By now, everyone knows the story of State Assemblyman Jeff Wood, who has been arrested three times within the span of about a year for OWI. This makes five OWI arrests in all for Wood. While a committee has been formed to look at expelling Wood from the Assembly, it is clear Democrats will not take any action to remove Wood until they don’t need his vote anymore.
Other lawmakers, such as Republican Representative Steve Nass, have taken matters into their own hands. Nass authored an Assembly Resolution to have Wood expelled from the Assembly. He was the only one to sign on to his resolution, as it appears other representatives are content to let the process play out. (By the time any action is taken, it will be too close to the Fall elections for it to mean anything, as Wood has said he is not running for his seat again.)
But here’s where it gets good. One would think that if you were the subject of an attempt to be thrown out of the Assembly, a little humility might be your best bet. In Wood’s case, one would be wrong.
Wood actually drafted a wildly entertaining 12-page amendment to Nass’ resolution, in which he basically states his case to stay in the Assembly. Wood goes through virtually every case in the last 50 years in which a legislator had a run-in with the law, and points out that none of them were sanctioned by the Assembly. (He fails to point out, however, that none of them are currently serving, and many of them were out of office shortly thereafter. Also, if you read through the offenses, none posed a threat to human safety in the same way as three OWIs did.)
On the second to last page, he cites a poll done by his local newspaper that says 57 percent of respondents believe no action should be taken against him, then he attacks Steve Nass, and finishes with this:
Resolved by the assembly, That Representative Jeffrey Wood not be held to a different standard than partisan legislators within this institution and based on the facts of this controversy the assembly takes no further action and the special committee on ethics and standards of conduct is hereby disbanded.
It’s pretty clear that Wood is resigned to the fact that he’s not going to get his name back anytime soon. Don’t be surprised if he shows up on the floor of the Assembly wearing no pants, smoking a cigarette, and clutching a bottle of Jim Beam. He’s got no one left to impress, and nothing left to accomplish. Sadly, it’s his constituents who have paid the price.
Side note: My apologies to legislative attorney Stephen R. Miller, who actually had to draft that resolution. Your time is more valuable than that.