The mustachioed Scott Baio of the Senate, Don "Chachi" Williams wants an override of the Governor's veto of his $3.2 billion bonding package. The House Democrats have all their members lined up and ready to go. Unfortunately Williams needs all 24 of his Democrats to override and Senator Joanie Hartley is still holding out.
According to today's Waterbury Republican-American:" 'They told me I had to support this, and if I didn't then the benefits of the caucus wouldn't be available to me, and I would lose my committee chair, my office and my parking space,' said Hartley, D-15th District. "
Hartley wants $1.4 billion removed from the burgeoning package that is being committed over ten years to the CSU system, and put in a separate bill.
This is exceptionally bad form for Don Williams. A legislative leader threatening a member over a policy disagreement in such a way is unheard of. Such ugly tactics are usually punitive in leadership battles.
Such punishment is not merely an insult to a 22-year member of the General Assembly, but is an attack on the constituents she represents in Naugatuck, Prospect an Waterbury. Taking away her staff will make it far more difficult for her to transact the business her district has elected her to transact. She is entitled to all the things her colleagues have at their disposal to do their jobs.
Should Williams strip her of all these trappings, she would be well-advised to switch parties and become a Republican... not a gigantic leap for her philosophically. At least she would have staff, perhaps a ranking membership or two, and most certainly a place to park. Best of all, "Chachi" Williams can kiss any future veto overrides goodbye.
In the meantime, maybe Joanie needs to call the Fonz for some help.