An interesting side note to the Conference Report on HB 3202 (a.k.a. “the Republican compromise”) on transportation.
The only Democrat named to the Senate Conference committee for this critical bill was Phil Puckett of rural Tazewell County. Now I’ve come to know Phil and his family pretty well. You would be hard-pressed to find a State Senator with more integrity and honesty in all of Virginia. You would also be hard-pressed to find a State Senate districtwith less need of “traffic congestion relief.”
The message of such an appointment is clear: you’re here as a token and please don’t be involved.
This stuff happens every day in the State Capitol. Many would shrug this off with a “typical Richmond” reaction. But, when the ballyhooed report came out, a funny thing happened on the way to the unity rally.
Phil actually stood up on the Senate floor anddescribed how the other conferees froze him out of the meetings.He spoke out against his exclusion and against the plan. See his speech here: http://assemblyaccess.wordpress.com/2007/02/24/a-compromise
His message is simple … I don’t mind being a minority member but please don’t waste my time with your charade.