The House of Representatives caucused today to pass a rule prohibiting membership for anyone who's been part of a felony plea bargain. The rule is intended to bar admission to Dwayne Dobbins, should he somehow make the ballot despite a Democratic Party effort to bar him as nominee. Dobbins gave up a previous seat in the House in return for a reduced charge that he'd fondled a teenager.
The vote today was 86-1. Dobbins' wife, Sharon, a current member of the House, was the only "no" vote.
My observer says Sharon Dobbins spoke against the resolution, noting that it was aimed at one person, whom she didn't mention by name. She alluded to past unethical deals by members of the legislature, but offered no specifics. She also noted the "In God We Trust" emblazoned on the House doorway. She said God was not recommending passage of the measure and that District 39 representation should be left to voters. Green Party and write-in candidates have qualified for the election.
Not voting: T. Baker, Bond, E. Brown, Cheatham, Chesterfield, Flowers, Hardwick, W. Lewellen, Pace, Pennartz, Rainey, Sumpter, Wood.
Cheatham, Wood, Pennartz, Bond and Baker had been granted leave prior to the meeting today.
ON JUMP: Dennis "What We Need Is Another 9/11" Milligan tries to grab a little of the limelight for the Republicans.
REPUBLICAN PARTY NEWS RELEASE
“Today, our legislators made a decision to block former Representative Dwayne Dobbins, a child sex offender, from regaining his seat in the House of Representatives. As leaders in the state, we must stand up for our children first and foremost. I’m proud to say that today our Republican legislators worked across the aisle and avoided partisan politics in order to send a message that our elected officials must, and will, be held to a higher standard. I applaud the efforts of the legislators, both Republican and Democrat, in taking a stand on such an important issue.”