Raymond Rojas was tired; beat-down, dog tired.
He had been on the job site for three days straight, sleeping in the trailer and popping in on each shift. He only took time to dash home for a shower before reporting the the Sedelia State Building for the three-day, legislative session. Working eighteen hours a day and having a broken sleep pattern was taking its toll on Raymond.
Ideka Nuffin was as sweet as honey. She requested permission to present a topic. Raymond did not have the energy to verbally joust with her. He granted permission.
Nuffin pointed out that there was no enforcement of the various “codes” that protected consumers. She made an impassioned plea that “wise heads” needed to protect the must vulnerable, particularly the children.
Nuffin requested permission to introduce a subject matter expert.
Raymond granted permission.
The expert spoke for half an hour, the limit the committee had agreed upon to allow everybody to have a voice.
The expert was smooth, urbane and came across as very reasonable and knowledgeable.
In turn, Nuffin introduced a total of fifteen experts who elucidated about various aspects of “Codes” and “Systemic and Environmental Risks” and “Inspections”. Each speaker was prepared and compelling.
Eleven hours into the session, Nuffin distributed a four-hundred page document that she wished to have voted into law.
Raymond could barely keep his eyes open. The document was clearly cribbed from the Cali Regulations, Interpretations and Enforcement. The only things that had been modified were the switching of “Cali” to “Sedelia” and minor changes to the document’s footer.
Nuffin demanded a vote by the committee. She proposed that the document be approved, in total, by the committee for presentation to the entire parliament.
Raymond said, “We haven’t read the document.” Although, in fact, he had sped-read the introduction. The introduction was classic boiler-plate that was long on “What” and very short on “How”.
“ Martillo de Dios Raymond Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Rojas,” Nuffin said, the names tripping off her tongue as if singing, “it is imperative that we approve this proposal and forward it to the entire parliament. You heard the experts. Children are dying and more children will die in the future if we do not act. The blood will be on your hands!”
Raymond looked around and saw that most of the members of the committee were nodding in agreement.
“I propose a middle ground.” Raymond said. “Allow me to read a bit of the document to you out loud...”
And then he proceeded to read the five page introduction, which was all mother pie and applehood. Nuffin interupted him as he finished the first page. Raymond reminded her that he had not interrupted “her” experts ONCE even though they had taken up nine hours of clock time.
“Given the late hour, and the ‘vibe’ I am picking up from this committee, I propose that we vote on the materials I just read. Further, I move that we continue with the remainder of Zzz Nuffin’s proposal at the soonest practical date.” Raymond said.
Nuffin shook her head bullishly. “Nope. Not good enough. I demand that we vote on the entire proposal.”
Raymond said, “In which case I will read it to you out loud. And if you object to my exceeding the allotted half hour, then each person can read, in turn, for a half hour until we finish reading this document. My ‘move’ allows our colleagues the luxury of taking your proposal home and reading it at their leisure. What will it be?”
Nuffin was still shaking her head “No.”
“I’ll tell you what.” Raymond said, desperately in need of sleep. “I will wholeheartedly endorse the five page Introduction in tomorrow’s parliament and push to have it accepted exactly as written. It is better to have something to show than to end the week empty handed.”
Nuffin relented. The committee voted unanimously to take the Introduction to the Cali Regs: Codes and Implementation to the Sedelia parliament.
The motion passed with overwhelming support the next day. The “straw court” ruled 9-0 in favor of the law. Kenny signed it into law that afternoon.
Nuffin and her new pals in Huntington Park partied well into the night. The Cali Code Enforcement Division was the single largest branch of the old Cali government and Kenny Lane and his band of cowboys were about to bring them back.
Most of the former employees of the Code Enforcement division went out and signed purchase agreements for a vast range of home upgrades and various other luxuries. The good times were back! They expected to negotiate, and get, 90%-to-95% discounts on the goods at a later date. Everybody knew it did not pay to piss off “Enforcement”.
The first domino had toppled.
Next Installment of Stub