Fattah Casts Lonely Vote on Massa

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Eric Massa

    With no dog in the hunt and roughly half the state's Democratic House delegation involved in competitive races this year, Pennsylvania seemed like an unlikely place to find the lone dissenter in Thursday's largely symbolic 402-1 House vote to encourage the ethics committee to investigate former Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.).

    But ensconced in a safe Philadelphia-based seat where he typically wins re-election with around 90 percent of the vote, Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah was free to vote his conscience on the matter—which he viewed as a diversion from more pressing issues.

    A spokesman for the congressman did not respond to a request for comment, but Fattah told the Atlantic in an interview after he cast his vote "that it was another distraction from the major issues of the day."

    "I thought, we've got millions unemployed, we've got a historic vote coming up on health care reform, which, as you know, we've only been working on as a country for about a hundred years... and I thought this was a distraction at best," Fattah told the Atlantic.