A W A K E N

This Week in Statehouse Action: A Little Less Legislation edition

Meanwhile, in Arizona, two men are blocking the ERA’s path.

  • In the state Senate, the ERA resolution was assigned the Judiciary Committee. Its chair, GOP Sen. Eddie Farnsworth, refuses to schedule the measure for a hearing.
  • In the House, GOP Speaker Rusty Bowers won’t even assign it to a committee.

Charming.

Jailhouse Rock: In a move symptomatic of extreme narcissism and/or just an epic failure to read the political currents in Virginia, ex-jailbird, ex-legislator, ex-lawyer, ex-etc. Joe Morrissey is gearing up for another run for the state legislature.

Morrissey’s epic audacity isn’t just a result of being a white guy challenging a black woman incumbent of his own party.

No, Morrissey’s gall runs far deeper.

[[ahem]]

I present: A brief history of Joe Morrissey.

An attorney by trade, Morrissey began making a notorious name for himself in the 1990s.

His hits to date include: 

  • Going to jail for writing a threatening letter to a judge in 1991.
  • Getting in a fist fight with opposing counsel, also in 1991.
  • Settling a rape case without the consent of the victim in 1993.
  • Having his law license suspended for six months in 1993.
  • Going to jail for 90 days, followed by three years of probation, for violating a federal court rule prohibiting making public statements about witnesses in 1999.
  • Having his law license suspended for three years in 1999.
  • Violating that three-year probation in 2000 by attempting to lie about his community service hours (Habitat for Humanity!) and lying to his probation officer about trying to lie.
  • Losing his Virginia law license entirely in 2003 (he’d already lost his license to practice in federal court in 2001).
  • Teaching trial advocacy and becoming a valued mentor to over 100 Crown prosecutors in Australia between 2003 and 2006, until the Australians realized he’d been deemed unfit to practice law in his home country.
  • Returning to the United States, getting elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2007, getting his Virginia law license back in 2012, and brandishing an AK-47 on the House floor in 2013.
  • Getting indicted for allegedly having sex with a minor, taking an Alford plea, going to jail, resigning his House seat, winning reelection to his House seat, and attending session under a work-release program accommodated by his 90-day jail sentence.
  • Instead of running for reelection to the House, he made the above-aborted run for Dance’s Senate seat.
  • Running for Richmond mayor in a seven-way race that a leading candidate dropped out of for the express purpose of preventing Morrissey from winning by splitting the vote.
  • During the race, and while the former minor with whom he’d had sex and later married was pregnant, a client Morrissey represented alleged he’d sent her sexually suggestive texts and exposed himself to her in his office. (Morrissey copped to the “flirtatious” texts but denied showing her his junk.)
  • Getting his own goddamn radio talk show.
  • Having his law license, which the Virginia Supreme Court had restored while he was in the House of Delegates despite the recommendation of the Virginia State Bar, revoked yet again in 2018.

Unvaccinated Melody: As health officials in Washington, New York, and New Jersey battle measles outbreaks enabled by parents taking advantage of religious vaccination exemption laws, one GOP legislator in Arizona is working to accommodate an epidemic in his very own state.

Don’t Be Cruel: A GOP lawmaker in Ohio took umbrage at a constituent’s criticism over a vote he’d cast on an abortion bill.

Welp, that’s all for this week. It’s been a long week full of extreme weather, so watch out for that cold Kentucky Rain, and That’s All Right if you knock off early and get your weekend started. It’s Now or Never, so book an extra day in the Heartbreak Hotel. Just print this out and show it to your boss, unless she’s the Devil In Disguise, I’m sure she won’t Return To Sender.

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