Inside the tobacco vote | Arkansas Blog

Friday, February 6, 2009

Inside the tobacco vote

Posted By on Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 2:02 PM

House Speaker Robbie Wills continues his informative blogging with some back story on yesterday's passage of the tobacco tax. Though he won, he's not going to let some bad manners by opponents slide -- like the heckling several of them gave Rep. Greg Reep when he spoke for the bill -- "complete lack of respect," said Wills. And then there was the refusal of opponents to agree to "pair" votes to help a sick legislator (Rep. Eddie Cooper of Melbourne, I was told).

I saw a violently ill member pull himself off his sickbed and drag himself  to the House chamber to cast his “yes” vote because we couldn’t find a single solitary opponent to “pair” with him.  Pairing is a time-honored legislative professional courtesy extended to members who, for whatever reason, are unable to attend a voting session.  The absent member and the present member both sign a form, witnessed and notarized, that locks in their votes.  This way, the absent member’s vote counts.  It ensures that member’s 28,000 constituents can be represented on that particular issue.  It’s also the decent thing to do.  In a shocking display of pettiness, the leaders of the opposition enforced a strict “no pair” policy.  Therefore, each opponent we approached to pair with our sick colleague turned us down flat.  One said they’d been told by “leadership” that a “pair” would be treated the same as a “yes” vote, and “there’d be hell to pay.”  Some new members were simply confused by the whole process.  So, the sickly supporter had to come to the chamber to cast his vote - the 75th and decisive “yes” vote, as it turned out.

PS -- Rep. Mark Martin (R-Twilight Zone) apologized to the House today for being unruly during Reep's speech.

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Sunday open line

    Open line and “news” on the Hog football coach.
    • Nov 19, 2017
  • The Clintons side by side in Little Rock 25 years after

    Bill and Hillary Clinton side by side taking questions from Donald Carville. The only thing more I could have asked for was a seat for Donald Trmp to handle the same topics.
    • Nov 19, 2017
  • Arkansas a leader in laws against better working conditions

    The Economic Policy Institute has compiled a national look at state laws that prevent local governments from mandating better working conditions in cities and counties than state law provides.As you might expect, Arkansas is among the leaders
    • Nov 19, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation