Freshman Sen. Emilie F. Miller (D-Fairfax), smarting from two Republican-led rejections in the House of her proposal to allow the Democrat-controlled Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to expand its economic development authority from seven to 11 members, retaliated yesterday by delaying passage of several routine GOP-sponsored resolutions.
However, Miller's parliamentary ploy soon evolved into a tit-for-tat battle with Republican Sen. Wiley F. Mitchell Jr. (R-Alexandria) and eventually backfired.
Miller delayed for a day a resolution sponsored by Del. Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (R-Alexandria) calling for studies of surrogate motherhood; Mitchell countered by temporarily blocking passage of a resolution of Del. Mary A. Marshall (D-Arlington) urging physicians to treat Medicare patients.
Miller blocked the resolution of Del. Arthur R. (Pete) Giesen (R-Waynesboro) to study the salary structure of state employees; Mitchell moved to postpone the vote on a resolution calling for a study of child day-care regulations, backed by Democrat Dels. Warren G. Stambaugh of Arlington, Dorothy S. McDiarmid of Vienna, Alan E. Mayer of Fairfax and Marshall.
Back and forth it went, from the Democrat north wall to the Republican south wall, with other partisans occasionally joining in, until an infuriated Senate Majority Leader Hunter B. Andrews (D-Hampton) intervened.
"We all know the game being played by the lady from Fairfax and the senator from Alexandria," Andrews bellowed. He then abandoned hope of passing any of the 38 resolutions scheduled for adoption yesterday, but warned that future time-wasting ploys will be not tolerated as the legislature works toward its adjournment a week from Saturday.
Mitchell then summoned Sen. Clive L. DuVal 2d (D-McLean) to the cloak room, where they engaged in an animated, finger-pointing exchange, after which DuVal had a fatherly chat with Miller about how the game is played, and not played, by first-year legislators.