Senate must put punch in the past

On Thursday, my colleague, Sen. Charles Bishop, spoke on the need for closure in regards to the altercation that occurred during the last legislative session.

I echo his sentiments and call on the leaders of the Democratic Party to urge the Senate Ethics Committee for that closure.

However, it has become apparent that the Democratic Party wants to drag this issue into the upcoming Legislative Session, which further hinders the ability for all of us to effectively work for the taxpayers.

The facts remain that Sen. Bishop has apologized to the body, his colleagues and his constituents. Sen. Bishop has been vocal about finding a resolution to the incident and moving forward.

On the contrary, the Ethics Committee and Sen. Barron have been strangely quiet. That five-member committee, controlled by four Democrats, has done nothing to address the situation in the past 6 months or during the two meetings that they have held.

Further, rules on the governance of this process have not even been established, and there has been no indication given on when this might occur.

It seems that if this was such an important issue, as stated when the incident occurred, the time that has passed would have been adequate to reach a resolution satisfactory to all.

This leads one to believe that the Democrats are not bringing closure to the incident for purely political reasons.

It is important that this is put behind us so that we can do what we are supposed to do when the 2008 legislative session begins on Feb. 5, work for the people of Alabama.

It is a shame that political motives and power have jaded the views of some in the Democratic Party.

The taxpayers put us in Montgomery to work for them. The leaders of the Democratic Party need to recognize that we cannot work for the taxpayers with this issue unresolved. I urge them to do so prior to Feb. 5.

State Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Birmingham) serves District 16. He can be reached by e-mail at jabo.waggoner@alasenate.gov.