The veterans and freshmen were quite cordial early yesterday, apparently avoiding discussion over power-sharing in the evenly-divided Senate. After several recesses in both chambers, business at the Capitol came to a halt late in the afternoon while interested parties on both sides of the political aisle sparred over the issue.
The very first vote in the Senate resulted in a tie. It was a Democratic motion to replace a resolution which determined how power should be shared. That motion failed and a lengthy debate followed. In one volley, Democratic Senator John Edwards reminded Republican Senator Tommy Norment of a memorandum sent by Lt. Governor Bolling about his limitations:
“Which he acknowledges he is not a member of the Senate and indeed cannot be both Lt. Governor and a member of the Senate at the same time and was not elected to the Senate of Virginia. Is the Senator aware of that memorandum of the Lt. Governor?”
“I would say to you, I am aware of what the Constitution says and I just respectfully have a different understanding than the interpretation that you are trying to bootstrap through your VERY decisive and incisive questioning.”
Senator Donald McEachin, who filed a power-sharing lawsuit, then asked for yet another recess to discuss a resolution with his caucus.
-by Tommie McNeil