No Conflict? Data Behind Civil Beat Series
Civil Beat reviewed 51 "rough draft" House Journals. As of this writing, the verbatim transcripts of action for the year's final nine floor sessions hadn't been posted to the Capitol website. The Rough Draft Journal is described as including "verbatim floor remarks, written remarks, announcements and introductions made on the Chamber Floor." Civil Beat performed a text search for the word "conflict," then produced a spreadsheet of all 105 times a lawmaker stood up to disclose a conflict or seek a ruling on a potential conflict.
A "snapshot" of Senate verbatim floor dialog [pdf] on Days 26, 41, 47 and 59 of the 2011 session reveals the five measures in which a senator requested a ruling on a potential conflict of interest.1 The Senate's full verbatim journal is not available online for the public to review, but a Senate spokeswoman provided Civil Beat with the snapshot after reviewing the record for the 60-day session.
Here is what we found.
Representatives With the Most Requests