21 February 2007

Sober Second Thought

The Canadian Senate, I believe, is known as the chamber of "sober second thought." In Alaska, the state senate is filling the same role... or, at least, Charlie Huggins of Wasilla is. Apparently, he doesn't think Susan Butcher deserves a day in perpetuity.

I'll leave aside the issue of whether he's right or not (my objections to Susan Butcher have never had to do with her as much as with the whole concept of naming days after people) and concentrate for a moment on the process.

If you check the bill history, you'll see it was initially referred to the State Affairs Committee. Lesil McGuire, the chair, waived that referral, which I presume would normally mean the bill heads right to the Senate floor. But Senate President Lyda Green had a different idea. She referred the bill to the Resources Committee and Senator Huggins' objections.

Let's think for a moment - what does Susan Butcher Day have to do with natural resources? The bill didn't come close to the House Resources Committee; State Affairs was good enough in the other body. The power to determine which committees hear which bills is one of the most powerful the Senate president has and I'm wondering why Lyda Green would want Resources to hear Susan Butcher Day. Could it be because she knows her close pal Charlie would stop it?

This is all blatant speculation (or b.s. as some prefer) but I've got to think there are more roadblocks to Susan Butcher Day than just Charlie Huggins.

I might suggest - completely non-seriously - that perhaps it's because Iditarod champ Martin Buser is a supporter of Mat-Su Republicans (see Palin, Sarah) and Huggins and Green would rather he be the first musher honoured. Buser and Butcher have won the race the same amount of times and Buser does hold the course record.

UPDATE: An ADN blog addresses this bill and confirms it's being held up by "senate leaders." Who, exactly, is not clear.

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