Once Around the Statehouse Lightly

The Hardest Goodbye | 05-19-2017

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has had his share of difficult times since taking office, but probably none harder than the task he had last week: saying the final goodbye to Chloe, his family’s 16-year-old Sheltie. Cooper broke the news on the First...

Fish, Fish Fishin’ | 05-19-2017

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is no doubt a decent fisherman. But top honors evaded him at last week’s Governor’s Fishing Opener event in St. Cloud. The gov didn’t do bad, hauling in a three pound bass, part of a five-fish total accumulated...

From Fish To Frogs | 05-19-2017

While Gov. Dayton was hooking fish, out west in California lawmakers were doing their best to scare off some frogs. As the Capitol Morning Report notes, lawmakers and staffers came together for the 43 rd Annual Capitol Frog Jump, a gig inspired by the...

Line Of The Week | 05-19-2017

Kiley’s line was a good one, but it wasn’t the best one of the week. That honor goes to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. When asked by yours truly his thoughts on the Trump administration’s plans to reinvigorate the war on...

LePage Gets Trashed | 05-12-2017

There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Maine Gov. Paul LePage is the model for Dr. Seuss’s infamous Grinch. Then again, he certainly appears to enjoy being the living embodiment of the terminally grumpy beast that gets its greatest joy from...

Gone to the Dogs…and Cats | 05-12-2017

Speaking of puppies, Massachusetts lawmakers took time to share personal stories of their pets during animal advocacy day on Beacon Hill last week. As the State House News Service reports, this included Sen. Mark Montigny’s tale of smuggling a kitten...

Snookered Over Snooki | 05-12-2017

Hard as it might be to imagine, Rutgers University once paid Snooki, she of obnoxious drunk fame on the repulsive “Jersey Shore” reality show, $32,000 grand to speak at a campus event. But the days of washed up reality TV creatures commanding...

Please Go Away | 05-12-2017

Don’t go away mad, just go away. This was the message TV chef Sandra Lee clearly sent to U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan during a recent appearance on the “Fox & Friends” cable news show. Lee was booked to give a cooking demo...

Ferreting Out the Law | 05-04-2017

For three decades ferret lovers have been trying to get California lawmakers and regulators to overturn a law that bans folks from owning ferrets. For the uninformed, ferrets are a member of the weasel family and bear a strong connection to the European...

A Real Numbers Game | 05-04-2017

As LexisNexis State Net notes, each state sends anywhere from hundreds to thousands of bills to the governor each year for consideration. For the 2017 session, LNSN estimates California will ponder 2,900 bills , almost five times the 600 we estimate Delaware...

Living the Law | 05-04-2017

It seems pretty clear that Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens really enjoyed signing legislation recently that enacted statewide regulations on ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. How clear? Well, as The Hill reports , he signed the bill while taking a...

This Bud’s For You | 04-28-2017

California pharmacists unfamiliar with the high and low points of medicinal marijuana can take heart: help is on the way. As KCBS in San Francisco reports , Sacramento resident Shayna Schonouer has been certified by the state as the nation’s very...

CalExited To Russia | 04-28-2017

Those darned Russians are everywhere! Case in point comes from California, where a group pushing to have the state secede from the rest of the nation has abandoned its quest after its leader bailed out and moved to a city on the edge of Siberia. Or should...

Coach ‘Em Up | 04-28-2017

A governor can wield lots of power, sometimes even over stuff that matters. And then there is new West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, who is taking a more, ahhh...varied approach. As the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports , Justice has apparently been using...

Spreading The Bull | 04-28-2017

And speaking of Gov. Justice, let’s just say he knows how to make an impression. When lawmakers sent the gov a budget he didn’t like, he decided it was the perfect time to go big or go home. As the McClatchy News Service reports , Justice...

Let’s Decide All Elections This Way | 04-14-2017

If you darned people aren’t going to cast enough votes then by golly we’ll just decide this election with the flip of a coin! That is the message clearly being sent by the tiny hamlet of Colp, Illinois to residents after two candidates for...

Memorable Memo | 04-14-2017

Folks who hate paying their taxes are rarely shy about letting everyone and anyone within earshot hear all about it. But one Montana man may have found a way around his annual tax bill: putting something obnoxious on his check! Yes, as the Billings Gazette...

Gone To The Dogs | 04-14-2017

There is clearly no issue on which Maine Gov. Paul LePage won’t weigh in. This week’s example involves a Husky mix named Dakota that twice in the last year has got out of her yard and attacked a neighbor’s dogs, killing one and injuring...

A Tradition Like No Other | 04-07-2017

Texas Rep. Victoria Neave got to experience a bit of Lone Star State tradition last week. As she introduced a piece of legislation, Rep. Jim Murphy interrupted, saying “I’m having trouble finding the representative” and asking if the...

Of Course He Is | 04-07-2017

If you are already sick of all things Trump – and based on the president’s historically dismal approval ratings , many folks are – then you might want to skip to the next story. As the New York Post’s Page Six reports , Donald...

And Speaking Of Clowns | 04-07-2017

Back in Trump’s favorite country it is now illegal to distribute a popular Internet image of Russian President Vladimir Putin in what has become widely known as the “gay clown” meme. As CNN reports , doing so could get you 15 days in...

The Devil Ain’t Making Them Do It | 03-31-2017

Rare is the day some lawmaker somewhere doesn’t invoke their religion as cause for opposing or supporting a bill. But as my religious friends will tell you, if you have God then you also have to have Satan, and Old Ned is definitely looking to make...

Hello Chris, This Is God | 03-31-2017

And speaking of motions not of this realm, the Asbury Park Press reports that last week lightning struck the New Jersey governor’s mansion. The governor wasn’t there and nobody was hurt, but you have to wonder just how many signals from on...

A Master Idea | 03-31-2017

Dedicated members of “Arnie’s Army” know the great golfer Arnold Palmer was a native of Latrobe, PA. But in later years Palmer loved to winter in Florida, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill near Orlando is one of the most...

This Could Explain A Lot | 03-17-2017

If you have ever seen legislation come out of a statehouse and wondered, “What is wrong with those folks,” freshman Rhode Island Rep. Moira Walsh may have the answer. As radio station WPRO in East Providence reports , when asked during a recent...

All In the Name of Good Health | 03-17-2017

Texas state Rep. Jessica Farrar isn’t fond of her male colleagues proposing bills they claim will protect women’s health but which she says are in fact barely-veiled attempts to block women from obtaining a legal abortion. So, as the Houston...

That Dog Won’t Hunt | 03-17-2017

Maine Rep. Jim Handy thought he was doing something good when he recently introduced a bill that would have required dogs to be safely secured in a seat belt when riding in a car. But as the Washington Post reports , the reaction from dog lovers ranged...

I Believe This Is Called Karma | 03-17-2017

Depending on where you stand yourself, former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is either a hero or a villain for sticking to his guns on HB 2, the Tar Heel State’s controversial “bathroom bill” that barred transgender folks from using...

Pretty in Pink | 03-10-2017

Hunters in Virginia have for years been required to wear a Day-Glo orange vest to make sure their fellow hunters can more easily discern them from Bambi before firing off a few rounds. But if Virginia state Sen. Richard Stuart has his way Old Dominion...

Rapper Raps Rauner | 03-10-2017

It seemed like such a simple thing. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner offered congrats on Twitter to Chicago music sensation Chance the Rapper for winning a trio of Grammy awards. The rapper said he’d like to meet up with the gov to talk about the city...

Zombie Prep | 03-10-2017

They might not be able to fund the schools or get a budget, but Illinois is darned sure getting ready for the impending zombie invasion. Yes, as CNN reports , lawmakers recently endorsed HR 30 , which encourages all Prairie State residents to adequately...

Boot Cut Booted | 03-03-2017

It’s nothing new for governors of western states to prefer boots and blue jeans to dress shoes and suits. But as new North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum recently discovered, the casual look doesn’t apply in all situations. As Fox News reports ,...

New Kid In Town | 03-03-2017

California Senate pro Tem Kevin de León has often talked about the role his Guatemala-born mother played in his becoming a powerful voice for the Golden State’s Latino population. Even so, his father played a part as well. Although de León...

And Then There’s This Goofball | 03-03-2017

Iowa state Sen. Mark Chelgren is a wealth of ideas, most of them really bad. His most notable of late is a bill that would force Hawkeye State colleges to hire only Republican professors until the number of registered Republicans and Democrats on university...

Or Some Kind of Envy | 02-17-2017

Things are getting snippy in Maryland, where Gov. Larry Hogan has drawn some fire for deleting comments critical of him from his official Facebook page. As the Baltimore Sun reports , Dems are incensed because someone on the gov’s staff recently...

Say What? | 02-17-2017

Common sense ought to dictate that lawmakers actually read the bills and resolutions they endorse. Alas, as Voltaire once said, “Common sense is not so common.” Today’s example comes from the South Carolina House, which recently endorsed...

A Bill To Nowhere | 02-17-2017

And speaking of common sense...maybe someone in the Alabama House ought to give it a try sometime. As the Birmingham News reports , the House just passed a bill that would cut off state funds to colleges or universities that adopt so-called “sanctuary”...

Cementing Their Relationship | 02-17-2017

Speaking of the Palmetto State, state Sen. Harvey Peeler was notably absent from the recent unveiling of a portrait of colleague Hugh Leatherman. Peeler had authored the resolution that produced the portrait, so one might think he would be there. But...

Not Mentioning Any Names | 02-10-2017

Ohio Gov. John Kasich may or may not make another run at the White House, but he is certainly setting himself up as the antidote for that building’s current inhabitant. As the Washington Post reports , Kasich has a new book coming out – titled...

We Need To See Your Papers! | 02-10-2017

Speaking of the president, things may be getting more personal than they already are in his ongoing battle with those who oppose his immigrant ban. As Politico reports , California state Sen. Nancy Skinner last week called on the White House to release...

Representative Batman | 02-10-2017

If things around you go south all of a sudden, it would be good if you are somewhere near U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham of Louisiana. Abraham is a former veterinarian who later became a medical doctor, and as such he likes to say he can treat anything on two...

The Anti-Christie | 02-10-2017

Regular readers of this column might recall that last week we talked about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s role as “ He who jinxes the Dallas Cowboys .” But there is another governor who may actually be his team’s good luck charm...

Gov. Bad Luck Charm | 02-03-2017

If you are a Dallas Cowboys fan it might behoove you to lobby team owner Jerry Jones to stop letting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) anywhere near them. For the unaware, in spite of his Garden State roots Christie is a rabid Cowboys fan. That has never...

Who Let The Dogs Out? | 02-03-2017

That could soon be the big legal question in Virginia, where the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that House Speaker William J. Howell has introduced legislation to allow localities to create a $100 civil penalty for dogs “running at large”...

Fido In The Middle | 02-03-2017

Speaking of dogs, it is sadly not unusual for pets to be caught in the middle of messy divorce proceedings. In most states dogs, cats and other pets are considered to be property, meaning they must be divvied up like furniture and cars. Emphasis on most...

Don’t Mess With The Governator | 02-03-2017

President Trump seems to have only one strategy – personally attack anyone and everyone at any time in an effort to make himself look or feel better. Most grownups choose not to directly engage with such juvenile behavior. But then former California...

Don’t Let The Bedbugs Bite | 01-20-2017

Government definitely has its share of insect-like participants, but things recently got downright buggy for the folks at the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. As the Detroit Free Press reports , workers there had to be temporarily...

Define ‘Contact’ | 01-20-2017

In a list of legislative do’s and don’ts, not getting your groove on with the interns or pages ought to be a no-brainer for most folks. But apparently not in South Dakota, where the Argus Leader reports a special legislative panel recently...

Faking It | 01-20-2017

The social media and political worlds are justifiably ablaze with indignation these days over so-called “fake news,” the should-be-obvious wackadoodle stories your grandparents or high strung aunt used to email to you but which they now share...

Hoosiers Now, Hoosiers Forever | 01-20-2017

You don’t have to be from Indiana to know that folks from there are called Hoosiers. Or at least you ought to know that, given the state’s nickname has been the Hoosier State for, well, forever. But as The Hill reports , it’s all totally...