Advertisements
U.S News

Mondaire Jones asked to vote by proxy again after Post exposé

Rep. Mondaire Jones is planning a part deux of his personal remote work program.

The Hudson Valley-based Democratic lawmaker submitted a request Wednesday to again designate a House colleague to vote on his behalf — just as The Post published an expose showing he cast votes from France while citing the COVID-19-induced “public health emergency,” records show.

Jones didn’t say exactly when he would be taking off, but his letter to the House clerk dated June 15 used identical wording to the one he sent in 2021 to avoid needing to be in D.C. to vote as he took a summer sojourn.

“I am unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency, and I hereby grant the authority to cast my vote by proxy to the Honorable Mark Takano (California), who has agreed to serve as my proxy,” he wrote alongside his signature.  

The letter was posted online late Wednesday, the same day The Post revealed that Jones has posed in glamorous social media photos of his trip to France for actress Issa Rae’s wedding while assigning a Georgia rep to vote for him in Congress.

Rep. Mondaire Jones submitted a request Wednesday to again designate a House colleague to vote on his behalf.
Andrew Harnik/AP

While it wasn’t clear when exactly Jones would be “unable to physically attend proceedings,” online records show he was in town the day the letter was sent, as he voted in person on six House bills Wednesday.

Other records reveal that the wannabe New York City-based lawmaker submitted a request for colleagues to cast votes on his behalf on three other occasions over the last 30 days, including on Monday.

Though the June 15 one is listed as an “active” proxy letter, a spokesperson for Jones would not disclose when he plans on remote voting in the future, if ever. The House is scheduled to hold votes on Tuesday through Friday of next week.

The rep for Jones declined to comment when asked if the prolific proxy practitioner submitted his new requests for a COVID-19 pandemic-related reason.

The campaign spokesperson, Bill Neidhardt, also spun news of Jones’ latest requests to vote remotely as evidence of his boss’ status as the “progressive frontrunner” in the race to represent the New York City district.

Rep. Mondaire Jones in France.
Records reveal Jones cast votes from France while citing the COVID-19-induced “public health emergency.”
Instagram/tristenjwinger

“The fact that the New York Post is obsessing over Mondaire Jones’ proxy votes from New York City when over 80% of members of Congress have voted by proxy only proves that Mondaire Jones is the progressive frontrunner for New York’s 10th district and conservatives will try anything to tear him down,” he said.

US Rep. Mike Gallagher — a Wisconsin Republican who in March 2021 proposed legislation to end proxy voting — cited Jones’ jet-setting as an example of why the House leaders should do away with the practice.

“While the French Riviera is no Door County, it’s still the last place a Member of Congress should be while Congress is in session. Democrats claim they proxy vote because of the ‘ongoing public health crisis,’ but it’s clear proxy voting is really just about avoiding their job and taking an extended European vacation,” he told The Post in a prepared statement.

Mondaire Jones.
Jones submitted a request for colleagues to cast votes on his behalf on three other occasions over the last 30 days.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

“Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi needs to end the unconstitutional practice of proxy voting immediately and get Congress back to work.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) ripped Jones for his misuse of proxy voting while echoing Republicans’ demands to take an ax to it. 

“House Democrats’ reckless multi-trillion dollar spending fueled inflation and left Americans paying more for just about everything,” he said. “But instead of showing up to work on the issues that matter to his constituents, Rep. Mondaire Jones bought a plane ticket to the French Riviera — using Speaker Pelosi’s COVID rules to skip work and vote by proxy from Europe.” 

Mondaire Jones in France.
Rep. Mike Gallagher cited Rep. Mondaire Jones’ jet-setting as an example of why the House leaders should end proxy voting.
Instagram/andrewallanjames

“Pelosi’s rules have broken the institution of the House — a Republican majority would end these rules and restore the People’s House.”

A rep for Pelosi did not respond to requests for comment issued Wednesday and Thursday.

Mondaire Jones in France.
“It’s clear proxy voting is really just about avoiding their job and taking an extended European vacation,” Rep. Mike Gallagher criticized.
Instagram/andrewallanjames

Remote voting has become commonplace in the House, where it’s been permitted since May 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic. Pelosi (D-Calif.) subsequently extended the practice in March and again in May, despite other pandemic-related regulations already being yanked. Currently, the allowance — originally enacted in part to allow COVID-1-stricken federal legislators to vote — is set to be in effect in the chamber through June 28. 

Jones — who currently represents Rockland County and parts of north Westchester — is not even the most frequent user of remote voting among members of New York’s congressional delegation.

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Long Island) had a colleague vote for him 118 times in the 125 roll call votes held in the lower chamber between Jan. 10 and April 7, a Spectrum News NY1 analysis published June 3 revealed.

Mondaire Jones in France.
Rep. Mondaire Jones (top left) at a wedding in France.
Instagram/msdeniese

About 80% of members of the House had chosen to vote remotely through mid-December 2021, according to the Brooking Institute.

Work-from-home legislating has been a bipartisan practice.

Despite the party’s opposition to using it, more than 140 of the 213 Republican House reps have selected a proxy to cast their vote at least one time during the 117th Congress through Dec. 10, 2021, the think tank’s stats show.

Issa Rae and Rep. Mondaire Jones in 2019.
Rep. Mondaire Jones with Issa Rae in 2019.
Facebook/Mondaire Jones

But on Wednesday, Jones made the head-scratching decision to request a pinch voter on the same day The Post published an article documenting the bevy of votes he passed off to US Rep. Nikema Williams, a Democrat from Georgia, while he spent time in France for HBO’s “Insecure” co-creator’s wedding. The Post first contacted his campaign with inquiries on Tuesday morning and the story was published online at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Following the turbulent redistricting process, the Pelosi-backed pol threw his beret in the ring in the race to represent New York’s newly configured 10th Congressional District, rather than run in the suburban district against Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. 

The Big Apple district includes parts of Lower Manhattan and mostly affluent neighborhoods in Brownstone Brooklyn, along with Borough Park and part of Prospect Heights. The contest is without an incumbent, because Rep. Jerry Nadler chose to compete against Rep. Carolyn Maloney of the Upper East Side for New York’s 12th Congressional District. 

In the August Democratic primary, the Nyack native will face a packed field of contenders, including former Mayor Bill de Blasio, Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon — all of whom have in recent memory represented parts of the district.

Elizabeth Holtzman — the first woman city comptroller, a four-term congresswoman and Brooklyn district attorney — Daniel Goldman, the Democrats’ lead lawyer in the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump, and Chinese dissident Yan Xiong, have also entered the contest. 

A spokesperson for Simon told The Post that the state lawmaker from Brownstone Brooklyn “is proud of her perfect voting record over the last 7 years in the New York State Assembly” while taking a swipe at Jones.  

“Casting your vote, and standing up for your constituents, is one of the most important duties of an elected representative,” the rep said. “Jo Anne is a serious legislator, with a sensational attendance record, and will be there for the people of NY10 as she has been every day as a local community activist and then as an Assemblymember.”

Former Brooklyn Democratic Party head Frank Seddio slammed Mondaire Jones’ votes from France as a “transgression” that the Democrats he’s seeking to represent should take into account when they head to the polls on Aug. 23.

“I thought this guy was God’s gift to America. I thought he was supposed to be pure,” scoffed Seddio.

“It’s outrageous. He deceived the people so he can selfishly enjoy himself while voting from the French Riviera,” he told The Post on Thursday. “It’s not what I want to see from my congressman. It’s not what a congressman should do.”

“This is a congressman who was afraid to run for re-election in his own district and came to Brooklyn. No thanks.”

Additional reporting by Carl Campanile and Callie Patteson

Leave a Response