Republicans predictably are openly ridiculing the new scheme
to force Sen. Ophelia Ford out of office temporarily so Democrats aren't outvoted on every issue before the state Senate this session.
The wacky Ford, who famously fell off a bar stool in a hotel lounge during the last session, is said to be in the hospital but she won't tell anyone—including her Democratic colleagues--what's wrong with her or when she might return to the legislature. With Ford, the Senate is split 16-16 between Democrats and Republicans with one independent. Without her, Republicans can run the show.
Asked about the legislation to allow Ford's replacement, Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey recalled today how these same Democrats fought to keep her in office despite election fraud that originally gave her the Memphis seat.
“It's amazing that our system here has worked since 1796 and suddenly we need to change it,” Ramsey told reporters. “It's amazing to me that they fought tooth and nail to keep Senator Ford in the legislature when we knew dead people voted, convicted felons voted and people who didn't live in the district voted in that election, and now they're trying to figure out some way to get her out. That's just amazing to me.
“If a big issue comes up, say the income tax, and a senator didn't want to vote on it, he could say, 'Oh I'm sick. I can't be here, but I tell you who can be here.' And the senator would appoint somebody and say, 'Here, this person would be glad to vote for it.' Man, that's a dangerous precedent to start. So at first blush, it's got some major problems.”
“Why do you think they're bringing it now?” one reporter asked.
“Gosh, I wonder why,” Ramsey replied.