Senate colleagues call for full release of private hearing attendance

WASHINGTON, D.C. – John Kerry claims that his experience on the Senate Intelligence Committee would be a powerful tool for his potential administration in the war on terror. Ironically, his record on that committee indicates the exact opposite. In his eight years of service on the Intelligence Committee from 1993-2000, Kerry missed 38 of 49 public hearings, or just over 76%.

"John Kerry\’s derelict record should be a giant red flag for voters," said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). "Kerry\’s eight year record of leadership on intelligence issues is marked by appalling neglect!"

John Kerry\’s neglect is not only on intelligence issues. Kerry has missed 71% of Senate floor votes since 2003. Worse still, of the 163 roll call votes held on the Senate floor in 2004, Kerry has shown up for a mere 17 (10%). John Kerry has not cast a vote in the Senate since May 25, 2004. He has missed crucial votes on Medicare reform, defense appropriations and tax legislation. The 17 votes Kerry did cast this year were highly partisan. Eight were against second amendment gun rights and two were against bills protecting unborn children from violent criminals.

The Kerry Campaign correctly points out that there are many more closed door Intelligence Committee hearings and claim that the Senator regularly attended these classified briefings. The attendance records for these meetings can only be released at Kerry\’s request, prompting his fellow Senators to call for a full disclosure. Said Sen. John Coryn (R-TX), "I would like to call on …Senator Kerry today to publicly release (his) attendance records at the private, or classified, hearings on the intelligence committee so the American people can really know the truth."

"If John Kerry really wants to demonstrate leadership on intelligence issues, he should release his full attendance history and let everyone know true record." continued Norquist. "Missing 76% of your committee meetings is not showing the leadership Americans deserve. If Kerry\’s attendance was better for private hearings as he claims, than he should release those records. If not, he should stop lying."