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Thursday, April 28, 2005

NAIFEH BLINKED!!

Another big day on the hill-

Steve Gill and Bill Hobbs are really on their game. They have really put heat on Speaker Naifeh for his actions yesterday. The House was abuzz with the news of the NRA hustle that went down yesterday.

Many blogs like Nashville Files are reporting on the situation (and probably many more that I haven't had time to see). Bloggers have really drawn attention to the incident by sending e-mails, posting comments, and calling legislators.

Today we started the session and Representative Glen Casada was recognized. I'll try to describe how it happened:

Casada addressed Speaker Naifeh by making a motion that the House vote to reconsider the motion yesterday to send Rep. Curry Todd's bill…

But he didn't get to finish. Naifeh broke in: “You are out of order. Next motion!”

Later Rep. Casada was recognized again. He said something like “Mr. Speaker, under parliamentary procedure I invoke rule 40.”

There was silence.

The Speaker and his staff did not know what to do. They grabbed their procedure and law books and huddled. About 5 minutes passed.

If they did not follow the law again it would look even worse, and by stopping to read the law books, it would even be more obvious.

This rule allows for a motion to be reconsidered--the same thing we asked for earlier.

The speaker mumbled a bit and tried to say how the bill should not have been brought out of committee but he didn't know what else to do. We had him.

There had to be a vote to send it back to the subcommittee where it could be killed or let it move to full committee. Sending it back might be considered a vote against the bill, in other words an “anti-NRA” vote.

To let the bill move on we needed a 2/3 vote-66 votes.
The vote was 47 for, 42 against. It's going back to subcommittee.

Well, at least we were allowed to vote and a few were exposed for their actions. And most importantly, votes were recorded-as they should be in representative government.

22 comments:

  1. I have to say I wondered how the bill could have gone straight from subcommittee to the floor. I thought bills were supposed to go from subcommittee to full committee and then to the floor. I did post a comment about the bill in the comments section under your April 27 post.

    Stay on 'em.

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  2. It was my understanding that HB 0887 had passed the subcommittee (where it was originally sent to die) to the full Judiciary committee. It had not made it to the floor, and Newton was only making a floor motion for that bill to be sent back down to the subcommittee.

    Casada's motion was to reconsider yesterday's motion by Newton to re-refer it to the subcommittee.

    Back in March, Newton had told me via email that he supported such legislation (such as HB 2225 which was killed last week in subcommittee - see here: http://nashvillefiles.com/blog/archives/000721.html). The fact that he sent it back down according to Naifeh's wishes shows that when Naifeh pulls the strings, the puppets move accordingly.

    It was conjectured that since Newton has a subcommittee chairmanship, he would have been in danger of loosing it if he hadn't made that motion.

    Gotta love the way it all works up there, eh?

    By the way...HB 2225 and HB 0887 is good legislation, and I support it. You can read more here: http://nashvillefiles.com/blog/archives/000728.html

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  3. By the way...good job on all that you're doing, Rep. Campfield.

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  4. If i could afford it, I'd move to Naifeh's District just to vote against him ..............Can't the Governor intervene in his what i consider unlawful actions?

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  5. LOL I like your spirit Sean.

    Unfortunately, the governor couldn't do anything anyway (separation of powers doctrine). And, even if he could have some sway over Naifeh, they're on the same side, so I doubt it'd happen :\

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  6. Ok - so what is the proper procedure for dealing with the illegal actions that Naifeh arrogantly commits?

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  7. Actually I don't know if they're illegal. He's not following Robert's Rules of Order, which is the agreed upon standard for legislative procedure, so he could probably be removed as speaker on grounds of contempt (maybe??). Other than that, I don't know.

    He does need to get his act together, though.

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  8. I suppose that the antedote for Naifeh's arrogance are the brains of others such a Rep. Casada and youself. Hopefully, the NRA is paying attention and counting votes.

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  9. Is there an antidote for arrogance?

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  10. The Knoxville News Sentinel has a biased article on these proceedings. See my commentary here.

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  11. Stacey, please keep trying to get other legislators to start blogging for the people. There's got to be at least one other legislator in there who cares about the people like you do. Find that person and help him start a blog. Get him going as a blogger and then there will be two.

    dk

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  12. I was there!
    And yes, Newton messed up as chairman of the Constitutional Protections Subcommittee because he started too early. In the halls there was gossip of a deal that was in place, in a deal with Henri Brooks (who is very smart...but???) to move a "voting rights bill" for ex-felons to full committee “for discussion purposes.” Newton got a little too anxious and called a quorum too early, oh well. The majority leader, Macmillan was not there, and Rep. Janis Sontany was not present …. Hmm? The usually very timely legal staff wasn’t even there. It was 11:27; they had a few minutes to arrive! As a speaker with a bill up in another committee way down in the calendar, I thought I would check out the death of another gun bill. (I like to see police get defeated, and they are usually present and opposing such gun bills.) Two minutes till (11:28) Chairman Newton recognized a quorum. I am sorry for the NRA lovers; this subcommittee was out of order. The republicans, on the fringe of control, should not be like a bullet with no aim! Rep Newton made a backdoor deal with a Rep that had a vote for sale…wow! I just happened to be an observer to the construction of time, 11:28 start--by 11:30---the bill had passed, with the sponsor of the bill walking out of the room. I think the judicial legal staff held open the door for the Representative as he exited the room. Why didn’t Rep. Newton wait just one more minute?
    I was there and have no reason to lie! Everyone on this site wants to bash the speaker... I think the way he handeled the situation was like the old pro he is.

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  13. Your report of what happened does not square with that of Rep. Cochran, who was there, and whose non-anonmous report is posted on my blog. I'm more likely to believe Rep. Cochran than some anonymous poster whose name we do not know.

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  14. ForCryinoutloud (and proud!): You (and the "old pro"--you got that right) better enjoy your whippin's while they last. When the time comes that the Tn leg. reflects the values of Tn. voters, you're not going to get invited to speak in another hearing for a long while--well, perhaps in future hearings on alleged excessive use of force by law enforcement officers.

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  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  16. Mr. Hobbs, I know you want to be right on this, but you are wrong…I was there!
    I know where Rep Cochran was. He was there early too...Hello! He must have been looking on Chairman Newton's personal watch because the one in the room said 11:27. Where should people in a committee look for the official time? Should they look at the different watches of the members of that committee? Wouldn’t that be a mess? Is the clock in the meeting rooms not set by the administration? As stated before, the legal staff was not even in the room. In retrospect, I don’t even think the interns were prepared for such an abrupt start because they were still running around. I am sure that even Newton’s and Cochran’s watches were not completely in sync. It is an illogical fallacy to think that is to be the case. I know there are three sides to every story... yours, mine, and the truth. Just because Cochran said it, is it true? Is he not a republican? The underlying point is that Chairman Newton should have waited a few moments for the other members of the subcommittee; at least adhere to the clock on the wall to begin… not his personal watch. The rep’s on the judiciary all work together on other committees. How would this whole scenario look if it were reversed? Does Newton want other committees he serves on to start early without him there? By the way, I am in support of HB0887. I bet you one thing Mr. Hobbs, the next time this bill is heard, it will be done by the clock on the wall, not “Timekeeper” Newton.
    For Powertee... the motion on the bill was voted on Thursday. The majority of the Rep's voted to send it back to subcommittee. Is this not the mandated voice of TN? Also, I was asked to come speak for a republican's bill.

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  17. ForCryinout: I didn't say that the elected Republicans necessarily represent Tennesseans either. To wit, why would you have been called to testify for a "Republican" bill? And the Republicans will probably also want your testimony on the "police beating" hearings to be held.

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  18. Oh PowerTee
    Wit? What are you talking about? What is the name of the header of this blog? It has nothing to do with political parties...It has to do with people not getting their due process. The republican’s felt they were cheated on the floor. The democrats were cheated by the misconstruction of time for a committee. You tell me…what is wrong here? And this police thing you keep bringing up? I, personally, work for an ambiguous manufacturing group. What do you do?

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  19. Don't start on constitutional due process, Forcryinoutloud. Due process is reserved for individuals, not political parties and legislation. To say otherwise is to invoke a socialist construction of the fifth and fourteenth amendments. If the rules of order were not followed, it is the fault of Naifeh; as speaker, it is his duty to ensure that all legislation passes through the appropriate channels and that the rules are followed.

    Surprisingly enough, I'm with Powertee on this one.

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  20. Dear Mike
    I beg your pardon. I was not trying to imply “due process” from a constitutional perspective. I was speaking of the order in which bills can be heard, in a process of easy understanding for all to participate. An order that is the same every time, in this case, not starting at the right time is the issue...
    As you stated, “If the rules of order were not followed, it is the fault of Naifeh; as speaker, it is his duty to ensure that all legislation passes through the appropriate channels and that the rules are followed.” This, my friends, is want the speaker did. The subcommittee was out of order. This is not Naifeh’s fault. Being the speaker, he corrected the mistake. What Newton did was not right and fair, and the speaker asked him to re-refer the bill back to the subcommittee… where it was not heard within the rules of order… so it could be heard, fairly! I know people want to vilify the speaker, what about Newton? He failed his responsibility as the chairman to keep order. He failed, whether this mistake was malicious or not. I am sure Newton didn’t want to do what he did on the floor (asking for the HBo887 to be re-referred back to sub) but he did the right thing. He could have refused, he didn,t. Who knows, maybe, just maybe, he can return as chair of this committee next session. I have a lot of respect for Chris Newton and Speaker Naifeh.

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  21. daily report
    daily report
    daily report
    no matter what
    daily report
    daily report
    daily report
    no matter what
    daily report
    daily report
    daily report

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  22. Cryin,

    My police reference is your comeuppance for loving to see police officers "get defeated"--sorry to not make the humor more obvious.

    You ask what I do, I'm an attorney and "to wit" is a legal term meaning, "that is to say." My point was that any "Republicans" who called a chap like you to testify could hardly be "true Republicans," and would hardly be representative of Conservative Tennesseans. Sorry again for the overt pithiness.

    But you're missing the point in another more substantive way. Naifeh can't just blow off objections, and ignore legislators who--consistent with Robert's Rules, object to an action on the House floor. I don't care if Newton made a mistake (or even if he tried to pull a fast one) the "Old Pro" doesn't have the right to do what he did. You may be impressed with Naifeh's work, and theRep may have mislabeled this post, but I believe Naifeh couldn't care less about procedure that interferes with what he wants to do.

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