WORTH NOTING: Phantom voter stalks Ala. State House

By: - April 25, 2008 12:00 am

It’s pretty basic, but not everyone in the Alabama State House seems to know you can’t cast votes on behalf of other legislators. State Rep. Duwayne Bridges (R) complained someone used his voting machine when he was out of the country. The Goldilocks voter, later identified as Democratic Rep. Randy Hinshaw, admitted to voting on Bridge’s machine and confessed he had voted on other members’ machines in the past. He told the Huntsville Times , he did it because it what was the right thing to do for his district.

The Democratic minority in the Florida House of Representatives – peeved at Republicans for blocking their bills – called a 12-hour session to read every bill aloud. Bored with the process, members of both parties started pulling pranks. Republican House Speaker Marco Rubio told them to take their seats and simmer down, but when that didn’t work he locked the chamber doors and shut off Internet access. And to avoid bathroom breaks, Democratic leader Rep. Dan Gelber advised members not to drink any water, according to The Orlando Sentinel .

On the eve of Earth Day (April 22), the California Senate faced an environmental dilemma: Should property owners be required to cut down trees so sunlight can reach a neighbor’s solar panels? The answer was “No.” Voting unanimously to amend a 1978 law that protects a person’s right to sunlight, the Senate gave a reprieve to trees planted before a solar device was installed, The Associated Press reports in The Sacramento Bee .

Democratic North Carolina gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue just scored a major coup, her campaign manager says. She won the endorsement of Andy Griffith, the actor who played Sheriff Taylor of the fictional town of Mayberry, N. C., in the “The Andy Griffith Show.” Says state resident Griffith in a Perdue ad: “Oh, you’re going to be a goooood governor,” the News & Observer (Raleigh) reports. Apparently, a similar ad by the “sheriff” worked for Gov. Mike Easley in his 2000 election.

Looking for reasonably priced Hannah Montana tickets? For Minnesotans, the search may get easier thanks to a new bill that would outlaw the use of special software used to grab blocks of online tickets to resell them at exorbitant prices. If Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) signs the so-called Hannah Montana bill – named for the pop TV icon played by Miley Cyrus – Minnesota will become the first state to pass such legislation. But the bill’s sponsor says Tennessee and a handful of other states have similar bills in the hopper, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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Christine Vestal

Christine Vestal covers mental health and drug addiction for Stateline. Previously, she covered health care for McGraw-Hill and the Financial Times.