November 5, 2003
Every football fan has seen this happen: One player takes a cheap shot (Bob Welch) and then the referee turns around just in time to see the other player (Gwen Moore) retaliate. "Unsportsmanlike conduct. Fifteen yards," bellows the referee, and the crowd, with the advantage of videotape, boos.
Would-be U.S. Senator Bob Welch was in the chair. Instead of permitting the Democrats to continue the debate on the floor, he suddenly ordered the calling of the roll. Senator Gwen Moore was understandably upset and raised hell, as she should have. Welch would not stop the roll call and the doyen of River Hills, Alberta Darling, said she was (I'm not kidding) so afraid she didn't even hear her name called. Really? Why not join Sen. Moore in a visit through her district.
The answer from Mary Panzer? Incredible as it seems, she insisted the president of the Senate could expel any member for the day and deprive that senator's constituents of representation. Mike Ellis, who does his share of shouting, said the poor Republicans will be accused of "choking off people's right to speak."
Yes, Mike, your party hereby stands accused. If Mary Panzer and Alan Lasee cannot do their jobs without the threat of expulsion, they should ask Fred Risser how to do it. He gained the respect of all members and didn't need absurd powers of expulsion.
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