WORTH NOTING: Phantom voter stalks Ala. State House


It's pretty basic, but not everyone in the Alabama State House seems to know you can't cast votes on behalf of other legislators. State Rep. Duwayne Bridges (R) complained someone used his voting machine when he was out of the country. The Goldilocks voter, later identified as Democratic Rep. Randy Hinshaw, admitted to voting on Bridge's machine and confessed he had voted on other members' machines in the past. He told the Huntsville Times , he did it because it what was the right thing to do for his district.

The Democratic minority in the Florida House of Representatives - peeved at Republicans for blocking their bills - called a 12-hour session to read every bill aloud. Bored with the process, members of both parties started pulling pranks. Republican House Speaker Marco Rubio told them to take their seats and simmer down, but when that didn't work he locked the chamber doors and shut off Internet access. And to avoid bathroom breaks, Democratic leader Rep. Dan Gelber advised members not to drink any water, according to The Orlando Sentinel .

On the eve of Earth Day (April 22), the California Senate faced an environmental dilemma: Should property owners be required to cut down trees so sunlight can reach a neighbor's solar panels? The answer was "No." Voting unanimously to amend a 1978 law that protects a person's right to sunlight, the Senate gave a reprieve to trees planted before a solar device was installed, The Associated Press reports in The Sacramento Bee .

Democratic North Carolina gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue just scored a major coup, her campaign manager says. She won the endorsement of Andy Griffith, the actor who played Sheriff Taylor of the fictional town of Mayberry, N. C., in the "The Andy Griffith Show." Says state resident Griffith in a Perdue ad: "Oh, you're going to be a goooood governor," the News & Observer (Raleigh) reports. Apparently, a similar ad by the "sheriff" worked for Gov. Mike Easley in his 2000 election.

Looking for reasonably priced Hannah Montana tickets? For Minnesotans, the search may get easier thanks to a new bill that would outlaw the use of special software used to grab blocks of online tickets to resell them at exorbitant prices. If Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) signs the so-called Hannah Montana bill - named for the pop TV icon played by Miley Cyrus - Minnesota will become the first state to pass such legislation. But the bill's sponsor says Tennessee and a handful of other states have similar bills in the hopper, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.


Related Stories

    • Stateline Story
    September 2, 2008
    image description

    Sept. 2, 2008, 1:30 p.m. EDTST. PAUL, Minn. - Hurricane Gustav forced some of the biggest stars in the Republican Party to stay at home to help their consitutents battle the storm that many feared would rival Hurricane Katrina of just three years ago.   But four of the five affected southern Republican governors addressed the opening session of the 2008 Republican National Convention Monday (Sept. 1) via taped messages. "I'm sure you can understand why Gov. Jindal couldn't participate," first lady Laura Bush said as she introduced the taped messages, referring to Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as his state was being pounded by Gustav's strong winds and rain.   Jindal had been rumored to be, among others, on Republican John McCain's shortlist of possible vice presidential picks before the senator chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.   President Bush had been scheduled to address the delegates Monday but instead went to Texas to monitor the storm. The administration had been widely criticized for its handling of Hurricane Katrina. Some Republicans, notably Texas Gov. Rick Perry, stressed that the GOP was ready. "You're seeing Republican governors ... doing a fabulous job of taking care of the citizens. That's what we do," he said via videotape.Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Hurricane Gustav   The first lady also noted the governors of the affected states "happen to be Republicans," which drew a thunderous applause from the delegates at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.   Florida Charlie Crist, another Republican governor who also was seen as a possible VP candidate, took a less partisan approach in his remarks, remembering his experience during last month's Tropical Storm Fay: "As I traveled our state in the days following Fay's landfall, I was reminded again of the resilience and strength of our people. The kindness they extend to one another. Neighbor helping neighbor. Asking not what party you are, but instead how you can help."   Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour also gave videotaped messages. Governor Jindal said Monday that seven states are helping Louisiana to shelter more than 29,000 citizens at 107 shelters. Texas has offered to shelter several thousand patients, Oklahoma has agreed to accept 4,000 general evacuees, and 150 medical patients from southwest Louisiana hospitals are expected to arrive at the Oklahoma Air National Guard Base at Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City today.   The state Republican chairmen from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas formed a working group "to regularly brief their delegates and convention planners, provide access to timely information and assistance, and give input on appropriate steps that can be taken from Minnesota."   The McCain 2008 campaign also agreed to charter a DC-9 to transport delegates who wished to return to home to their states.AFTER THE JUMP: More video footage of the governors on Hurricane Gustav.   - Pamela M. Prah Comments

    • Stateline Story
    June 2, 2000
    image description

    In February, Stateline.org reported that seven states were considering abandoned baby laws; that number has now climbed to at least 23. Since mid-April alone, Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, and West Virginia have enacted abandoned baby or "safe haven" laws, often in response to tragic stories of infants left in dumpsters, alleyways, shallow graves, public restrooms or parking lots. For an in-depth report on this policy trend, click on more

    • Stateline Story
    December 2, 2013
    Michigan’s Takeover of Detroit Exposes Strains Over Control image description

    DETROIT—The state of Michigan runs Detroit, but the mayor-elect is asking for a role in leading the city out of bankruptcy. more

    • Stateline Story
    November 20, 2013
    Thanks JFK: States Gained From Space Program image description

    John F. Kennedy’s major legacy in the states: space jobs. more

    • Stateline Story
    November 20, 2013
    Thanks JFK: States Gained from Space Program image description

    John F. Kennedy’s major legacy in the states: space jobs. As the Minotaur 1 rocket launched from Virginia and Maryland’s spaceport Tuesday night, it provided a subtle reminder of his legacy. more