Barrington representative says numbers back him

Rep. Jan Malik said he's invested in the community, but isn't so sure his opponent, Peter Costa, Jr., is. Rep. Jan Malik said he's invested in the community, but isn't so sure his opponent, Peter Costa, Jr., is.

Rep. Jan Malik said he’s proud of his voting record at the Rhode Island Statehouse and questioned where Peter Costa, Jr. is getting some of his information.

Representative Jan Malik is firing back at accusations made by his Republican challenger last week.

In the Sept. 26 issue of the Times, Barrington resident Peter Costa, Jr. said Rep. Malik, a Democrat, had missed too many votes at the Rhode Island Statehouse and then pledged to miss no more than 20 votes per year if people elected him to represent District 67 (Barrington and Warren).

Rep. Malik acknowledged that he missed more votes than he had expected in 2011 because of health reasons, but added that some of Mr. Costa’s claims are wrong.

For example, the Republican challenger said Rep. Malik missed 355 votes in 2011, but Rep. Malik provided a report supplied by the Statehouse showing that he missed only 324 votes.

“I got my numbers right from the Statehouse,” said Rep. Malik in an interview last week. “Where’s he getting his numbers?

“I missed the budget, that’s around 80 votes. I missed the two days after that, and they (legislators) did more bills than they should have. They had suspended the rules. If you miss the wrong days it makes it look worse than it is.”

In an e-mail, Mr. Costa wrote that he gathered his information from the website, RIVotes.org. which appears to be part of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity. That group is reportedly an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational institution.

“He (Mr. Costa) should look at what we accomplished,” Rep. Malik said. “We did pension reform. We did things to help businesses out, to get rid of the red tape. That’s the stuff he should be looking at. My votes are the ones that count for people.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Costa launched his own attack back at Rep. Malik, writing: “The voting record Jan Malik provided in the Sept. 26 Barrington Times article is inaccurate. I don’t know where he is getting his numbers from, but according to RIVOTES.ORG, Malik missed 876 votes since Jan. 2008.

“From 2009-2012, Rep. Jan Malik averaged 163 missed votes per year, whereas District 66 State Representative Joy Hearn averaged only 25 missed votes per year (www.rivotes.org). The people in District 67 are not getting the representation they are paying for and deserve.”

Rep. Malik said information provided by the Statehouse shows that his voting percentage ranged from a high of 98.9 percent in 2009 to a low of 59.6 percent in 2011. He added that only when health concerns surfaced in 2010 and 2011 did his voting percentage dip below the 80 percent mark.

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