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Final session wrap-up

July 1, 2007

This was a very exciting day for me as it was my first trip down to Legislative Hall. For live blogging, I was able to make most posts from my cellphone, with only a little cleanup once I got home. Those damned keyboards are small.

I arrived in Dover at around 2:30 and met up with Mike Matthews and one of our resident anons in the cafeteria shortly thereafter. We also met up with Mark Brunwick and Rep. Gilligan as we waited for the session to begin, and Mike brought up the subject of Civics courses in the public schools. Gilligan said that he thought that the Government and Economics classes offered in the 12th grade were enough, at which point I mentioned that if there were still Civics courses, we may not see so many unchallenged incumbents. I don’t think he likes me anymore. We were then joined by Dana Garrett and Richard Korn.

We moved into the house chamber to see that all of the seats on the floor were reserved for the families of Representatives and the naysayers to SB5. There was some half-serious speculation that the chairs were marked reserved to keep the bloggers off the floor, but that seemed eerily portentous when later in the night, Mike was removed from the floor for using his cellphone. Through the night, we were also joined by Karen Hartley-Nagel, Michael Dore, Tyler Patrick Nixon, and (not surprisingly considering SB5) Jordan Warfel.

The big news is, of course, Dave Burris’ last minute Indiana Jones shit on HB177. Dave explains what happened, but neglects to mention the poison darts and giant boulder. Everyone owes Dave a round of applause and some deep respect for his quick thinking and persuasive arguments. Let’s hope that Dave clues us in on what conclusion he came to about why the Dems were pushing so hard for this bill, other than the general “for power” offered by opponents or the ridiculously childish catchphrases offered by the Dems in support of the bill. As for the vote itself, Mike and I looked at each other in amazement with each vote of “no”, and like a flash of light Democracy had won.

Outside of the chamber, our little cadre was all smiles and hugs. I can’t remember ever feeling so good about something that went down in the government. Two things that I will always remember from last night are Karen’s wonderfully big smile, and Tyler dancing a spontaneous jig on the front steps outside of Legislative Hall. The feeling was that good!

What I’ve learned from this:

  • It’s worth quitting smoking just to avoid having to go through security 17 brazillion times.
  • Rep. Gilligan is not above sitting and chatting with people who vigorously oppose his legislation. That takes class.
  • I don’t know if I’ll ever have the energy and drive that Dana has, but I’d like to.
  • It’s amazing how all of our time spent talking, debating, and in some cases agonizing over a bill can come down to about a minute and a half of floor time.
  • I am vindicated in my opinion that, despite our disagreement on some matters of policy, Dave Burris is one of the good guys.

UPDATE: It occurred to me that I have given a lot of credit to Dave without mentioning everyone else who worked against this bill: Dana Garrett, Mike Matthews, Tyler Nixon, Karen Hartley-Nagel, Mark Brunwick, and Nancy Willing, among many others. It was not my intention to do so, and I am very sorry. Dave may have spiked it, but the ball was perfectly set for the win.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2007 10:03 am

    Mike was removed from the floor for holding his cellphone.

    Mike was USING his cell phone. A no no that is widely posted at each entry door to both chamber.\
    I got to Dover close to 10pm after I finally broke free from a family reunion in MD. I hung with John Flaherty and others around him in the lobby for a while, seeing Dana flying by in his white Doctor’s smock, no sign of Mike Matthews yet.

    A few of us went downstairs to the cafeteria and I got sidetracked by State Auditor Wagner for a long discussion of what his office was doing on a number of issues.

    Matthews showed up all of a sudden, in a cold sweat, still wracked by the confrontation he had just caused by forgetting the rules and calling Dana from the House chamber on his cell.

    He also told me that I had missed the vote that went against HB 177 and the priceless expression on John Daniello’s mug.

    He also went into detail about getting removed from the chamber.

  2. July 1, 2007 10:06 am

    My bad, I was watching the proceedings, and only saw Mike holding his phone when the guy took him out.

  3. July 2, 2007 12:07 am

    Great T-shirt.

    Found your blog. Your comments are on target.
    Good reporting.
    A civics class and a class on Constitutional law would really
    help prepare High School students to better understand
    our Government, the legislature and our justice system.

    Rep. Gilligan was a class act, and handled himself courteously
    while surrounded by his adversaries. Good of you to notice
    and post it.


  1. Around the Horn Friday: Dave Burris’ Huge Head Edition « DelawareLiberal.Net

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