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The Best and Worst Legislators of 2005

Special Awards

The Bucky Award

Named for Bucky Dent, a former New York Yankees infielder who, in 1978, emerged from obscurity to hit a historic home run, this award honors the lawmaker whose single act made the biggest contribution to the session. It goes to Republican Will Hartnett, of Dallas, whose outstanding legal work settled a potentially explosive election challenge by GOP heavyweight Talmadge Heflin and restored a little civility to the House of Representatives.

Strangest Bedfellows

The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association, which joined forces to support a bill requiring written or videotaped consent by drivers before law officers can conduct searches at traffic stops.

Best New Additions to the Legislative Lexicon

sausage n: bad legislation; originally part of a joke: “Two things you should never see being made are sausage and legislation.” Now used generally to refer to major bills of dubious merit.

Kool-Aid n: the metaphorical drink served by the leadership to facilitate the consumption of sausage by recalcitrant lawmakers: “Craddick makes them drink the Kool-Aid.”

Best Pun

Rob Eissler, (R, The Woodlands): “If the cloning bill passes, I’ll be beside myself.”

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