At the RedState Gathering in August, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley ticked off a rapid-fire list of accomplishments that have occurred since she has taken office. Among those many accomplishments was the signing of a bill to make state legislators more accountable to their constituents through the use of roll-call votes.
It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that, for some politicians, accountability to their constituents is not all that popular.
According to the Greenville News, a couple of South Carolina politicians (one is a Democrat and the other a Republican) are grumbling that roll call votes makes them feel like fenced-in dogs.
The Legislature passed a law to require more roll-call voting in 2011, although both bodies also addressed the issue with rules changes. While lawmakers in both chambers previously could request a roll-call vote, they weren’t always required. Gov. Nikki Haley made it a campaign issue in 2010.
Both Democratic State Senator Glenn Reese and Republican State Senator Danny Verdin, however, are publicly grousing about being tied to roll-call voting.
“We’re like dogs in a fence,” Democrat Reese told the Greenville News.
“I was one of the few who said ‘no’ on the whole nonsense and had my head handed to me on a platter by all the folks,” Republican Verdin said.
Other senators said while they sometimes are frustrated by the roll-call rules, they feel the roll calls are necessary.
Sen. Larry Martin, a Pickens Republican who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and supported the rule changes that makes roll calls mandatory, said he has heard “grumblings” about it from other senators.
“What we’re after is a recorded vote so the public knows how we voted,” Martin said. “It’s not a matter of calling the roll per se.”
It appears, though, if Democrat Reese and Republican Verdin had their way, like the (figurative) “dogs” that Reese compared he and his co-horts to, they would rather be unleashed.
It’s not surprising that some politicians don’t like their votes exposed to public scrutiny. Afterall, we’ve become accustomed to politicians (of both parties) saying one thing whilst doing another behind the dark curtain of anonymity.
It is, however, rather amusing to see just which politicians (e.g., Messrs. Reese and Verdin) hold their constituents in such low regard that they have no problem exposing themselves in public.
Hat-Tip: Nikki Haley on Facebook.
If you’d like to help Nikki Haley’s campaign for re-election, go here.
“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)