This morning's Intelligencer featured a front-page news story on yesterday's two gun control bills before the U.S. Senate. Almost all of the story came from a report from the Associated Press on the debates over two gun control pieces of legislation. To the AP report, the Intelligencer added two paragraphs on how our local senators voted:
Among those representing West Virginia and Ohio, Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, voted to end debate on the measure to prohibit gun purchases by known or suspected terrorists and cast a deciding vote on it. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, voted against the motion.
On the background check bill, all local senators except Brown voted to end debate and move forward.
Unfortunately for local readers who care about the gun control issue (either way), the inserted paragraphs describe the procedural votes rather than the senators' votes on the actual bills. Sometimes the procedural vote to close debate can be important. In this case, however, readers would be most interested in how their senator voted on the actual bills -- what the Intelligencer described was most likely irrelevant to what a reader would want to know.
How did West Virginia's senators vote on the actual bills? Here's the Washington Post's description:
The Senate voted 47 to 53 to reject a measure from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to let the attorney general deny firearms and explosives to any suspected terrorists. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota was the sole Democrat to vote against the measure, while Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Mark Kirk of Illinois, both of whom face tough re-election contests, voted for it.
The Senate also rejected a Republican alternative from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), that would allow authorities to delay a gun sale to a terrorism suspect for three days or longer if a judge ruled during that time that there is probable cause to deny the firearm outright. The vote was 53 to 47, falling short of the 60 votes needed.
Two Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana, backed the measure. But three Republicans – Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Kirk and Susan Collins of Maine voted against Cornyn’s amendment.
Manchin explained his support for both the Democratic and Republican bills in a press release: "Manchin Votes to Prevent Terrorists from Obtaining Weapons and to Protect Law-Abiding Gun Owners' Second Amendment Rights."
Looks like Joe is still worried about the NRA. As for the Intelligencer, while I would never rule out the possibility that the vote was deliberately distorted (see here for instance), my hunch is that this is a result of an editor who didn't know the difference between a procedural vote and the actual vote on a measure.