TALLAHASSEE - There was much hand-wringing, this morning, on the lowest, most infinitesimal; the meekest, squeaking, mincing form of punishment to be meted out for Senator Mike Haridopolos's ethics violation.
And then he was reprieved, at least until Thursday!
Senator Mike had failed to disclose, on a statement of income form, an investment house (cha-ching $400,000!) and other income ( more than $100,000 cha-ching!) for the years 2004 ( woops!) 2005 (woops!) 2006 (woops!) 2007 (woops!) 2008 (woops!)
The letter of admonishment from the ethics commission was read into the record, as was a mea culpa letter from Senator Mike.
"In admonish you that you must meticulously adhere to the rules of the state constitution....I appreciate your willingness to accept you errors of judgment."
But suddenly, and in a move more befitting the actions of a Podunk city councilman, an abrupt motion was made to adjourn by Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) until Thursday before the final vote to actually admonish Haridopolos could be taken.
Nanoseconds later the motion was seconded before anyone could say "who dat?"and without hearing an objection in the subsequent nanosecond, Thrasher, who is rules committee chairman, dropped the mic and headed for the door.
So, the usually terrible and swift hand of justice has been stayed for now. A temporary reprieve.
We can imagine Senator Mike pacing in his cell at this hour, in tears over his bowl of gruel. Perhaps the governor will issue a pardon?
Having a formal admonishment, codified by vote (and everything!) will definitely prove to be a bailiwick for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Orlando) as he faces off against newl- minted republican turned tea candidate Haridopolos. One has to wonder what is up with this?
Perhaps they need a few votes not to admonish Senator Mike? A tortured technicality that only the tea party could summon ( "Yeah, but we wasn't actually admonished, senator! Get your facts straight!!!") Curiously, Sen Thad Altman (R-Viera) was absent from the days' proceedings.
They have him surrounded in a little room "this is how it's gonna be! You're gonna do what we say and what we say is, you're not going to vote to admonish your fellow republican!"
For the record:
Senator John Latvala (R-Clearwater) essentially apologized to Haridopolos, ala U.S. Sen. Joe Barton apologizing to BP. Though love means never having to actually say "I'm sorry."
Did Senator Joe Siplin (D-Orlando) strangely suggested that if he brushed the leg of another senator unintentionally, should he be admonished too?
Yes. He did. He thought admonishment was unconstitutional for all inadvertent ethics violations.
Unbelievable. And so it went.