Once Around the Statehouse Lightly

Are You Looking At Me? | 04-17-2015

You had better not be, at least if you are a member of the Minnesota Senate. As the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports, the Gopher State Senate last week rejected a call to do away with a rule that bars members from looking at one another when debating issues...

He Should Run For Office | 04-17-2015

Drones – small, remotely operated aircraft – are just about everywhere these days. That fact has sent many a current and aspiring lawmaker into apoplexy in recent years, with bills to regulate their use finding lots of popular support in statehouses...

Hell On Wheels | 04-10-2015

California Assembly Minority Leader Kristin Olsen is a big fan of electrically-motorized skateboards.Unfortunately for her the snazzy boards, which are definitely a few notches up from the man...uh, boy-powered kind yours truly bombed around on as a kid...

A Dome Under the Dome | 04-10-2015

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is sporting a new look these days. As Statehouse News Service reports, Baker joined hundreds of others last week in getting a serious buzz cut as part of a fundraiser for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Quincy. The...

Lincoln Would Be So Proud | 04-10-2015

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner seems like a guy who needs a hug, some decaf or likely both. Rauner came into office breathing fire and vowing to take names and dismember anyone who gets in his way. Okay, not really that last part but he has definitely been...

Real Men Welcome | 04-10-2015

The Maryland legislative women’s caucus – officially the Women Legislators of Maryland – has always been open to male lawmakers. It’s just that none have ever wanted to join. At least until now. As the Washington Post reports,...

I'm Sorry My Colleagues Are Such Jerks | 04-03-2015

She didn’t say it that way but you have to think New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan was thinking that last week when she visited a Hampton Falls elementary school. As reported by Seacoastonline.com, Hassan went to the class to make amends for the...

Man Up, Buddy Boy! | 04-03-2015

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has a reputation as a “Ready, fire, aim!” kind of guy. The gov did nothing to ease that view recently when he publicly called out horror author Stephen King for moving away from the Pine Tree State to avoid paying state...

As Bad Weeks Go..... | 04-03-2015

This was a doozy for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. After signing a so-called “religious freedom” bill that pretty much gave homophobic Hoosiers the official okie dokie to refuse to do business with anyone from the LGBT community, the gov seemed...

Governor TMI | 04-03-2015

California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order last week imposing statewide water use restrictions (See Governors in this issue). In talking about the steps Californians need to take to manage the historic ongoing drought, Brown tossed out a few...

Cocktails and Crullers | 03-20-2015

Many a politician over the years has been caught up in the relentless pursuit of power. But for Virginia Del. Robert Krupicka Jr., there is an even more tantalizing pursuit: donuts. Yep, as the Washington Post reports, Krupicka has announced he will not...

No Really, Officer, The Weed Belongs To My Dog | 03-20-2015

We animal lovers would generally do just about anything to make our pets’ lives better, particularly as they age and fall prey to debilitating or painful illnesses. If one Nevada lawmaker gets his way, that will soon include being able to offer...

Did I Say That? | 03-20-2015

It’s one thing to be abrasive and snarky; it’s another to do it in the public realm where said obnoxiousness can very quickly come bite you on the backside. Today’s case in point comes from Wisconsin, where the new social media manager...

Everybody Cut Loose | 03-20-2015

Dancing shouldn’t be complicated. Well, good dancing is actually really complicated but that’s beside the point. What is pertinent is that if you are in a bar or anywhere else that serves alcohol on the Hawaiian island of Maui, there is no...

Maybe If We Just Ignore It.... | 03-13-2015

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has made no bones about his skepticism of global climate change. But as reported by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting , Scott wants everyone else in Sunshine State government to take the same view. According to FCIR...

Vote And A Snack | 03-13-2015

With voter apathy at an all-time high, Rhode Island officials may have hit on the ultimate enticement to get folks to actually participate in their own governance: baked goods! That’s right, as the Providence Journal reports, the Ocean State Senate...

We Have A Winner | 03-13-2015

On the off chance there was a competition to name the worst ballot measure of the year, we may already have the winner. As AFP reports, a California lawyer recently submitted a ballot measure proposal that would require LGBT residents to “be put...

This Cannot End Well | 03-13-2015

Texting out sexually explicit cell phone messages and photos is generally a bad idea. It is a truly bad idea if you are a public figure with a lot to lose if you get caught. As the Indianapolis Star reports, state Rep. Justin Moed got outed last week...

Gone To the Dogs | 03-06-2015

Some folks think statehouses have gone to the dogs, but last week in California it was true. On Tuesday, Assemblymember Matt Dababneh held a press conference on the Capitol steps to promote legislation to require the University of California to offer...

It Stinks O' Quiet | 03-06-2015

Speaking of pressers on the California Capitol steps...there has been a noticeable dearth of such dog and pony shows this year. As the Los Angeles Times reports, theories as to why abound, from the stewardship of decidedly non-flashy Gov. Jerry Brown...

And A Child Shall Lead Them | 03-06-2015

If 18 is old enough to vote, join the army or go to prison, then it’s old enough to govern a state. That may sound like the theme of a Disney movie but it’s actually the gist of a bill making the rounds in Nebraska. As the Omaha World Herald...

Now We Can All Die Happy | 03-06-2015

Most of us have heard the goofy song “Hang On Sloopy,” from The McCoys, an Ohio-based band who turned it into their lone hit way back in 1965. The song, which had been released a year earlier by a band called the Vibrations under the title...

A Matter of Perspective | 02-27-2015

Challenges are always in the eye of the beholder. Case in point: During the recent winter meeting of the National Governors Association, Fox Business reporter Maria Bartiromo moderated a panel discussion in which she asked all the attending govs to share...

You Just Need A Hug | 02-27-2015

Speaking of challenges, new Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has one for you -- self-esteem. Yes, when given his chance to answer Bartiromo’s question, Wolf opined that what Keystone Staters could really use most is a little personal pep talk to make...

First World Problems | 02-27-2015

Baker and Wolf weren’t the only ones capable of drawing a laugh at the NGA winter meeting. After a presentation by famed New York City restauranteur Danny Meyer, the govs got a chance to hit him with some questions. While most focused on Meyer’s...

A Selfie Disaster | 02-27-2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was a hot item at this year’s NGA meeting, drawing big crowds of reporters virtually everywhere he went. Being a prime presidential candidate will do that for you. But someone needs to tell him to lay off the selfies...

Alternate Universe | 02-13-2015

In every state in America it is the responsibility of the governor to present lawmakers with a balanced budget proposal, after which said pols spend weeks or months in their own legislative cage match parrying and thrusting until enough of them agree...

Ethics For You, Not For Me | 02-13-2015

While it might sound like an oxymoron to some, political ethics remains one of the top issues in many statehouses this year. For instance, as the Missouri political blog PoliticMO.com reports, the Missouri Senate last week endorsed a bill that would require...

Payment Pending....We Think | 02-13-2015

Speaking of fiscal responsibility, somebody in the North Carolina Legislature has some explaining to do. As the Fayetteville Observer reports, the General Assembly website went offline last week, creating a fair amount of havoc for the lobbyists, reporters...

Ban The Buns! | 02-13-2015

If you’re one of them public nudie types, or even just a woman who likes the comfort of going about her business in form-fitting yoga pants, Montana Rep. David Moore is coming after you. As the Billings Gazette reports, Moore has introduced a bill...

Just-In Just Out | 02-06-2015

To paraphrase the immortal Mark Twain, everyone complains about statehouse news coverage but nobody does anything about it. Enter Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. As the Indianapolis Star reports, Pence recently announced plans for his administration to start...

No Such Thing As A Free Meal | 02-06-2015

To eat the boxed lunch or not to eat the boxed lunch, that is the question for Washington state lawmakers these days. New rules regulating how many free meals they can accept from lobbyists has left Evergreen State pols angry and confused: annoyed because...

Take My Job, Please | 02-06-2015

When most pols talk about cutting waste, fraud and abuse, they pretty much never mean anything that would directly impact them. But not so for newly-minted Wisconsin Treasurer Matt Adamczyk. As the New York Times reports, Adamczyk has spent most of his...

Okay, That's Just Gross | 02-06-2015

With all the attention being paid to disease outbreaks, it’s hard to imagine anyone being against at least some basic hygiene. But then there is U.S. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina. As Talking Points Memo reports, Tillis recently related...

Not Just for Hipsters | 01-30-2015

For decades, the ukulele has been synonymous with the Hawaiian Islands, sparking images of blissful beaches, warm ocean breezes and the generous spirit that is the essence of aloha. Sadly, in recent years the ukulele has been co-opted by that most dreaded...

Piling on the Pats | 01-30-2015

New Jersey Gov. Christie is not the only governor with an interest in the NFL. As the Associated Press reports, Maine Gov. Paul LePage makes no bones about his belief that the New England Patriots are flat out cheaters. For those living in a cave of late...

What Tie Goes With An Orange Jumpsuit? | 01-30-2015

That may be the question that Virginia Delegate Joseph Morrissey is asking himself these days. As the Washington Post reports, Morrissey recently won election to the House of Delegates mere weeks after resigning a seat in that body in disgrace. Authorities...

From Rats to Roaches | 01-16-2015

If you think that after the wave of malfeasance in the California Senate last year that all the dirty, greasy stuff is contained in legislative chambers, think again. As the Sacramento Bee reports, health inspectors recently shut down Griselda's World...

My Cap is Better Than Your Cap | 01-16-2015

In case you are pondering using your vacation time to visit a state capital, you should know they are not all created equal. In fact, as the USA Today reports, some are downright spiffy places to hang out. The top of the list, according to a reader survey...

Woody Would Have Approved | 01-16-2015

Getting elected to a second term as governor is a big deal, no doubt about it. But in Ohio, nothing is bigger than the Ohio State Buckeyes playing for the college football national championship. To his credit, Gov. John Kasich gets it. Which is why when...

Rhyme Time at the Finish Line | 01-16-2015

The earth moved in California last week, but it was only a political earthquake rather than a real geological trembler. More accurately, the earth moved twice: once when United States Sen. Barbara Boxer announced she would not seek another term in 2016...

And Then There's This | 01-16-2015

Recently termed-out Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has apparently never warmed up to new Gov. Doug Ducey, a fellow Republican but not the guy she initially backed in the GOP primary last year. (That would be Mesa mayor Scott Smith, who lost out to Ducey in that...

He Who Shall Not Be Named | 01-09-2015

It's normal for pols to dislike dealing with the media, but most accept it as part of the job and just try to be professional about it. And then there is Frederick County, Maryland Council member Kirby Delauter. As the Frederick News-Post reports...

He Who Shall Not Be Mocked | 01-09-2015

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie makes no bones about his love for two things: Bruce Springsteen and the Dallas Cowboys. While the former has given Christie the cold shoulder, he and Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones are having a full-on bromance. This was...

He Who Would Go Forth and Mock Anyway | 01-09-2015

None of which apparently bothers Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who took a poke at Christie via Twitter by posting a picture of a Green Bay Packers fan wearing a "cheesehead" — an orange thing shaped like a triangular wedge of cheddar —...

He Who Should Be Relentlessly Mocked | 01-09-2015

Former major league pitcher Curt Schilling was never shy about running a fastball in high and tight, nor has he ever been hesitant to run his yap until people practically cover their ears and beg for mercy. His latest round of self-serving bloviation...

And To All A Good Night | 12-22-2014

This is our final issue of the year, so let me pass along best wishes for a very merry holiday season to all of you from all of us here at the State Net Capitol Journal. We'll be back in mid-January to do our best to keep you all up to speed on legislative...

Speak No Evil, Post No Evil | 12-22-2014

If you've got something bad to say about someone or something connected to the city government of South Pittsburgh, Tennessee...keep it to yourself! As the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports, the city Commission recently approved an "all-inclusive"...

Satan In Da House | 12-22-2014

If you're visiting the Michigan statehouse in Lansing this Christmas season, don't waste your time looking for the usual nativity scene. Not one there. There is, however, a nice tribute to Satan! Yep, as the Washington Post reports, the Wolverine...

Mom Knows Best | 12-22-2014

We all have a relative (or, heaven help us, two or more) who just will not stop talking politics at family gatherings, or at least not until doors are slammed, tires are screeched or blood is spilled. That is probably what Raleigh, North Carolina resident...