Preemptive Offenses

Friday, March 15, 2013

They Can't Win Without Cheating

This is why Instapundit is required reading. I have resolved never to let a day go by without checking on what Professor Reynolds has to say. He's simply too good an aggregator, particularly of the doings of the Bad Sort.

The report itself:

During a mid-afternoon session, as the Senate was debating a routine series of bills, Holmquist Newbry left the floor to care for her four-month-old son Makaio, who had been brought to the women's lounge off the Senate floor. Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, moved to excuse Holmquist Newbry from voting. That meant the majority coalition had 24 votes, not 25, and they were tied at least temporarily with the Senate Democratic Caucus.

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, took advantage of the moment. He rose to demand an immediate vote on a bill sponsored by a Democrat that did not appear on the afternoon schedule.

The unusual motion quieted the chamber. Members rushed to their seats. Frockt demanded a roll-call vote. The assumption was that Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a Democrat, would cast a tiebreaking vote to advance the bill to the floor.

Members of the Senate Democratic Caucus voted yes as their names were called. Members of the Majority Coalition Caucus voted no. And just in time, Holmquist Newbry emerged from the lounge to cast her vote. The motion failed 25-24.

In this case, even their underhanded ploy didn't help them...but look how close it was.

In the days of the Roman Republic, the plebes, who were not entitled to sit in the Senate, were entitled to a representative called the plebes' tribune, who was empowered to veto -- that's the Latin word for "I forbid," sports fans -- any measure that came before the Senate. Any vetoed measure was thus denied the force of law.

Needless to say, that provision rankled the patricians in the Senate rather badly. So they developed a countermeasure: waiting for the tribune to fall asleep. Many a bill passed the Senate when the tribune was snoring -- and the plebes, whose representation in the Senate was limited to that one individual, had no recourse against it. So Frockt's ploy, as shameful as it was, isn't even original.

Yo, constituents of the Dishonorable David Frockt: Are you happy with your guy? Will you remember this incident when he stands for re-election? If so, will it influence your vote -- and in which direction?

That will tell us quite a lot about the character of the city of Seattle.

No comments: