It’s a quote that’s been around for decades and has been variously attributed to everyone from President Truman to Woody Allen to President Bartlet from the hit TV drama The West Wing.
But if there’s anyone who knows what that phrase really means, it’s Democrat House Minority Leader Craig Ford.
Ford loves to opine about how the Republican super majority is the worst thing that’s ever happened to Alabama. He says it lacks transparency and is generally not serving in the best interest of the taxpayers. But if Ford cared so much, he wouldn’t have one of the poorest attendance records in the legislature. He frequently neglects to show up for committee meetings or on the House floor.
He also rarely shows up to present bills in the committees to which they have been assigned.
Yesterday one of Ford’s bills popped up in the Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Senator Cam Ward. The bill would impose harsher penalties for the crime of bestiality in Alabama. It’s one of Ford’s “pet issues,” if you will. He has sponsored similar legislation numerous times throughout the years.
Representative Ford, of course, decided not to show up to present his bill. So Senator Ward decided to “help” Rep. Ford out. What could Senator Ward do to make sure the bill got a little more attention — the attention it deserves, some would say?
What about a catchy name?
“The title of the legislation is more important than what the legislation actually says,” Alan Rubin, director of federal government relations for Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, once said. “It’s really unfortunate, but that’s how it works.”
The No Child Left Behind Act. The Patriot Act. The DREAM Act. The Civil Rights Act. Just the mention of those names evokes a strong reaction from people across the political spectrum.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, another bill is now ready to take its rightful place in the pantheon of the best-named pieces of legislation in history.
Thanks to Rep. Ford’s commitment to not showing up for work, and with a little help from Senator Cam Ward, we now how have…
That’s right. Senator Ward amended Ford’s bill to attach his name to it. It’s not often that a legislator’s name is attached to a piece of legislation. This is a special honor.
“I just want to make sure Representative Ford has ownership in this bill,” Senator Ward told Yellowhammer. “I figured this would be a good way to get his attention about legislation he is supposedly carrying, and hopefully help him work his legislation a little better.”
Very helpful, Senator Ward. Very helpful indeed.
The decisions truly are made by those who show up. Senator Ward showed up, and we’re all thankful.
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2. AG Strange Gives Terse Response to Letter from Commissioner Terry Dunn
3. This week’s Rumors & Rumblings
4. Changes at Yellowhammer
5. Why I Believe Alabama Should Repeal Common Core