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Our hard-working Tennessee legislature is getting excited about taking a little time off from the people's business to go play with guns next week. Yes, it's the legislature's annual play date with firearms courtesy of Hero-Gear and Barrett Firearms. Last year's event was perhaps the most successful yet. No fewer than 75 lawmakers interrupted their all-important work at the Capitol and made a mad dash for the firing range where they shot various kinds of weaponry and acted like tough guys.
Last week, Jeffrey T. Malotte, Esq., the House Judiciary Committee research analyst, sent an email to members posing this question: Since just about everyone's going on this field trip, why bother to schedule a committee meeting to vote on stuff? Here's his email:
I respectfully suggest that the Members talk among themselves to determine whether they will be able to make the full JUD Committee meeting -- and specifically, whether we will be able to get a quorum. Besides the quorum issue, there is also the issue of the possibility of bill-presenters not showing up because, they too, are at the machine gun
Thank you for your attention to this scheduling matter.
Well, today Judiciary Committee chairman Kent Coleman sent his own email to his members. Turns out, he's no fun at all. Here's his buzz-killing message:
Dear House Members:
Many of you might have received the attached e-mail. I can assure you that I did not authorize Jeffrey T. Malotte to send this e-mail individually or as a spokesman for the Judiciary Committee. The\ e-mail references a "machine gun shoot" and suggests that the members talk among themselves to determine whether they will be able to make the Full Judiciary Committee meeting. The full Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet 3:30 P.M. each Tuesday.
The Committee intends to conduct its business on behalf of the State taxpayers and I'm not certain why Mr. Malotte decided to send this e-mail to Committee members, but I encourage you to attend the March 2nd full Judiciary Committee meeting. If you have bills to be heard before our committee it is certainly our intent to allow your bill to be presented at its scheduled time subject to the House's normal rules and procedures.
Kent Coleman, Chairman
House Judiciary Committee