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Legislative Vampire Voting

May 24, 2013

A moment of vampire law. And it’s anti-vampire and uses vampire to scapegoat a much bigger problem. And it’s a problem directly related to (mindless) zombies – so here we go:

Last February 4, 2013: SENATOR GIPSON SPONSORS VAMPIRE VOTING ACT OF 2013 – S.3412

Then in April, in Legislative Gazette: ‘Vampire Voting Act’ passes committee by TG Branfalt Jr – “Bill is praised by good government groups”

Proposed back in February by freshman Sen. Terry Gipson, D-Rhinebeck, the legislation would prohibit voting on laws by the Legislature between the hours of 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. The bill now has 10 co-sponsors.

“We must fight for transparency in our government and encourage the public’s desire for civic engagement,” Gipson said. “When we vote on legislation that directly affects the lives of New Yorkers while they are asleep, we cut them out of the process.”

See “STATEMENT FROM SENATOR TERRY GIPSON ON HIS VAMPIRE VOTING ACT PASSING COMMITTEE

and

SENATOR TERRY GIPSON’S VAMPIRE VOTING ACT RECEIVES ENDORSEMENT FROM PUBLIC INTEREST GROUPS:

New York’s Common Cause, the League of Women’s Voters (NYS), and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) released a statement in support of Senator Terry Gipson’s Vampire Voting Act.

As a zombie rights activist I must protest — alert the monster media. NY Senator Gipson is addressing a real problem (legislative transparency) but he is doing it by scapegoating vampires. And here I mean “vampire” the same way Sen. Gipson does, as late-night creepers. But he (and his 10 co-sponsors) are persecuting the wrong kind of darkness. The problem is not the literal darkness of night it is the figurative darkness shrouding the creation of law.

Senates sometimes need late night hours. Recall last March, the US Senate voted late at night and finally passed a budget – See RT: “All-night ‘vote-a-rama’: Senate passes its first federal budget in four years“. But sometimes late night voting is very shady — as in New York, late night voting also approved the gun law changes – InforWars: “NY State Senator: Gun Bill Passed In Middle Of Night ‘Turns Law-abiding Citizens Into Criminals’”

There are number of really important reasons to allow late night votes but the real problem is not the time on the clock but the lack of transparency before the vote. These pop-up out of nowhere (which is to say, in the “middle of the night”, figuratively!) — bills without notice and a sleeping public (again figuratively!).

Senator Gipson is wrong to demonize the creatures of the night with his anti-vampire voting proposal but the problem of legislative transparency is very real. But banning night voting would not solve the problem. Votes at 9am with no notice would also be dangerous (particularly for zombies that like to sleep late).

This is not just a problem in New York — Connecticut too, where State Representative “Bolinsky Denounces Bill To Give Illegals CT Drivers’ Licenses“:

In a debate that started after most residents went to bed, the Democratic majority initiated debate on a bill … which was put before the chamber with practically no opportunity for advance review, would, in the dead of night, bestow legal rights to a population that has illegally entered the United States.

But again, let is not demonize the night – not all night owls are monsters. We need legislative transparency not time deadlines.

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