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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


 

District 22 still in headlines

Just when you thought it was over, as if the continuing saga of Tom DeLay and his shenanigans wasn’t enough, now Shelly Sekula-Gibbs, the two week Congresswoman, is garnering headlines on a daily basis as she prances around Washington D.C. enjoying her brief notoriety as an elected representative for District 22, which in this case unfortunately includes Fort Bend County.

Shelly has seemingly become the fodder for every news outlet in the nation’s capital. First she reportedly has a swearing in reception that she reportedly acted as if the event was some sort of royal anointment. Then she managed to alienate DeLay’s entire workforce who all walked out in mass, telling reporters Sekula-Gibbs was “mean.”

Shortly after the walk out, Sekula-Gibbs reportedly called for an investigation of the former workers. She says they destroyed computer files. The workers say that is standard operating procedure. I doubt the seasoned congress-people are going to forego their efforts on the war, budget, and other critical issues to launch an investigation into Shelly’s silly little concern, especially considering that Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and Christmas follows. Now we all know that in D.C. Thanksgiving is followed by weeks of Christmas holidays, so that leaves little time for any investigations before Shelly has to give up her crown on Jan. 3 when Democrat Nick Lampson will move in and take over.

Reporters in the nation’s capital didn’t waste any time pointing out that Queen Shelly would have to vacate her office on Dec. 1. Apparently outgoing elected officials have to go on down the hall and sit while the offices are made ready for the new elected officials. But they are given a computer and can have a reduced staff. All things considered, Shelly ought to be pleased that having a reduced staff won’t be a big deal under the “you aren’t anyone anymore, move on down to the cubicle rule.”

However, an Associated Press story noted that for a whole 51 days Shelly will be living a life of plenty. She will get a very generous salary and be allowed all of the perks of the trade, so to speak. Use of the cafeteria (no one said if officials have to pay) and the gymnasium. And, even though she will only have about 10 full working days out of the 51, according to all the weird rules in D.C., she will have seniority if ever elected back to Congress (don’t count on it, Shelly) in the future.

Her 51 days on the job will give her $23,000 and health insurance (no waiting period in D.C.)

And luckily, the way she is acting since her win, she also will have limited immunity from arrest while Congress is in session. However, I don’t think there is any official charge for being a “meanie” as one former DeLay staffer was quoted as saying.

We can only hope that once Jan. 3 rolls around, the only thing we hear about District 22 is the representation we are getting and the federal dollars that will finally be flowing back into the district with that representation.

If we don’t in two years we can start the whole process over and hopefully this time it will be more in line with a regular election with real candidates. How refreshing would that be?

 

Contact skinnerc1@ev1.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  December 27, 2006