Tradition dictates that members may, in order of seniority, move into offices vacated by outgoing members of their caucus. This is why, when you visit the Capitol, more senior members tend to have larger offices with more windows and fewer neighbors.
There is also another rule that is traditionally followed: no member is allowed to displace another member. In other words, members are only allowed to choose from vacant offices. They may not use their leadership position or seniority to displace a fellow caucus member.
Well, guess who has decided that he doesn't like tradition? That's right, it's lame duck Speaker and majority-killer Mike Huebsch. It has been widely reported that Huebsch, in the waning days of his naked-Emperor Speakership, is planning to throw Joan Ballweg out of her office so that he may have it for himself.
For those wondering which office we're talking about, it's the end office on first floor west, the one with the big windows and balcony that overlooks State Street. It's a great office (it even has a bathroom), but the only drawback is that the office is shared side-by-side with another member.
But no worries, Huebsch has a plan for that too. He's trying to find a way to maneuver Kitty Rhoades into the other half. This, of course, is perfect for the two of them. Not only are they the only two people who can probably stand each other, but it also allows Huebsch to reform his failed empire under one roof. Kevin Moore, Jodi Jensen, hell, maybe Huebsch and Rhoades can split Brian Dake while they're at it. What better way to turn the ship around than by allowing the people who pissed the majority away to keep their overpaid staffers together in one place?
This, once again, highlights the difference between Scott Jensen and those who have followed him. We've shifted from a leader who used his power to advance an agenda to leaders who have used their power to simply help themselves personally.
Mike Huebsch, along with his toadies like Kevin Moore, have overseen the speedy destruction of 15 years of work by those who came before them. And now, instead of simply following tradition, Huebsch attempts to use his lame duck Speakership to reward himself and his overpaid staff by throwing another member of his caucus out on the street. Instead of accepting his fate, Huebsch abuses his power and spits in the face of a colleague.
Says a lot about Mike Huebsch, doesn't it? For the record, when Scott Jensen stepped down as speaker for the 2003 session, he moved into the office being vacated by Joe Leibham. Hardly a piece of prime real estate.
This could well be the first real test of Jeff Fitzgerald's leadership - is Little Brother willing to intervene on behalf of a rank-and-file member to keep the outgoing Speaker from walking all over her? It would get him off to a great start with his members and AssGOP staff if he was willing to stand up to Huebsch. After all, Fitz has the authority to undo any decision made by Huebsch come inauguration day. All he needs to do is direct Huebsch to the list of vacant offices and indicate that if Huebsch fails to choose from the list, he will be forcibly relocated in January. He can even request that Speaker Mike Sheridan have the Chief Clerk bill the move to Huebsch's office account.
Little Brother would be well-served to remember that there is far more for him to gain by siding with Joan Ballweg than by standing around with his hands in his pockets and pretending like he can't do anything.