Friday, March 02, 2007

Urgent Update: Impeachment Resolution

Urgent Update: Impeachment Resolution May Bypass the Judiciary Committee and Go Straight to the Senate Floor Vote During Friday, Saturday Sessions.
There is speculation that action may happen on Friday, March 2nd to take SJR 5 out of the Judiciary Committee. Attorney Randall Cherry - Senator McSorley's staff analyst - is the source of this information as directly relayed by citizen Terrence McCarthy of Vivo Studios. Jim Williams of KUNM and Dorothy Fadiman,, co-producer of the video linked at right above provided corroborating statements.

Since both the bill sponsor and the Committee Chairman are already in favor, they can make a motion on the floor in open session that the Resolution bypass Judiciary. However, this motion must receive unanimous consent - not likely - or then win either a voice or roll-call vote. According to Charlotte Roybal, longtime Democratic Party delegate, if the Senate votes to take the resolution out of Judiciary, floor debate on the resolution will still have to wait until Saturday, perhaps around 10AM. Stay tuned via either the sponsors Ortiz y Pino and Grubesic's office, Judiciary Chairman McSorley's office or the Majority Leader Sanchez' office. Again, all can be contacted at 986-4300. Did you memorize the number yet?

It is now time to count our votes on the entire Senate floor. If all the Republicans vote together and are present (likely), we can afford to lose only three Democratic votes against or five abstentions. We know that John Arthur Smith D - Hidalgo, Luna and Sierra was solid against. Tim Jennings D - Chaves, Eddy, Lincoln and Otero may take his cue from Smith, but is on the fence, having told me personally: "You can't impeach someone for stupidity." Sen. Lidio Rainaldi is known for conservatism, and declined an information packet recently offerred saying that he already knew how he was voting, but not saying how that was. Senator Phil Griego, D-Los Alamos, Mora, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Taos is also well-known for skepticism and the following Senators' votes are not known: John Pinto, Lynda Lovejoy, Nancy Rodriguez, Pete Campos, James Taylor, Shannon Robinson.

Given that that the timetable for the floor vote has been accelerated, it is now time for the full-court press. Every Democratic undecided Senator, all the time, especially the swing votes: Sanchez above all, the rest of the above undecideds and some say Altamirano. Although he voted for the resolution in Rules Committee, Senators do not always vote for a bill on the floor the way they did in Committee, for various reasons.

Please also note decorum without feeling overly restricted. No clapping after speeches or votes in committee or from the gallery, in particular. Although I find the thought that decorum should have an impact on a meaningful vote abhorrent, I must admit that as a father, there have been times when my children's unruly behavior has brought my anger upon them. I'm not proud of it, and there can be one hell of a fuss when they don't get to watch a movie, but sometimes it happens and I have to end up apologizing later if I was out of order.

We won't get a second chance.

I am going to leave the number and type of speakers to the sponsor and the Chair this time. The sponsors are now suggesting that we focus on the "asking for an investigation" part and avoid rendering verdicts in our testimony. I agree there may be some merit to the cautious approach at this time. Apparently it may help us with swing voters. Take this under advisement, but it is not meant to stifle your initiative, which is the most precious of all the human qualities found on this team.

If you have not already memorized the phone number for the Capitol Switchboard which can connect you with anyone in the Roundhouse, it's 986-4300. Citizens will be onsite at the Roundhouse tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday to assist if you would like to hit any of the key offices in person. Please look for us either on the floor, outside the Majority Leader's office, or in the Media Gallery overlooking the House floor on the East Side of the Capitol Building. I can be paged at the Information Desk on the East Side. I will be also be leaving updates with Arwen Gwyneth Hubbard at (505) 603-6084 and may be reachable at that number. Click the image above right to view the Rules Commitee hearing. The Public Affairs hearing will be online shortly. Basic Impeachment Background Here.
by Leland Lehrman h: (505) 982-3609 o: (505) 473-4458

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