Thursday, February 12, 2015


House special committee meets Friday to consider challenge to Calvin Say’s qualifications to hold office

by Larry Geller

Actually, the hearing notice title doesn’t give a hint what it is about. It’s titled SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER MISCELLANEOUS COMMUNICATION NO. 1003. Who would know what that means?

The hearing will take place on Friday, 02/13/15 at 2:00 p.m. in House conference room 325 at the State Capitol.

What will happen is that a committee appointed by the Speaker will hear testimony related to a petition delivered to the House. A state judge ruled that the House has jurisdiction to decide if a member is qualified to hold office, and so, for a change, the House will take testimony on whether one of their own has done wrong.  Decision making is to take place at some future date.

Reading down, though, it does say

The purpose of this hearing is for the Special Committee to hear testimony regarding Miscellaneous Communication No. 1003, a Petition challenging the qualifications of Rep. Calvin K.Y. Say to represent the Twentieth District submitted by Lance D. Collins, Esq. on behalf of Petitioners dated January 16, 2015.

MC1003Finding this information is like solving a puzzle. It’s as though the Legislature is running one of those popular geocaching games where you need to pick up clues to find the treasure. If you know that the “bill” number is MC1003, you can use the search function to find the status page, the petition itself, and the hearing notice.

Hidden between the lines is that if the House were not to take action, the matter would almost certainly bounce back to the courts. So there is a hearing. Whether or not committee members will actually engage the question, deliberate and come up with a reasoned decision is not yet known. Just going through the motions, as though they were hearing just any testimony on a regular work day will not cut it—all that’s needed to drop the case back into a courtroom is if a committee member is caught snoring or playing Angry Birds during the hearing. The public also expects that the committee will do its job diligently.

So to watch a part of history unfolding, come on down to the lege on Friday, 02/13/15 at 2:00 p.m. in House conference room 325.


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