Ralph Arza on trial, as it were
Just when you thought things couldn't get worse for Republicans, a select House committee investigating the conduct of Rep. Ralph Arza, a Hialeah Republican, will begin hearings in Tallahassee Wednesday.
The committee was formed by House Speaker Allan Bense, R-Panama City, after Arza used the N-word in an alcohol-fueled phone tirade that was left on a colleague's voice-mail. A number of key members of the House have called on Arza to resign, and most of the 35-member House Democratic Caucus has voted to refuse to take part in November's organizational session unless Arza quits or is expelled.
Arza is a lock to win re-election next week: He faces only write-in opposition.
The select panel is chaired by Rep. Dudley Goodlette, R-Naples, and includes a Tampa Bay member: Rep. Trey Traviesa, R-Brandon. Others on the select committee include Republicans David Simmons of Longwood and Jennifer Carroll of Green Cove Springs and Democrats Loranne Ausley of Tallahassee and Terry Fields of Jacksonville.