This is a very interesting piece on a lot of levels.
The story itself is one I have not read elsewhere. Did we know the FBI fanned out in two-person teams and ambushed all these people before they could coordinate stories?
The amusing underside to that is that coordinating stories would entail having some capacity to explain, in a linear way, what has really has transpired. I don’t think anybody at the General Assembly knows that, most of the time. In fact, I love Widlitz’s quote:
“It is difficult to explain to the FBI who more or less logically go from point A to point B to point C about the legislative process, which goes round and round in circles,” she said. “Sometimes it makes no sense to anybody in the outside world.”
There’s a kind of salute to Fellini, Joni Mitchell and Billy Preston all in one statement.
You could use this mess and that statement to make an argument for reform — not just of ethics as I did in the previous post but of the legislative process itself. It ought to be a hell of a lot more comprehensible to the average person than it is. It ought not to lend itself so readily to secrecy and shell games, so that even a person trying to follow the progress of a bill often can not. It shouldn’t be a tale told by an idiot.
But according to that Branford Eagle piece, the RYO tobacco bill may very well get folded into the budget implementers — a blanket in a pig! The budget implementers are the first thing you would do away with if you attempted real legislative reform
As I have written once before:
Implementers are the laws that make the budget happen, but it has become a common practice to cram into them all kinds of other sneaky, oily stuff that is not subject to the normal process of public hearings.
So it is not uncommon to see, in a budget implementer, “The state shall purchase from United Technologies, for a sum of $10 million, 300 square feet of land in Danielson, which shall be converted into a Portal to Hell, jointly operated by the Department of Economic and Community Development and Satan.”
This idea will never have been discussed in open debate anywhere, and there will be no record – except oral tradition – of who put it in the bill.
So implementers are the pig.
If you think the RYO bill was worth doing, it’s a paradox if it lives on in the belly of the swine.
Now, Billy, take us out.