Senator Tom Apodaca, the last of the old-fashioned Bull Moose in the State Senate, has tree’d Prior Gibson.
Just before the General Assembly voted on the budget a letter landed on legislators’ desks from the Secretary of Transportation saying it was urgent to spend $63 million to build a parkway in Gaston County. Only the Secretary never signed the letter as he later told the press.
Two days later – in what has to be a land-speed record for a legislature – Senator Apodaca held a hearing and learned Governor Perdue’s chief lobbyist Pryor Gibson had traipsed over to the Department of Transportation while the Secretary was out of town, put an Assistant Secretary in a political headlock, and gotten her to sign her boss’s name to the letter.
Apodaca held a second hearing the next day and called Gibson, who said the whole thing was all just a terrible misunderstanding but it was all straightened out now. Apodaca didn’t buy it. Leaning toward Gibson he growled, Well, was anybody pressured to sign that letter? and Gibson (sounding like a fellow in a deposition who’d just been asked a question he didn’t want to answer) gulped, Not to my knowledge.
Now whether or not you’re an admirer of Bull Mooses you’ve got to give Senator Apodaca credit: In three days he got Pryor Gibson tree’d.