Republican congressional candidate Charles Djou wants you to check out his voting record. Compare it to Democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa‘s voting record in the U.S. House, and he says you’ll see that his approach to policy-making is less partisan than Hanabusa’s.

Djou, a former congressman in Hawaii’s First Congressional District, wants to unseat Hanabusa in 2012. She hasn’t yet announced whether she’ll accept the challenge or run for U.S. Senate instead.

Here’s an excerpt from Djou’s remarks on the day he announced his candidacy, as reported by Civil Beat’s Chad Blair:

“Right now I think our current representatives, if you look at their voting records, vote lockstep with their political party instead of doing what I believe you should be doing — doing what I did as a congressman: voting with Hawaii first, Hawaii always.”

In a Civil Beat Fact Check, we gave Djou a false rating for his characterization of his colleagues’ voting habits as being in “lockstep” with Democrats. Even though Hanabusa and Rep. Mazie Hirono voted with a majority of Democrats 95 percent and 98 percent of the time, respectively, there were key votes for which both congresswomen crossed the aisle.

There’s another element of Djou’s statement that deserves scrutiny: His implication that he did not vote “lockstep,” and instead voted “with Hawaii first.”

Whether the decisions Djou made during his short stint in Congress were in Hawaii’s best interests is subjective, but we can quantify how often he deserted the majority of his party to vote with Democrats. Djou served from May 2010 through December of that year after winning a special election to fill the seat vacated by Neil Abercrombie. Hanabusa defeated Djou in the November election.

We examined 369 roll call votes that took place over the course of Djou’s seven months on Capitol Hill, and found that he voted with Democrats, against the Republican majority, 10 percent of the time.

Out of 369 votes, Djou sided with a Democratic majority against the majority of his own party 37 times on a wide range of issues. There were multiple instances in which Djou was one of just a handful of GOP members who sided with Democrats, including two votes on which he was the sole Republican to cross the aisle.

Some of the key stands that Djou took against the majority of his party included voting in support of the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell ban on gays openly serving in the military, backing the passage of the Rural Energy Savings Program Act and voting in favor of an act to protect whistleblowers who work in the offshore oil and gas industry.

Bottom line: Djou’s voting record shows that he turned away from his party’s majority to vote with Democrats more often than Reps. Colleen Hanabusa or Mazie Hirono turned away from a Democratic majority to vote with Republicans.

About the Author