Rep. Bill Owens was one of 17 Democrats to vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt in a vote last week.
“I voted in favor of holding the Attorney General in contempt because I believe we need more openness in this process," Mr. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, said in an emailed statement. "Many of these issues have political motivations behind them but, on balance, we need more transparency, not less.”
Here's some background about the contempt vote, which stems from a botched gun-running operation that may have left an American border agent dead.
Speaking of political motivations, the vote benefits Mr. Owens in two ways.
The first is that he gets to add to his gold star rating from the National Rifle Association, the gun rights organization that cares deeply about this issue.
And also, Mr. Owens gets to add to his percentage when he's burnishing his bipartisan credentials. Republicans will say how often he voted with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; Mr. Owens will retort by saying how often he votes with Speaker John Boehner.
Matt Doheny, Mr. Owens' Republican opponent on Nov. 6, also expressed dismay about the supposed lack of transparency, and called on Mr. Holder to resign.
"It's obvious that Mr. Holder is dodging legitimate questions about how more than 1,000 guns were put into the hands of Mexican drug kingpins - and how two of those weapons were later used to murder Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry," Mr. Doheny said in a news release.
The news release included some sweet call-on-call action: Mr. Doheny called on Mr. Owens to call on Mr. Holder to resign.
The call on the call has not been answered.