I recieved a missive from our capitol correspondent, Sonoran Sam. Sam is an alright guy because despite his residency in the Valley of the Yakes, he is a former Tucsonan.
Posting his stuff is easier than writing my own, right?
Rep. Jerry Weiers – not to be confused with his evil brother Big Jim Weiers, the speaker of the House – is offering a bill that would dock a day’s pay if a legislator missed a vote. That would be $175 a pop, which ain’t chump change if your base pay is $24,000 a year.
This kind of populist stuff that is a specialty of Jerry (Weiers the younger). Last year he offered to fix a state flagpole that was lurching and leaning. At Christmas he set up a Christmas tree in the House lobby and raised a bunch of money and gifts for the children of 800 Arizona National Guard members serving overseas.
It almost makes ya forgive the guy for driving a friggin’ Hummer.
But his latest bill isn’t warm and fuzzy. It’s an effort to marginalize House Democrats. Y’see, every now and then, legislators like to “take a walk,” as the saying goes, to avoid voting on something controversial. Sometimes, when a couple of Repubs walk away from some wacky idea proffered by the likes of Russell Pearce, the Democrats actually manage to win a vote.
Of course, one of the Rs who reguarly misses a roll-call vote is Jerry’s big brother, Speaker Jim Weiers. In typical Big-Jim fashion, the Speaker got a little snarky when Howie Fischer of Capital Media Services asked Big Jim what’s he’s doing when he misses a vote. “Working,” the speaker responded to the query.
“And when you’re not out here with a microphone, what are you doing? The same thing.”
Hmm. I guess the little brother’s bill has as much chance of getting a hearing as a Phil Lopes bill to provide everyone with access to health care.