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Around the Web: Senate Debate on D.C. Vote, Day Two

The blog chatter continues today as the Senate took up debate on legislation that would give the District a full voting member of the House. While local news blogs tended to focus on the procedure and larger ramifications of the debate, niche blogs of all stripes focused on minutiae of the bill and its proposed amendments.

Local news blog DCist live-blogged the event all day. The blog expressed confusion at an amendment calling for a truth and reconciliation commission, criticized a proposal by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Texas) to exempt D.C. residents from federal income taxes as "a mockery of the District's status" and was shocked by legislation introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski that would begin the process of a constitutional amendment for D.C. statehood. The authors were similarly disdainful of amendments to retrocede the District to Maryland.

The blog reserved particular disdain for Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) who introduced a proposal to repeal the District's 2008 gun law:

Ensign has a big chart "showing" how the District's murder rates went up at the same time that our gun laws became more restrictive, so he's claiming what here, that the handgun ban only encouraged murders? Good grief, talk about bending statistics until they are meaningless. Perhaps Ensign is familiar with the crack epidemic?

GOP 12, a source for news and commentary about likely candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, notes an amendment from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) to permanently abolish the fairness doctrine and has a round-up of arguments for and against the bill, plus its most influential supporters (like The New York Times) and opponents (like Stephen Colbert).

City Desk at the Washington City Paper also live-blogged the deliberations and noted that one of the District's own helped win a "yes" vote from Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)

Meanwhile, ABC's blog The Note focused on the opposition of beloved Senate nonagenarian Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) He isn't opposed to voting rights for the District, but hd believes that these rights must be accomplished via a Constitutional amendment:

"'My quarrel is not with the intent of the legislation, but with the vehicle with which the Congress is seeking to effect or bring about this change."

Byrd then launched into an erudite and researched mediation on Article I of the Constitution. He is never without a small copy in his breast pocket and has been known in other speeches to flourish it for effect in speeches."

Finally, gun rights bloggers of all stripes took up Ensign's cause and urged their readers to call their senators and urge support for the amendment. declared, "While there are many constitutional concerns with the underlying measure, the gun ban repeal simply comes down to a vote for or against the Second Amendment."

-- Carolyn Phenicie

By Carolyn Phenicie  |  February 25, 2009; 4:40 PM ET
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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