UNOFFICIAL THINGS I'VE LEARNED IN THE LEGISLATURE
2) The more distant from your home district the more knowledgeable people think you are.
3) Being a parent of battling teenagers is great preparation for being in the legislature.
4) There's a distinct legislative "culture," similar to the culture aboard a life boat of 60 egotists, isolated in the middle of the ocean. Legislators must tolerate each other to survive in order to reach a destination – any destination.
5) What the governor, political party establishment, fellow legislators thinks about a legislator can make things "interesting," but the reality is that legislators are elected by the voters in their own district.
6) A legislator's popularity can be dependent on the legislator's last vote.
7) Every bill is controversial to someone.
8) The more innocous a bill appears to be, the more dangerous it may be.
9) The real purpose of a bill isn't always obvious.
10) How a legislator votes is more important than why they voted like they did.
11) Even good bills can have unintended consequences.
12) A legislator is responsible both politically and morally for a vote cast. The outcome of the vote is another matter.
13) There may be no relationship between how friendly a colleague is and how much they like you.
14) Oft times on a 38 to 2 vote in the House, the two dissenting votes come from the most liberal legislator and the most conservative legislator, but for different reasons.
15) Some of the people I disagree with most on political issues are some of the people I like best.
16) Political enemies will stab you in the front; political friends will stab you in the back.
17) The principal differences between the House and the Senate are length of term and size of the egos.
18) Lobbyists do actually occupy the lobby.
19) Most lobbyists are very, very nice to legislators. Well, duh!!!
20) Ninety percent of the people who visit a legislator's office want money for something, and the "something" is usually a very good thing.
21) The quality of a legislator's office staff can be more important than the quality of the legislator (my office staff made me say this).
22) What happens in committees is usually more important than what happens on the House floor.
23) It’s important to learn how to yawn with your mouth closed at boring committee meetings.
24) Legislators watch Gavel-To-Gavel on their office televisions to make sure their colleagues show up first in the House chambers. Since everyone is watching for their colleagues, no one shows up.
25) There's a direct correlation between the length of a legislator's comments in committee and the number of TV cameras and reporters in the committee room. Ditto: House floor.
26) The only things more dangerous than bills are amendments.
27) If you don’t have the votes keep talking. If you have the votes shut up and call for the vote.
27) A few legislators appear to wait to vote on the House floor on a contentious issue until the outcome is obvious, and then vote on the winning side.
28) It's an exercise in futility to try to figure out why certain legislators vote the way they do.
29) Old age, skill and cunning can trump youth, ambition and a full head of hair.
30) Good legislation has a longer life span than good legislators.
31) A legislator who never has second thoughts on their vote is probably a legislator who doesn't exist – or shouldn’t.
32) The flattering newspaper article of today will be in the bottom of birdcages and litter boxes tomorrow.