Poor John Campbell (R-Real Housewives). He tried to do a nice thing for his constituents -- which we deserve, given that he refuses to earmark federal dollars for local projects -- but his gesture turned into a political football. Ok, a political volleyball.
Fox News's Chad Pergram has written up the sad saga of Campbell's attempt to get federal recognition for UC Irvine's mens' volleyball team, which won the national championship.
Campbell introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to congratulate the team for its big win. That shoudn't be controversial, given that Congress gives props to random upstanding thingies all the time, from fraternities to moon landing anniversaries.
So, he tried to get it passed as a "suspension bill" -- a.k.a. a non-controversial, fast-tracked piece of usually meaningless legislation.
Problem was, he had shut down some other congressman's suspension bill a few weeks earlier. And that congressman, Rep. George Miller (D-CA), wanted revenge.
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Miller's proposed bill would have supported water recycling in his district near the Bay Area. It failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed for a suspension bill supposedly, Miller said, because Campbell organize a block. Campbell's reasoning: Why should the Bay Area get water assistance but not other parts of California?
In retaliation, Miller kept Campbell's UCI recognition bill from leaving the House education committee that Miller chairs. Miller's spokesperson, when asked why he did it, said "that's just the way it goes."
Now, the two bills are mired in congressional sniping. In the meantime, UCI volleyball coach John Speraw seems really pissed. ""You would like the people who represent us to do the right thing," Speraw told Fox. "The right thing is to honor this team."
Hey, at least our guy tried. Now let's see him try and get some money for roads around here...