Senator Frank Maher on the Counting of the Votes on the Senate Floor
If you don’t believe that the Rhode Island legislature is fundamentally broken, click on the video below, compiled by Operation Clean Government, which shines the light of day on how far Rhode Island’s ruling Democratic-Party oligarchy will go to dispose of legislation that they do not want passed (in this case, the E-Verify bill).
I’ve cued the link to a spot where it should take viewers who possess any sense of honesty or fairness all of 20 seconds to realize that the most basic norms of democratic governance are not respected by the ruling majority in the Rhode Island legislature.
At Saturday’s Tenth Amendment Rally at the Rhode Island statehouse, I asked Senator Frank Maher (R – Charlestown/Exeter/Hopkinton/Richmond/West Greenwich), as someone who was on the Senate floor when it happened, if he wanted to offer any comment on the disposition of the E-Verify bill. The Senator articulated multiple problems that he has with the Democratic leadership’s way of running a legislative body…
“I don’t know of anybody who can really determine whether or not the yays or the nays had it. It certainly seemed to me and a lot of others that I’ve spoke to that the nays were louder than the yays. Well, if that’s the case, and you can’t differentiate exactly between who won the vote based on the voice vote, as Senator O’Neill and I and other members of the chamber did, we wanted to make sure everybody was logged as to what their vote was. And that was not allowed.” Audio: 25 sec
“As a freshman legislator, especially in the Senate, I felt very disappointed in the process. I felt that the Senators in the room were not allowed to be heard, which meant that their constituencies were not represented. And at the end of the day, it’s really a shame that we were not able to get a vote, to find out exactly who was going to support it and who was going to support it, and who was not going to support it…because I can say all day long that I support it, but until it actually comes to a vote, where you actually have to hit that button, either red for no, or green for yes, how do you really know what somebody’s position is…” Audio: 1m 6 sec
“And I hope that that never happens again, on any piece of legislation, and I hope that Senator Cote [the bill’s sponsor] decides that he wants to submit that bill again in 2011, should he have the pleasure of being re-elected, and I know if I have the pleasure of being reelected to serve the people in District 34, I know I will be seeking him out to make sure that I co-sponsor it next year…” Audio: 51 sec