COLUMN — Three examples of absurd politics provided
Published 10:23 am Saturday, February 6, 2021
Some legislators believe that we should eliminate the death penalty, claiming moral reasons despite that it is reserved for the most vile crimes. However, many of those same people wholeheartedly support putting to death the most innocent – the unborn.
Some legislators want to reverse state law and allow parole possibility for any prisoner that reaches the age of 66, with little or no consideration of why they were imprisoned or at what age the inmate may have committed that crime. Does the public really feel safe when we release cold-blooded murderers after just a few years? The legislation proposed to do just that was thankfully killed in committee Friday. This is off the table for this session, but it will be back next year if this fall’s elections don’t turn the tide in Richmond.
Every day there are stories of rising murder rates in most every city in our nation. Yet delegates and senators who represent those cities are sponsoring bill after bill to weaken laws that lead to the arrest of those that terrorize their own communities. Legislation that would tie the hands of those that are expected to protect seems to be the only thing important to them.
This week the session was in full action, most of it in committees. For my committees, several mornings started at 7:30 a.m. and the last went to 9:30 p.m. at night. Again this week, some were acceptable but most did not conform to the standards I have set in my service for you.
The full Senate session has seen few bills that were of great concern to the average citizen. One that did was geared to speed up the process of providing the COVID-19 vaccines by allowing more folks to volunteer or be hired on a temporary basis to assist in the vaccinations. It had the support of every senator and the governor. It went to the House early in order to quicken the pace of vaccinations. There it has been left in suspension in order for them to get a similar version out. The game the House leadership is playing is purely political. They did not want a Senate Republican bill to accomplish what needs to be done. To the House leadership, who gets recognition is more important than saving lives. Disgusting.
Likewise, we spent way too much time in the effort to censure one member of the Senate.
Earlier in the session, a censure resolution was proposed against Senator Amanda Chase of Chesterfield County. It focused on remarks she had made in regard to the turmoil in Washington, nothing that she has done in the Senate.
I voted against the resolution in committee because I believe in the First Amendment of our United States Constitution. I would not have voted to censure any senator of any party for exercising those rights.
As it moved to the full Senate, it was obvious that some Democrats agreed with me and would uphold the Constitution. The resolution was, therefore, rewritten to include many other things that she has said and done. Many of her actions have been unacceptable in a moral society. However, because the resolution was not sent back to committee to be reconsidered, as required by rules, it was not properly before us.
Even though her actions were totally unacceptable, I could not vote for the resolution. Her actions should be judged by her constituents, not by other legislators since she had broken no laws.
Several bills that constituents had requested for me to introduce were stalled in committee. Considering the number of bills that are introduced every year, it is not abnormal that many die in committee. In most cases, there is logic as to why some fail. Others die for purely political reasons.
One such bill that I proposed dealt with absentee voting. It simply added the requirement that whoever witnessed the voter was the one that voted would include their printed name and address. This would be no challenge for a friend or family member. However, the Democrats realized this could impede their “vote harvesting” efforts, therefore, they voted it down, as they did every proposal offered that reinstituted trust in the electoral process.
Frank Ruff Jr. represents Charlotte in the state Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.