Democrat State Sen. Rob Hogg has been busy during the legislative session. No, not working on legislation, but updating his Twitter account to reflect the COVID-19 statistics throughout Iowa.
Hogg, who was elected to represent around 60,000 Iowans in the Iowa Senate, has missed more than 70 percent of the votes in the Senate. He’s attended session at the Capitol sparingly — likely about six or seven days — while showing up last week for the Black Lives Matter protest-turned-riot.
We’re working on finding out how much money Hogg has collected through the $169 per diem legislators receive. That money adds up fast and is on top of his salary as a state senator.
Last week Hogg told a constituent that he doesn’t trust The Iowa Standard as a news source. But he acknowledged he has “missed votes” at the Capitol.
“I am continuing to do my duties as a state senator, including proposing bills and amendments, constituent service, reviewing and responding to constituent communications, virtual participation in subcommittee and party caucuses and public education and awareness about pending legislation,” he said. “But the fact is that Republican leaders have not provided a safe working environment for legislators, staff or the public inside the State Capitol.”
Hogg said he is “minimizing” his time inside the Capitol. He acknowledged that means he has had to “unfortunately” miss votes.
But, but, but, he added, he hasn’t missed a vote where his voted would have affected the outcome.
To my knowledge, no Democrat has cast a deciding vote on any legislation. So, under Hogg’s theory, every Democrat in the Iowa Senate should skip work because their votes don’t affect the outcome of legislation anyway.
There is a precedent in place for a legislator who refuses to do their job deciding to return their per diem pay.
Republican Sen. Hubert Houser did just that in 2014.
Back then The Bleeding Heartland, a liberal political news website, wrote that Houser’s constituents “elected him to do a job. He’s collecting a salary for work he isn’t doing.”
As of today, Hogg has collected $15,480 in per diem pay. That is on top of his legislator salary.
That’s a lot of money for a little work.