Tuesday, March 14, 2006 :::
Among many items at the TMG meeting today was a presentation from Joe Waldo on the recent legislative skirmish over property rights. I understand a bit more of the back story now, and the roles played by various people on different sides.
But the back story is hardly as engrossing as the final act -- where the property bill favored by developers, local governments, VDOT, public utilities, et al -- looked like it was ready to pass. On the conference committee were Norment, Stolle and Cuccinelli for the Senate and Suit, Athey and Joannou for the House. Cuccinelli and Joannou were there for window dressing -- they were not placed there in the belief they would win. Norment, Stolle and Suit were there to pass their bill, and Athey was the Speaker's representative to make sure something was agreed to.
When it looked like the Stolle-Suit version of the bill would pass, word got back to the House GOP caucus...and a revolt began brewing. There were sufficient votes, it seems, in the House to vote down the Stolle-Suit bill and thereby embarrass the leadership...so that the bill was pulled.
Apparently too, there was an enormous amount of pressure coming from the builders, local governments, utilities, VDOT and others to get the weaker bill passed. It's scope was so narrow, and its exemptions so many, that their interests would have actually been well served if it had passed.
Interesting stuff. I'll post more in the days ahead.
And on another note, it was great to see both Steve Sisson and Rick Sincere at the meeting. Steve spun a yarn or two regarding Adventures in Warnerland (and sold a few copies while he was at it). And he had the distinct honor to ride in the Disco to the Commonwealth Club with me, where we listened to Ed Feulner prattle on about his new book.
The only munchies were cocktail peanuts. Disappointing.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 3/14/2006