I am shocked and furious that Senator Dan Moody’s voted against H.B. 1027, which is a bill to require offenders to take certified anti-DUI courses, because the presenter of the bill wore blue jeans. No, I am NOT making this up (see the AJC article below)!
I am happy that Senator Moody is not my elected official; however, I will send him a letter none the less. I think every person, if he/she searches her mind can think of someone who was hurt or killed in an DUI incident, and Senator Moody’s vote against H.B. 1027 is a disgrace to those hurt or killed and their families.
The great Senate blue jean debate
Thursday, March 20, 2008, 04:54 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tradition is taken seriously in the state Capitol. Lawmakers do not address themselves by name, the better to avoid fistfights. Governors may enter legislative chambers only by invitation, the better to avoid coups.
The place is also one of Atlanta’s last bastions of formal business attire, for both women and men.
Thursday saw a rare, public confrontation among lawmakers over this last point. Sen. John Bulloch, a farmer from Georgia’s southwest corner, had just taken the well to present H.B. 1027, a bill to require offenders to take certified anti-DUI courses, rather than dubious ones offered on the Internet and elsewhere.
Bulloch was dressed in a jacket, a tie, white shirt — and blue jeans with creases so sharp they could pare an apple.
State Sen. John Bulloch (R-Ochlocknee) in blue jeans on Thursday. Elissa Eubanks/AJC
Sen. Dan Moody, a Roswell engineer, got to his feet. Moody is quiet but intense. He read to Bulloch the Senate rule that requires members to act with dignity and decorum.
Listen to the entire three-minute exchange by clicking here.
But here’s a condensed version:
Moody: Senator, do we have casual day in the Senate?
Bulloch: No, sir. I think the decorum rule that you just read says that we shall be appropriately dressed.
Moody: Do you consider yourself appropriately dressed today with a pair of blue jeans on?
Bulloch: I sure do. There a hundred percent cotton, they’re clean, they’re pressed, they have a seam in ‘em, and I think they’re just as appropriate as anything else I may wear….
Moody: Senator, would you consider tabling this bill and bringing it back another day when you’re appropriately dressed?
Bulloch: No, sir, I feel that would be a waste of the great people’s time — of the state of Georgia — and especially my fellow senators in this chamber.
Moody: Senator, would you mind if I vote against this bill because of your inappropriate dress today?
H.B. 1027 passed by a vote of 36 to 12. Moody indeed voted against it. Lawmakers often go one
another in tongue-in-cheek fashion from the floor, but — afterwards — the Roswell senator said this wasn’t one of those instances.
“I was very serious. We don’t let pages wear blue jeans,” Moody said. “I’m very protective of this chamber’s reputation.”
Bulloch noted that, in his part of Georgia, farmers grow cotton, not Dacron. And he’ll wear his pants whenever and wherever he sees fit.
Aside from the private — and in this case, public — condemnation by peers, enforcement of tradition at the Capitol is a chancy thing.
The late state Sen. Culver Kidd of Milledgeville was a famous, flamboyant inebriate. Zell Miller once said he could tell the time of day by the degree to which Kidd drifted from the perpendicular.
In 1992, Kidd went to the well to speak for a measure praising Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He wore a suit made from 160 cloth bags in which bottles of Crown Royal whisky were sold.
He’d had a tailor stitch the suit together. Presumably, Kidd emptied the bottles himself.
“Go get that S.O.B. off the floor,” Lt. Gov. Pierre Howard ordered Wayne Garner, then a senator but now mayor of Carrollton.
“I already looked,” Garner replied. “The rules say jacket and tie. They do not describe make or model.”
Kidd gave his speech in his Crown Royal suit. He later said he was going for irony.
Senator Moody’s Contact Information
3977 Merriweather Woods
Alpharetta, GA 30022