Saturday, March 06, 2010

Call of the House, Taking A Walk

Here is a colorful sprinkle of New Mexico state politics.

The state has had a tough time getting a budget, requiring a special session that ended this past week.

The New Mexico Independent ran a story about a "call of the House" that took place before the legislature voted on tax increases:

It’s a request that can come from any member, at any time, during any debate: A “call of the House.” All of a sudden the doors to the chamber are locked and state police are sent to round up missing lawmakers. The reasons for requesting a call can be many, but near the top is politics.

Let's say you are a lawmaker from a city like Deming, where government and taxation are not popular. Perhaps you even have Tea Party rallies going on outside your office. It might feel convenient to skip on a tax vote. Indeed, what some lawmakers are known for doing is "taking a walk" at just the right time to miss the vote.

Thus, the procedure of locking the up the building and sending the sergeant at arms to go looking for lawmakers -- who are, after all, supposed to be voting. That's why we elect them.

One imagines them pulled in by the ear and plopped down to cast their vote.

1 comment:

Hal Johnson said...

"One imagines them pulled in by the ear and plopped down to cast their vote."

Sounds appropriate to me.