Charlie Pride may have been the most recent visitor to the state capital but the legislative leadership is singing Charlie Rich’s “Behind Closed Doors.” On Monday, we were given a sneak peak at the proposed lottery through a memo released to the state representatives and posted into the blogosphere about 5 minutes later. Rep. Harrelson posts on his blog this morning, “A handful of House members and a handful of Senate members will meet beginning at 5:00 p.m. today with hopes that we'll emerge Friday with a 'floor ready' bill on the implementation of the lottery.”
I inquired to Rep. Harrelson and Speaker Wills if I could attend the meeting. No such luck. I was informed this is “a working session” and that there is “no open meetings requirement in the legislature.”
Will they meet in a smoke filed room or will the new tax increase on cigarettes hinder that from occurring? Will they come up with secret encoded messages in the text of the bill meant only to drive LG Bill Halter crazy? Will Harrelson and Wills devise a secret strategy to make their blogs way cooler than mine and Kinkade’s? Will they order out for pizza or work through dinner so they can head out for late night cocktails? I guess we will never know. But it does look to me like by the time we see the actual lottery bill, the real debate will be over.
UPDATE – Speaker Robbie Wills reveals the location of his top secret meeting on the lottery via twitter. Perhaps he has not read about the Virginia legislator who thwarted a Republican coup with his twitter post.
Loose lips sink ships!
UPDATE II – A covert operative deep within the legislative process reveals a photo taken on a special hidden camera at the top secret lotto meeting.
What does this photo reveal? Experts in the photo-cryptography department at the Tolbert Report are working around the clock to figure it out. But I am pretty sure it has something to do with Halter.
UPDATE III – The boys in cryptography have still not been able to solve the hidden Halter message but they have found an article of interest on the table. In the close up to the right, you can clearly see a cigar sitting on the table. Doubtless only minutes after the picture was taken by the brave Tolbert Report spy, this cigar along with countless others were cut, lit, and smoked filling this conference room with the most desired of all known substances.
Yes, you heard it here first - the final details of the state lottery were worked out literally in a smoke-filled backroom deal!
UPDATE IV - The fearless journalist from Fox16 Kelly Dudzik busts up the secret alliance atop Petit Jean Mountain. You can see Robbie Wills and Shane Broadway standing outside boldly guarding the secret entrance to the smoke filled room. I am told (meaning that I made it up) that on the cutting room is Robbie Wills saying to the camera with a snarl “…And we would have got away with to, if it weren’t for you pesky bloggers.”