Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and House Clerk Suzette Denslow
Photo Credit: Ned Oliver, Virginia Mercury

By Dick Hall-Sizemore

I have waited all day for the howls of protest on this blog concerning the high-handed action of a House committee chairman who would not allow a bill even to be considered and voted on in committee. She just sat on it. Shades of Ed Willey! And we thought these Democrats were going to be transparent, but there has been no complaint from those who are usually so quick to condemn the legislature and its “plantation elite” ways.

Oh, wait. That was Lee Carter’s bill (HB 1755) that would have repealed the right-to-work law. I guess the conservatives on this blog are OK with such dictatorial behavior when it comes to bills they hate. And we thought those Democrats were going to be so liberal and wreck one of the state’s business-friendly pillars. Heck, they don’t even want to talk about it.

If a Delegate or Senator introduces a bill, he or she deserves the courtesy of at least a subcommittee presentation and vote. Chairmen should not be allowed to protect members from having to “go on the board.”

Here is the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s account of the Democratic leadership squelching Delegate Carter. You have to give him credit—he went down fighting and did not hesitate to take on his party’s leaders

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39 responses to “Where Is the Outrage?”

  1. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Now Lee Carter knows what it feels like to be a Republican in Virginia.

  2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    I’ll see your puppy and raise you a Frenchman…

    1. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead V

      Claude Rains was such a good actor.

      1. Steve Haner Avatar
        Steve Haner

        Movie is even better when you know the history and how many of the cast truly were expats and refugees from the Nazis. Damn I love that movie.

      2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        Even his bad movies were great!

        Like Denzel Washington — always great — but the damned Hollywood elitists always cast him as a black guy. Maybe Northam has some zinc oxide he can send them?

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    Good catch! I’m SURE there is MORE to this story though and would like to hear it!

    Carter is a work-a-day worker! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_J._Carter

    He defeated Jackson Miller, the Republican House Majority Whip,

    Could it be the Dems don’t want to bring up that legislation for fear it will gin up a lot of controversy that might spill over and affect other legislation they want to go forward with and perhaps give the GOP a campaign issue?

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      Dick! There is a roll call! Her maneuver failed and Lee forced a vote on the floor, and the vote to “pass by” will do nicely in the next campaign. Three of the statewide wannabes voted with Carter to repeal Right to Work. GREAT outcome for politics. A solid gold roll call but the bill failed.

      Bills have been buried in committee the entire 30 plus years I’ve watched this game, by both parties. “When will you hear my bill?” the Freshman R would say. “We’ll get back to you,” replied the wiley Hardaway Marks in House Courts. “I’ve got it right here in my pocket.” That was 1985….

      1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
        Dick Hall-Sizemore

        Nope. The vote was on whether to discharge the committee. Each side will try to make out that it was a substantive vote, thereby confusing the issue more.

        I fully realize that chairmen have been putting bills in their pocket forever. Ed Willey used to refer bills he did not like to a subcommittee that did not exist. It was not right then, either. These Democrats have made out like they are different, but Filler-Corn has been playing hardball from the beginning. Howell was more even-handed. For example, he could have let Warner’s tax increase bill die in committee, but he insisted that it be allowed a vote on the floor.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Some may consider Filler-Corn a bit on the young side for such hardball strategy. Does she have a protégé and/or advisors of great experience to help?

          1. Do you mean a mentor?

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            I did… my bad. She was a protégé of a more experienced mentor.

            I would have expected her to mask some newbie mistakes (and maybe she has) but judging from the howls , she also got some “hits”.

          3. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
            Dick Hall-Sizemore

            It does not seem that she has a mentor. David Toscano was the majority leader for several years before her. When he, rather unexpectedly, announced that he was not going to run again and stepped down from the leadership position, Filler-Corn emerged from the scramble to replace him. There were some inside observers of the legislative process that felt she got it by default because, at the time, Democrats were highly outnumbered and few wanted the job. After the Democrats surprised everyone, even themselves, by almost taking the majority after the 2019 election, there were bets that someone else would be elected minority party leader and Speaker-in- waiting. She surprised many by emerging victorious from the legislative scrum. I obviously have no knowledge of the internal dynamics of House Democrats, but I can’t see where is a mentor.

            If you observe the action of the full House, it is obvious that Marcus Simon, another relatively new member from Northern Virginia, is her guide on legislative rules.

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            Wonder if Steve’s perspective is similar?

            did I use correct grammar?

          5. Steve Haner Avatar
            Steve Haner

            Initially the word was she consulted The Vicar of Vinton, former Del. Richard Cranwell. Not sure if that is still the case. Clerk Suzette Denslow has more GA time than most, certainly a couple of years on me (yet she is still so young, how’d that happen?).

            Sorry, Dick, that was a vote to bring repeal of right to work to the floor and will be presented as such in October. How many campaign brochures/ads/radio spots/speeches/debate soundbites have you written? 🙂

        2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          I have not written any campaign brochures/ads/radio spots/speeches/debate soundbites, but I am aware of how they are designed to communicate simple concepts, devoid of nuance and complexity. And so are members of the General Assembly, which is why Lee Carter’s fellow Democrats are probably furious with him. (Oh, to be a fly on the wall of the caucus room! But, the House does not use caucus rooms now. Is there a Zoom equivalent to the caucus room?)

          1. Zaucus?

            I’ve always wanted to invent a new word…

          2. Steve Haner Avatar
            Steve Haner

            You make that sound like a bad thing!

        3. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          Assuming that this was a vote to bring repeal of right to work to the floor, I don’t see any conservatives on this blog acknowledging the refusal of Democrats to do so. Despite the dire predictions voiced during the campaigns, right-to-work still is intact. Just an observation.

    2. Lee Carter is a socialist. He is running for governor. I suspect this is a simple as him polishing up his socialist credentials for his supporters and would-be supporters.

      He had to know it would not pass.

  4. It’s best not to involve oneself in family disputes unless one is a member of the family.

    Is what she did outrageous and egregious? I think it was? Does it surprise me? No it does not. Am I going to lose sleep over it? No I am not.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Did she do something that has never ever ever been done before by either party?

      1. Why did you ask me that question?

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Rhetorical ? or more improper speech? 😉

          1. No, it’s just that nothing I wrote should have led to that question, so I was wondering why you asked it of me.

            You are free to ask anything you want, but I think I’m going to start answering your questions with questions of my own whenever you make inferences based on things not implied in my comments.

            So, I may be asking: “Why did you ask me that question?” quite a lot. Infer what you will from that.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            or you can just ignore.. as not relevant? always a popular choice!

            didn’t you comment on protege? was that directed to you?

          3. Why would you post a comment which you, yourself, consider irrelevant?

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            to annoy you?

          5. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
            Dick Hall-Sizemore

            WayneS, I am impressed that you recognize the difference between “imply” and “infer”. That difference is often overlooked.

          6. That is a testament to the talents of my 12th grade (public school) English teacher, who I have mentioned in a comment here before.

            Mrs. Payne: “Remember class, the speaker implies, the listener infers”.

            She instilled a love for the English language in me which I maintain to this day.

          7. “to annoy you?”

            I see. We have similar goals, then.


          8. LarrytheG Avatar

            I was slow in figuring you out… but now… 😉

            re: you “education”.

            Mine was the result of Dad being in the Marine Corp and moving every 2 years or so … no excuses but it left it’s mark.

            I would get “A” for content and “F” for grammar/spelling. Surpised? 😉

          9. LarrytheG Avatar

            seems like if you are unclear of the point because of the bad grammar etc, one could ask for clarification … or one could point out the grammar … which sorta reflects on motive? No?

  5. djrippert Avatar

    I am outraged. Where to start? Let’s see … Dick and Steve have over 60 combined years of experience with the General Assembly and they struggle to agree whether there even was a vote. That certainly says a lot about the level of transparency the Clown Show provides to the average citizen. Despicable.

    Then we have the question at hand – Virginia’s Right to Work laws. A major issue that has been broadly debated and is of consequence to almost every Virginian, one way or another. Lee Carter may be a socialist but he’s looking for a vote on a significant matter. In fact, 28 states in the USA are right to work and 22 are not. This is not an obscure or bizarre question. Yet the nasty gnome who runs the House of Delegates doesn’t think the people’s representatives should vote on the matter. For some unstated reason. Despicable.

    “Ed Willey used to refer bills he did not like to a subcommittee that did not exist.”

    Only people from Richmond find crap like that cute, funny or entertaining. The rest of the state sees just another anti-democratic jackass who should have been bounced by term limits or at least stripped of power by his empty suited compatriots in the Imperial Clown Show in Richmond.

    Gavin Newsom is learning a bit about democracy right now. But, from a political perspective, California isn’t a mindless backwater still operating on a Byrd Machine mentality. Love their politics or hate their politics, Californians at least have the guts to demand accountability from their politicians. Something sorely missing in Virginia.

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      Oh, Steve and I agree there was a vote; we just disagree on the meaning of the vote. It is not the first, nor in all likelihood, will it be the last, time that we disagree on the meaning of things taking place in the legislature, but in a friendly fashion.

      I did find that tactic of Ed Willey’s cute, funny, or entertaining. At the time, I was astonished and outraged.

      I would not thought of “gnome” as a term to describe the Speaker.

      1. Steve Haner Avatar
        Steve Haner

        I doubt if any legislature anywhere has a rule that all bills must be given a full hearing and vote.

        1. djrippert Avatar

          Maybe not but the matter of “right to work” status in Virginia is a critical issue. It has been debated endlessly. While I’m happy that it is not moving forward I am more unhappy that a full vote wasn’t taken. I would liked to have seen Kathleen Murphy’s on the record vote prior to this November’s election. My guess is that this will be taken up seriously next year in the hope that most will have forgotten the vote before the 2023 elections.

          Democracy is not about getting what you want. It’s about a fair and transparent process where our elected officials decide on pressing issues in the interests of the citizens.

          The more game playing that goes on, the less democratic the process really is.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            Oh they do have votes sometimes – like the one on opening schools – in July – some version of virtue signaling?

            is that what a “full vote” on right-to-work might be?

      2. djrippert Avatar

        So, if you and Steve can’t agree on the meaning of the vote how well do you think a typical bookkeeper from Bristol understands what went on?

        You, Steve and the mythical bookkeeper will all be voting this November. Wouldn’t it be better to have clarity on the positions Virginia politicians are taking on key issues?

        Democracy dies in darkness, isn’t that the catchphrase of the Washington Post? How much illumination did that vote provide?

        “Gnome” was not my fist choice of a descriptor for Filler-Corn. However, my other choices were too radical – even for me. Plus, I liked the alliteration of gnome and nasty.

        1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          I agree with you on the need for clarity on legislators’ positions. That was one of the points I made with my original post.

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