The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Russell gets ass handed to him on stupid drug testing bill

...along with Mike Verchio and Brock Greenfield and a passel of others. None of the sponsors of HB1204 even bothered to show up to defend this turd.

HB1204 would have allowed for drug testing of "public assistance" recipients upon "reasonable suspicion." A positive test would have resulted in denial of public assistance.

Most of the public assistance folks and medical orgs in the state showed up to spit on the bill. There was not one proponent in evidence.

(Top to bottom) Lance Russell, Mike Verchio, Brock Greenfield. Amid heavy competition, these are three of the most frightening people in the So. Dak. Legislature. Russell and Verchio represent my district (30), lord have mercy. As if that ain't bad enough, Gordon Howie rounds out the field in District 30.


Thad Wasson said...

Aren't they paid to be there?

Bob Newland said...

Russell was in the building collecting his paycheck, all right.

It's pretty unusual for a bill's prime sponsor to not make an appearance at the committee hearing where its fate is decided. Sometimes a sponsor will come to a hearing and urge the committee to kill the bill, having learned something about his own bill that he/she hadn't considered when drafting it.

Russell demonstrated contempt for the system by not even showing up, or at least having someone show up for him. But contempt and Lance Russell seem to be close acquaintances.

Thad Wasson said...

So these guys run around planting their seed for wonderful bills but don't bother to watch them grow into law?

Sounds like spring break in Cancun.

Bob Newland said...

As I said, Thad, that's a pretty rare scenario. Usually the prime sponsor, at least, makes an appearance to testify as a proponent.

In this case, Russell wasted a busy committee's precious time with a bill in which he was not even interested enough to promote.

He also caused several people to waste their time to come to the committee and oppose the bill. Emmett Reistroffer drove from Sioux Falls this morning to testify on that bill.

Russell has built a life on punishing people. It seems to be the only thing that gives him pleasure.

Nick Nemec said...

I've spent more time in legislative committee hearings than the average dog and I've NEVER heard of a hearing where the prime sponsors didn't bother to show up. This is extremely disrespectful and a waste of committee time, legislator time, and the time and money of the citizens who came to testify.

Anonymous said...

Yo'al don't get it.

They are not interested in governing.

They are only interested in getting elected and reelected.

This proposal made for a great sound bite. It made for a great campaign slogan. Sound bites and slogans have nothing in common with governing.

Voters will elect a ham sandwich with a good soundbite and slogan.

Bill Fleming said...

Ham sandwich, huh? Looks like they elected 3 of them. (I should talk. I'm getting pretty hefty myself these days.)

Bob Newland said...

Rapid City got a Hanks sandwich with a slogan about a wingnut.

Bill Fleming said...

Grilled Hanks and jeeze.

Anonymous said...

West of the Potomac says: In the 1970s, state legislators had much better haircuts.

Bob Newland said...

Backthen they didn't have Ted Klaudt as a role model.