The Northern Virginia Daily's Political Depot

A service for our readers outside the Northern Shenandoah Valley... a sampling of The Daily's political coverage, plus unofficial, 'reporter's notebook' stuff. And occasional dry humor...

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Location: Strasburg, Virginia

Monday, March 27, 2006

Reporter's notebook: Inside baseball

I've been told by editors that I'll be subjected to a de-wonkification intervention after the session, but there was lots of good inside baseball going on in the House of Delegates today for those who love the sausage factory.

Long after the Senate adjourned, the House spent hours working on House Bill 5001, the 2004-2006 "caboose bill" that tidys up the ending budget in preparation for the new one. It was an interesting study in legislative practice.

At times, the Virginia House of Delegates looks (or sounds) more like the British House of Commons than the U.S. House of Representatives.

Floor amendment after floor amendment was offered... and someone (it was hard to see from where I was sitting) kept requesting the "yeas and nays" in a Mr. Bill voice. It brought the house down more than once. Speaker Bill Howell, R-Fredericksburg, had to take a minute to get the giggles under control.

But one of the best (from a geeky, legislative perspective) moments of the day came when Del. Leo Wardrup, R-Virginia Beach, finally took a little too much flak during a speech. Wardrup said he was tired of having "the budget held hostage" to the Senate's demands to raise taxes.

Someone off microphone apparently gave Wardrup some guff, but he didn't miss a beat, firing off that some of his colleagues "appear to be developing the Stockholm syndrome."

Never a dull moment.