The most fun I ever had blogging was on May 25, 2007 when members of the Texas House attempted a coup against the iron-fisted Speaker Tom Craddick.
I was writing for the Texas Politics blog, featured on the Houston Chronicle’s website. All session long I’d been struggling with how to describe the strange antics and twisted logic I’d heard from our esteemed lawmakers, without sounding so mean or partisan that none of them would ever talk to me again.
It was near the end of the session, and it had been a long afternoon listening to the droning debate. I was seated at the press table located in the front of the chamber, just feet from the dias where Craddick wielded his gavel.
There was something in the air. I decided that either I soon would be packing up my laptop for the end of the day’s work or that I would be there all night.
Then it happened, a question at the back mic from a member who wanted to be recognized for a motion to throw the Speaker out of office.
I immediately began blogging. Ah, I thought, this is what it’s about. I can describe what is happening in real time, and readers won’t have to wait until breakfast to follow the events.
Here is an excerpt from a posting several hours into the standoff:
“A plodding day of legislating in the House suddenly turned electric Friday night as chaos broke out over whether Speaker Tom Craddick will have to recognize a member for a motion to throw him out of office.
Craddick said he didn’t have to do it. And when insurgents tried to press him for answers about whether he was lying on what advice he had received from parliamentarians, Craddick gaveled the House to stand at ease for 2 ½ hours.
Legislators charged toward the dais shouting, “No! No! No!” as Craddick walked off toward his office behind the House chamber.
Rep. Rick Noriega, D-Houston, said he attempted to get to the microphone on the dais to continue the rules discussion, but was blocked by House sergeants.
Parliamentarian Denise Davis promptly resigned. . .”
After the delay, Craddick appeared with two new parlimentarians, one a former rep best known for driving a Lamborghini and wearing leather pants on the floor.
It was past midnight when the session ended, Craddick having miraculously survived to fight another day.
So, yes, I will be at Blogathon ATX for the second time. I will be trying to decide where a blog ends and a news story begins, and how to maintain your journalistic credibility while having some good blogging fun.
I also will be taking pictures so smile for the inexpensive camera.
(A note about the website I now write for. It is subscription only, but if you are a lawyer with deep pockets and want a trial sub, just ask.)