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DONASTORG FORCED OFF OPERATIONS COMMITTEE

Dec. 13, 2001 – In the midst of a generally rancorous Senate session Wednesday, Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg was summarily booted off the body's Government Operations Committee on a motion by its chair, Sen. Emmett Hansen II.
Hansen said his committee was not going to be "held hostage" by the antics of one — any one — senator. "I am not participating in no big-top clown show," he said, accusing Donastorg of subverting the committee process by "temper tantrums and walking off the floor when we need a quorum."
Donastorg defended his behavior. "The good senator jumped to the majority side," he said, referring to Hansen's switch from the minority in July, which resulted in the freshman senator being named to chair the committee. "I think he has an identity problem. He can't deal with pressure."
Donastorg, the 24th Legislature's only unaligned senator, told the others, "I have no problem with how you vote, because you can't shut me up."
Hansen introduced a resolution naming Sen. David Jones, the minority leader, to replace Donastorg. For his part, Jones said, "Please don't put this monkey on my back — I didn't ask for this." But, he added, "I appreciate the senator's confidence in me."
Donastorg called Hansen's charges "nonsense," saying Hansen probably didn't like a letter he had written to Hansen asking him, as a non-voting member of the Public Services Commission, to look at issues surrounding the PSC investigation of Innovative Telephone rates. Donastorg has fought long and hard for the investigation to go back to the last such investigation. On Tuesday, the Senate voted against an override of Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's veto of legislation to require the PSC to do that.
Donastorg also noted that he had not voted in favor of Hansen's gun-control bill, which passed on Tuesday. The pressure of being a senator "drives some people crazy," the four-term senator said, "but if I hurt his feelings, I apologize. If the senator wants to proceed this way, so be it."
Hansen maintained that Donastorg insisted on orating about his pet issues, regardless of what was on the floor. "He deliberately leaves meetings and breaks quorums and sabotages votes, and I won't have it," Hansen said. Donastorg continues to hold a seat on four other committees
Hansen's resolution passed 7-6. Voting against it were four of the five minority senators — Lorraine Berry, Douglas Canton, Roosevelt David and Vargrave Richards; plus Donastorg and Alicia "Chucky" Hansen — who crossed the majority line, saying she would support removing somebody from a committee only if that person agreed. The fifth minority senator, Jones, and Sen. Norman Jn. Baptiste abstained.
The vote came shortly before the Senate recessed for a late lunch. Just before the roll call, Jn Baptiste commented, "I look forward to better days. I'm hungry, and I'm ready to vote."

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Dec. 13, 2001 - In the midst of a generally rancorous Senate session Wednesday, Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg was summarily booted off the body's Government Operations Committee on a motion by its chair, Sen. Emmett Hansen II.
Hansen said his committee was not going to be "held hostage" by the antics of one -- any one -- senator. "I am not participating in no big-top clown show," he said, accusing Donastorg of subverting the committee process by "temper tantrums and walking off the floor when we need a quorum."
Donastorg defended his behavior. "The good senator jumped to the majority side," he said, referring to Hansen's switch from the minority in July, which resulted in the freshman senator being named to chair the committee. "I think he has an identity problem. He can't deal with pressure."
Donastorg, the 24th Legislature's only unaligned senator, told the others, "I have no problem with how you vote, because you can't shut me up."
Hansen introduced a resolution naming Sen. David Jones, the minority leader, to replace Donastorg. For his part, Jones said, "Please don't put this monkey on my back -- I didn't ask for this." But, he added, "I appreciate the senator's confidence in me."
Donastorg called Hansen's charges "nonsense," saying Hansen probably didn't like a letter he had written to Hansen asking him, as a non-voting member of the Public Services Commission, to look at issues surrounding the PSC investigation of Innovative Telephone rates. Donastorg has fought long and hard for the investigation to go back to the last such investigation. On Tuesday, the Senate voted against an override of Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's veto of legislation to require the PSC to do that.
Donastorg also noted that he had not voted in favor of Hansen's gun-control bill, which passed on Tuesday. The pressure of being a senator "drives some people crazy," the four-term senator said, "but if I hurt his feelings, I apologize. If the senator wants to proceed this way, so be it."
Hansen maintained that Donastorg insisted on orating about his pet issues, regardless of what was on the floor. "He deliberately leaves meetings and breaks quorums and sabotages votes, and I won't have it," Hansen said. Donastorg continues to hold a seat on four other committees
Hansen's resolution passed 7-6. Voting against it were four of the five minority senators -- Lorraine Berry, Douglas Canton, Roosevelt David and Vargrave Richards; plus Donastorg and Alicia "Chucky" Hansen -- who crossed the majority line, saying she would support removing somebody from a committee only if that person agreed. The fifth minority senator, Jones, and Sen. Norman Jn. Baptiste abstained.
The vote came shortly before the Senate recessed for a late lunch. Just before the roll call, Jn Baptiste commented, "I look forward to better days. I'm hungry, and I'm ready to vote."