Senate Rules Committee will release a report today on the kerfuffle that got Sen. David Wilson into hot water last year.
Wilson was the subject of a blog and mainstream media report accusing him of putting a cell phone between the legs of an aide in the Capitol.
He disputed that and an earlier investigation found that the report was false. All he had been trying to do is to tell an aide that he had every right to be in the hallway, while she had told him to move along, away from the doors of the Speaker’s Chambers, where her boss was holding a secret meeting.
The videotape of the alleged incident in the hallways of the Capitol cleared Wilson, but that videotape has not been made public, per the rules of the Capitol. Only Legislative Affairs personnel, Wilson, and Wilson’s attorney have seen the tape.
While attempting to clear his name, Wilson held a press conference where he suggested that Speaker Bryce Edgmon should step down from his leadership position, because he had failed in his duties to properly handle the matter and had used it to let Wilson “hang.”
It was that December press conference that became the subject of yet another complaint. The aide and Edgmon accused Wilson of retaliation against the aide because if Edgmon stepped down, he would lose staff members, and that might cost the aide her job.
It seems like an Orwellian stretch, and yet the report of Legislative Affairs Human Resources Director Skiff Lobaugh says that asking for another lawmaker to step down from a leadership position is a threat to the livelihood of staffers who work for the lawmaker.
Aides come and go in the Capitol all the time and frequently move from office to office, as they are the functionaries who provide office support to those who are governing.
Wilson, a freshman senator, wasn’t aware of the arcane rules. He did what any normal person would do if they had been falsely accused and they were trying to clear their name. But in doing so, he dug himself in deeper, at least in the eyes of Human Resources Director Skip Lobaugh.
He has learned the hard way, that in politics, everything is political, aides can be very powerful, and political adversaries are rarely, if ever, charitable.