Live from Virginia Wednesday morning on The John Fredericks Show – weekdays on WNTW AM 820/ FM 92.7 – Richmond, WJFN FM 100.5 – Central Virginia, WMPH AM 1010 / FM 100.1 / FM 96.9 (7-9 PM) Hampton Roads, WBRG AM 1050 / FM 105.1 – Lynchburg/Roanoke and Weekdays 6-10 am and 24/7 Stream – host Fredericks welcomed Nick Freitas, Chris Saxman, and Mark Cole to the show.
During the segment, Freitas described the special session events that took place earlier citing the Democrats’ complete disdain for parliamentary law and cited several abuses of power among the representatives in the House.
Fredericks: We are here live at a Trump/Pence victory rally here in Fredricksburg. Many of the local Trump officials are here. Also, we’re looking forward to Rob Whitman will be here. Nick Freitas right now running for Congress Seventh District Republican. He’s with us right now and also Tommy Hicks the co-chair of the RNC will be here at 7 p.m. We have another 30 minutes and then we are going to go live as I’m the MC of the event tonight.
Nick Freitas, you are running for Congress in the seven. So you always talk about that. But you are also serving in the House and you are a House of delegates member. And you had a special session today and we hear there was chaos because nothing really got done. Now the Senate on the other hand hit the gavel at noon. Not so much in the House. What happened?
Freitas: Well we had some problems right off the bat just getting preliminaries out of the way. And on education and how we are going to do the voting. And it’s frustrating because a lot of these things could have been done beforehand. We didn’t even get the agenda until 45 minutes before.
And again some of this maybe there are problems and issues but some of it is pure politics with the majority basically picking on the minority and not giving us the information that we need. There are two things that were incredibly frustrating today.
There has been a huge debate on whether or not the General Assembly should be able to meet and hold committee meetings remotely. They universally favorite it. We universally have a problem with it for a couple of reasons. One of the primary ones is the basic transparency. The reason we meet in Richmond and do these committee meetings is so everyone can be involved in that. They can watch over a screen.
But if they want to physically show up and see their legislators at work and if they want to comment on it or speak to it they can. And now we are creating a situation where we are going to try and do this over Zoom calls. Even if you didn’t have technology issues which anybody that’s been on a Zoom calls knows you potentially can. I want you to imagine the power you’ve just given somebody now that is managing that Zoom call.
Whether it’s the chairman or whatever it is and to just decide they didn’t see your request to speak button. And they didn’t see that you wanted to come and engage with the committee. It’s problems like that and the House Democrats have the authority to do it and they can change it.
But whenever you are going to do a rules change you’ve got to go through a five-day reading. That’s a cooling-off period and gives everyone a chance to see what the new rule is going to be because this governs the way the House conducts itself. It’s serious.
We told them we voted no. We said we want five days to discuss this and potentially negotiate. Figure out a better way to do this and have the public actively involved. And their response was to come back like 20 minutes later after they already told us we were going to come back anyway and say well no we’ve got a new resolution that’s just going to give the speaker the authority to do it. And we said, OK, parliamentary problem here. You are still changing the rules. There are rules for changing the rules.
And their attitude was, well we just see it as a new interpretation. And Minority Leader Todd Gilbert did a great job addressing this by talking about how absolutely arrogant it was to do that. This happens when politicians just get drunk with their own power and their own hubris, and they start changing rules like this. And it never occurs to them that you are setting a precedent that is now going to be followed by future general assemblies and future speakers.
So instead of these rules protecting both sides and ensuring that we have an orderly and civil process that we like to call the “Virginia Way.” Now it’s just going to be, well I’m in charge now and I’m just going to ram what I want. And that is not the way we are supposed to do business.
That’s how DC does business, it is not the way we are supposed to do business. But since the Democrats have taken over that’s it. And if that wasn’t bad enough. One of the other things they voted is that now we are going to have remote meetings. So now delegates can be at home in their pajamas while they are on a Zoom call at a committee meeting. They are also going to get per diem while they are there.
Saxman: Come on.
Freitas: No. They are going to get per diem. We all voted against it and the Democrats voted for it.
Saxman: How do you get per diem if you are staying at home? The whole premise behind per diem is to cover your expenses for being on the road.
Saxman: They’ll probably get mileage too because they’ll have to go upstairs to their boss.
Freitas: Again it’s not like they are spending their money. They are spending our money.
Saxman: How do you get per diem when you are not going anywhere?
Freitas: That was our question.
Saxman: The Republican caucus is saying we are not taking per diem.
Freitas: No. We all voted against it. It shouldn’t be done. We all oppose it. We opposed it there. This shows you the genuine difference. At a time right now when small businesses are struggling and people don’t know where their kids are going to go to school.
Saxman: How much is it per diem?
Freitas: Oh gosh.
Saxman: An extra $200 a day to stay in their home and do what they would have done anyway and not allow the public to be a part of it. It’s disgusting.
Freitas: Or to at least make it significantly more difficult to be a part of it.
Freitas: But again that’s where you see the difference.
Saxman: As a former legislator I’m outraged that they would change the rules and not go through the prescribed five day waiting period to get public input. The representation of the Commonwealth of Virginia says we’re going to change the rules on the fly, you should be scared.
Saxman: As a citizen of the Commonwealth, you should be scared. And I’m not that guy. And I’m not an alarmist by any stretch of the imagination. But when you fundamentally change the way the government is organized and structured something is seriously wrong.
Fredericks: Well I don’t normally see you get this animated Chris Saxman.
Saxman: Rules are important when it comes to governing.
Fredericks: And the fact is all you guys asked for was to follow the rules and you would have to stay here five days.
Saxman: No, no, no, no. You didn’t even need to stay there for five days.
Fredericks: Just wait five days.
Freitas: Have a couple of people open it up. That’s the five-day waiting period. And then we all come back on Sunday. To decide whether or not…
Fredericks: And they could have done the same thing by following the rules. But they wanted to jam it down your throat so it starts immediately so they can go home what now?
Freitas: Well, they showed us, right?
Fredericks: Can they go home now?
Saxman: They set up the Siegel Center up for this?
Fredericks: So they set the Siegel Center up. And did they all go home tonight.
Fredericks: They all went home? Unbelievable.
Saxman: What in the hell?
Freitas: We just now passed a resolution that talked about how many bills we can submit. When I first heard about this what we understood was that the resolution was going to read criminal justice reform, law enforcement reform, and a COVID-19. They added another category on there: social justice.
Saxman: What the hell does that mean?
Freitas: What doesn’t fit into the category of social justice? Because literally here’s what that means. When Republicans submit a bill it will not be heavily scrutinized of whether it falls between their categories. But when a Democrat submits a bill and it doesn’t fall neatly into COVID-19 or doesn’t fall neatly into…
Cole: They won’t hear the bill.
Freitas: Because it can literally be anything.
Cole: So what it means is that Democrat bills will be heard and Republican bills will not be heard.
Freitas: That’s certainly what its set up to do.
Listen to the full show here:
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