Day 1: Stam invokes Defense of Marriage, and other notes from the Ledge | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 1: Stam invokes Defense of Marriage, and other notes from the Ledge

Posted by on Wed, Jan 28, 2009 at 5:48 PM

Well, that was fast. Within one hour of the 2009-10 N.C. General Assembly's opening session--and shortly after being defeated, along party lines, by Joe Hackney, D-Chatham, for the position of House Speaker--Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake, invoked the Defense of Marriage Act. He did so while arguing, fruitlessly, against temporarily approving the legislature's house rules, a formality of the inaugural session.

Apparently, Stam's disapproval has also been an opening-day formality, at least for the past two decades.

"It's been since 1989 that I've voted to approve the temporary rules," he said.

At issue was the technical definition of "committee chair" that, according to the rules, also includes co-chairs. In the case of the all-powerful appropriations committee, Stam noted, that means a total of eight positions doled out by Speaker Hackney and his Democratic majority--in addition to the party-apportioned committee membership.

"In 2009, we are going to have a tough budget year. Major decisions will be decided by the co-chairs solely," Stam claimed. "If I were in the majority party, I'd want to share some of that pain."

Stam turned to the Defense of Marriage Act, which would constitutionally prohibit same-sex couples from marrying, as an example of why he's upset the majority party is hogging all that pain.

"We're the only state in the Southeast without a marriage amendment," he said, owing to the bill not being heard "because of these rules."

Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, who nominated Stam for the speaker position with an odd speech that invoked "The Dark Night" ("It's always darkest before the dawn") and something about how "the beautiful red cardinal returns after the pall of winter is lifted," also backed up Stam on his motion to deny the rules.

That prompted Bill Owens, D-Camden--who made the original motion to accept the rules-- to reply: "If you've got the votes, Rep. Lewis, you can change (the rules)."

Other notes:

-In addition to Hackney, Rep. William Wainwright, D-Havelock, was sworn in for another term as speaker pro tempore. He defeated Dale Folwell, R-Winston-Salem, also along party lines.

-The House gallery was packed, with people craning their necks to snap photos of their favorite state reps, and sergeants-at-arms keeping spill-over around the glass panes to a minimum. We missed the pig-pickin's beforehand, but did catch a glimpse of some interesting items on legislators' desks, many of them food-related:

Texas Pete hot sauce; Double-barreled jars of jawbreakers (hot pink, and flourescent green) on the desk of Alice Graham Underill; a miniature purple hat on the desk of Alma Adams, who was wearing a sparkly black hat of her own; the occassional Diet Coke; and scant family photos (one legislator had two--the only ones we spotted).

-The floor, and gallery, were tickled by the alliteration of Republicans whose surnames began with "S," voting for Stam: Starnes-Stam, Steen-Stam, Stevens-Stam, and, of course, Stam-Stam. For a few moments, the House chamber became a Dr. Seuss book--which no doubt pleased the kids whose parents made them attend (Rep. Grier Martin, D-Wake, among them):

-Starnes?

-Stam.

-Starnes-Stam. Steen?

-Stam.

Steen-Stam. Stevens?

And so on.

Unfortunately for Stam, his sibilant streak was broken by Rep. Randy Stewart, D-Nash. Stewart-Hackney. Ouch.

Were you at the opening day session? Did you, unlike us, get free food? Spot anything else interesting on legislators' desks? Let us know in the comments section below.

Tags: , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

We had a vote at out steel mill a while back as wether or not to unionize we voted no …

by Mike Maybe on North Carolina no longer least unionized state in the nation (News)

I'm pretty sure blue laws are unconstitutional; maybe we should fight them in court. Oh, wait... the AG won't have …

by December27 on Primer: What The Senate Health Care Bill Looks Like and Other Things You Need to Know Today (News)

Most Recent Comments

We had a vote at out steel mill a while back as wether or not to unionize we voted no …

by Mike Maybe on North Carolina no longer least unionized state in the nation (News)

I'm pretty sure blue laws are unconstitutional; maybe we should fight them in court. Oh, wait... the AG won't have …

by December27 on Primer: What The Senate Health Care Bill Looks Like and Other Things You Need to Know Today (News)

Every other mention I've seen of the GA6 winner has spelled her last name "Handel."

by December27 on Primer: North Carolina Might Be the Future of U.S. Politics and Other Things You Need to Know Today (News)

Why isn't the Indy asking WCPSS why they believe they have the right to retain the $20,000,000 ? It's taxpayer …

by Trixsie M on Wake School Board Grapples with Getting Half of the Money It Asked For (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation