August 13, 2004
There is something wrong with this picture
By Bill Kraus
One of the first bills introduced in the last session of the Legislature was SB12. It was authored by Mike Ellis, a Republican, and was co-sponsored by Jon Erpenbach, a Democrat.
Whenever a poll asked the people if they liked the campaign reform ideas it embodied, more than 80 percent of them said they did.
Every major newspaper editorialized in favor of the bill or its ideas.
It never got out of the first committee to which it was assigned.
Late in the same session, a Republican state Senator introduced a bill that would have permitted carrying concealed weapons.
A poll indicated that 69 percent of the voters thought this was a bad idea.
No major newspaper endorsed it and many opposed it.
It went through the obligatory committees like hot butter through a tin horn. Both houses voted for it overwhelmingly. It almost survived a gubernatorial veto.
A legislative leader of several decades ago once said that while legislators are often dumb, they are never deaf. He may want to reconsider that conclusion.
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