Today’s editorial is by one of the most liberal reporters I’ve encountered. Mike Hollis is a close tie with Bob Lowery, the Huntsville Times reporter who thought an article about legislators sleeping in their office was more newsworthy than the 5 Pro-Life bills that passed the Senate on the same day he was compiling notes for his hard hitting investigative story.
In today’s editorial, Hollis provides another fine example of reporters who only share parts of the story. You can read his editorial here. I can only assume they don't have room to print everything so – in my best Paul Harvey voice; following is the rest of the story:
Mr. Hollis’ latest editorial completely misses the point concerning legislative pay. For starters, he indicates that legislators only work for 30 days during a 105 day legislative calendar. To the casual Alabamian this may seem accurate but to a seasoned reporter – Mr. Hollis simply knows better. The job of a legislator is anything but part time and carries over into our respective districts well after the session. Frankly, he should be ashamed of his “man eating fish” style of reporting.
Furthermore, had Mr. Hollis done just a little bit of investigative reporting he could have reported on the roll call vote for Senate Bill 445; sponsored by Senator Phil Williams. This bill called for the creation of a pay commission similar to the ingenious idea Hollis proposes at the end of his editorial. Note that he failed to give credit to SB445 in his editorial…or perhaps just another indication of his sloppy reporting. SB445 creates a commission to independently determine what fair compensation for legislators should be. In the late days of the 2011 session, we were able to catch the Democrats in a roll-call vote to carry this bill over, showing their true intent. Republicans won the vote, keeping the bill alive but, after the Democrats threatened a filibuster, wasting precious time we did not have, SB445 was eventually carried over by voice vote. Again, to the casual Alabamian, relying soling on Mr. Hollis’ reporting, it appears no attempts were made to address the legislative pay raise voted in by the democrats in 2007…thankfully there are those willing to do the heavy lifting and address this concern.
Below is a copy of the recorded vote, a matter of public record readily available to the public and seasoned reporters such as Mr. Hollis. A "Yes" vote was to carry the bill over, effectively killing it. A "No" vote kept the bill up for debate and, ultimatley a vote. Note all of the Democrats voted "Yes" to carry the bill over...killing it for the 2011 session.
Rest assured; we will see a bill creating a legislative pay commission again in the 2012 session. I fully support this measure as we must establish a fair, transparent way to compensate legislators for the work they do, year round. If we do not provide for fair compensation, we will end up with one of two things. A legislature comprised of independently wealthy Alabamians - who are potentially out of touch with those they represent, or a legislature full of Alabamians who prostitute their vote to special interest groups.
I'll keep watching for more "half stories" by reporters so stay tuned for more "Rest of the Story" updates.
Semper Fi - Bill