Legislators are as legislators do
Lucy Morgan's column:
Something strange comes over state legislators when they gather inside the Capitol. It's like everyone's IQ drops below room temperature — and in a building that is always colder than necessary lest someone break into a sweat — this is a dramatic drop.
It gets worse when a grand jury takes aim at them. This month, a Leon County Grand Jury indicted former House Speaker Ray Sansom for official misconduct — accusing him of falsifying a budget record so he could slip $6 million into the state budget to build an airplane hangar for a friend and contributor.
Sansom says he'll be vindicated. And yes, he is innocent until proven guilty. But the grand jury went a lot further and essentially indicted the entire Legislature for the way lawmakers cloak the budget process in secret and slip last-minute appropriations into the spending plan long after all the public meetings are over.
"That's the way it works,'' explained Sen. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, as he defended Sansom's budgetary prowess. (more here)