Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Ruckus For Reform

More than 150 People's Legislature members picketed in front of the Assembly chamber yesterday morning demanding a vote on ethics reform legislation. Assembly members had to run a gauntlet of picketers as they entered the chamber, with protesters chanting "vote!" and "SB 1" and holding signs with messages such as "Give Clean Government a Chance" or "Stop the Corruption" and calling for "Ethics Reform Now." When the Assembly convened, People's Legislature members shouted "up or down vote" and unfurled a large banner saying "Clean Up Your Act . . . Vote on Senate Bill 1."

One of the onlookers was none other than convicted ex-lawmaker-turned lobbyist Steve Foti. When spotted by rally participants, Foti was greeted with chants of "work release, work release" and "Foti go home!"

A representative of the state technical colleges told one People's Legislature organizer that the pro-reform crowd was so loud that a Senate committee working on a proposed constitutional amendment limiting government taxing and spending adjourned its meeting because members could not hear each other.

The Assembly recessed and members escaped to closed-door caucuses guarded by Capitol police.

To see photos of the People's Legislature protest, go here.

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