legislative business which, as representatives often joke, makes it nearly impossible for those who do seek to avoid being found to escape. Washington press reports covering the lack of support for CAFTA had cited Republican House leaders’ plans to persuade some Republican representatives who planned to oppose CAFTA to miss the vote. After the CAFTA vote, Congressional Quarterly reported that House Republicans had expected only “a total of 432 votes to be cast because one House seat is vacant. … and because the leaders were willing to allow two reluctant Republicans to sit out the vote.”  They needed to line up 217 yes votes to ensure a victory. And indeed, CAFTA was passed 217-215 with two representatives who had indicated they would oppose CAFTA not voting.
“People at home are wondering whether Rep. Taylor took a walk after caving in to GOP House leadership pressure to either vote ‘yes’ or not vote,” Wallach said. “It is hard to believe that a seven-term congressman really could have mistakenly failed to have his vote recorded on such important, high-profile legislation. But even assuming he did not intend to take a walk on this important vote and somehow did not see on the TV broadcast he was watching that his was one of the missing votes, what kind of representation are folks in the 11th district getting if Taylor’s staff did not have the competence to find him and fix the problem over the course of the extra hour the vote was held open?”
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