First, five words I am delighted to put on this page:
Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois.
Now that idiot Blagojevich can wait to see what Fitz has in store for him, which I hope is 20 years in the joint.
Now to more local corruption, and no, not the Herenton investigation, which has seemingly gone longer than the Hundred Years War with no indictment of the Big Fella in sight. This is about something else, something almost as distasteful.
As you are aware, it appears that the new Speaker of the House, Kent Williams, apparently made an ass of himself while drunk and told Rep. Susan Lynn something to the effect that he would pay to see her naked. OK, folks, drunk or not, that's harassment.
Lynn chose not to make a fuss, but asked for a meeting with House leadership to request that the then freshman Rep be told not to let something like this happen again. At that time, the matter appeared to have been settled. (my note: Williams' behavior was inexcusable, and yes, I believe Lynn. As there is no evidence that this has continued, I am willing to forgive as long as SHE is.)
Now, we know that Williams made a deal a couple of weeks ago with the House Democratic Caucus to get their 49 votes, which added to his own, gave Tennessee a more moderate Republican speaker than Jason Mumpower, the House Republican Leader. Williams then split the committee leadership, as befitting a divided House.
However, Rep. Brian Kelsey, who earned the nickname Stuntbaby of Germantown for his antics in Nashville from the venerable AC Kleinheider, decided to file an ethics complaint against the new Speaker. However, he apparently sought "conciliation" with Speaker Williams first, with one caveat; he wanted a full committee chairmanship. Kelsey admits to texting the Speaker's assistant with this bombshell:
“Tell Kent I’m willing to talk about reconciliation if he’s willing to talk about chairman of the full committee.”
Sure as hell makes you wonder what he meant by "reconciliation", doesn't it? Then, Kelsey claims he was so upset by Williams' denial of Lynn's charge (which should only have been brought up by HER, not Kelsey, because SHE, not Kelsey, was the aggrieved party) that he decided to bring up the Ethics charge.
The counsel for the Ethics Committee decided that theirs was not the proper venue for the complaint, so it was dismissed, as it should have been.
If Rep. Lynn wants to bring this back up and make a full complaint, I'm all for it; it's her call. But she DIDN'T, and she apparently wants to let this go, so I'm with whatever she wants.
Kelsey, with this flagrant act, has made himself look like an idiot, and also has injured the reputation of the House Republicans in general, which is not of the good, as Newscoma would say.
Look, I have never denied that I am a Democratic hack, but I also understand that the local House Republicans, Jim Coley, Steve McManus, Ron Lollar, Curry Todd, they're all good guys who I don't often agree with, but who will work with their Democratic counterparts. Same goes for Mark Norris, the Senate Republican Caucus Chair. They get hurt when Kelsey pulls one of these moronic acts, and it makes them look incapable of governance, when they work hard for their districts and generally do what their constituencies want.
As for Kelsey, quit bitching; you wound up as chair of the Civil Practice subcommitee of Judiciary. Don't you think it's time you started practicing some civility? You may not be as safe as you think, pal, so straighten up and act like a leader.
Unless you want to end up like Blagojevich.
UPDATE: The CA has a word for Kelsey's act: EXTORTION.