There’s some serious grumbling coming from the House Republican caucus on Jones Street. Their chamber is currently involved in negotiations to reconcile the budgetary differences it has with the General Assembly’s upper chamber. What’s the problem, you ask. Hear it for yourself from one of the growing number of frustrated House Republicans:
”Leadership tells us not to talk to the senators. When some of us do talk to some senators, we find out that our negotiators, our alleged representatives and teammates and colleagues in the House, are pushing for things we already wholeheartedly denounced and opposed in caucus meetings. It’s not the House negotiating with the Senate. It’s a small number of House members in leadership roles representing the wishes of the lobbyists who fill their campaign accounts.”
Members tell me discoveries like this are increasing the level of mistrust between House leaders and the House GOP rank-and-file. Information shared with the caucus by leaders ends up being scoured and investigated much more than it used to be. The level of trust that once was there, I’m told, is long gone.
One of the more egregious misdeeds going down in the budget talks, I’m told, involves Reps. Jason Saine and Bill Brawley, co-chairs of the House Finance Committee. I am told that this pair has been quietly working to reinstate a number of items that the caucus — in closed door meetings — specifically voted to have removed or amended in the proposed budget.
Another House Republican summed it up nicely:
”If we can’t trust our own leaders to be truthful with us, respect our wishes, and play straight with us, how in the hell can we expect the voters to trust us to govern the state responsibly and respect their wishes?”
Um, one question: WHO voted to put these people — Lewis, Dollar, Saine, Moore, et. al — into House leadership?