OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A Republican official on Wednesday said Democratic Rep. Brad Carson, in his zeal to raise funds for his Senate campaign, missed 75 votes in Congress this year.
``It appears that Congressman Carson cares more about raising money for his campaign than he cares about fulfilling his duties as congressman,'' said Rick Buchanan, spokesman for Oklahoma Victory 2004, the coordinated Oklahoma campaign of the state Republican Party.
He said Carson, who is in a close race for the Senate with Republican Tom Coburn, missed votes on a variety of bills this year, including anti-terrorism legislation and a bill to simplify tax returns for senior citizens.
Buchanan said Carson had a 93 percent voting record his first three years, but that dropped to 84 percent during in 2004.
He cited Federal Election Commission reports showing Carson had raised more than $200,000 during the times he was absent from Congress.
Kristofer Eisenla, Carson spokesman, said the 2nd District congressman has had a strong attendance record in Congress.
Eisenla said Coburn ``is no stranger to missing votes in the U.S. Congress. He missed over 240 votes during his six years in Washington. In fact, Tom missed 100 votes during his last two years and he wasn't even running for anything.''
He said Buchanan was recycling ``tired old criticism'' he used against Carson when he was spokesman for Kirk Humphreys, whom Coburn defeated for the GOP nomination.