Right Decision, Wrong ReasonJul 14, 2008
According to The Richmond Times-Dispatch, only three members of the General Assembly did not take the per diem offered to legislators for the recently completed special session: Delegates Kenny Alexander (D-89, Norfolk), Bob Purkey (R-82, Virginia Beach) and Joe Morrissey (D-74, Henrico). The total cost to taxpayers for the special session was $117,000. As we mentioned a few posts back, that's gotta be enough for some pothole filling somewhere, right? We digress. We admire the three who went without the daily check. But we do not begrudge the 137 members who accepted the money. After all, it was the governor who called them into session without a consensus, just to make political points. These people have jobs to do in real life and real lives to live. When they are here after early March, it's time away from their real jobs and their real paychecks. They try to be citizen legislators and many don't want to be in Richmond when they can help it, just as much as we don't want them in Richmond making new laws to gum up the works.
What we find curious, however, is Delegate Morrissey's reasoning. He said he didn't accept the taxpayers' money because the G.A. didn't get anything done, so he didn't feel he or his colleagues deserved it. Just what does he consider getting the job done? As the T-D reported:
Morrissey didn't take the money because he said the legislature didn't accomplish anything.
He preferred a proposal to increase the gas tax. ...
So let's get this straight: He didn't take the money from the G.A. because he couldn't take more of our money from us; but he would've taken the money from the G.A. if he could've taken more money from us. Sometimes, politicians should learn, no explanations are needed. If ever actions spoke better than words, this was it.