Sen. Karen Peterson’s Gay Marriage Speech and Other Notable Legislative Hall Quips
Party lines, civil rights city buses and gay marriage alike have elicited some colorful remarks from Delaware’s political leaders.
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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
Mike Castle was a young, determined state legislator, a Republican from Wilmington in his first term, when he decided to tackle a very tough problem in 1968. There was a failing private bus system in the city, and Castle proposed a public takeover. A lawyer by training, he spent one very long night in a law library to draft the legislation himself.
The governor was Charles Terry, a Democrat whose regal manner was honed during the years he spent as the state’s chief justice before his election in 1964. The troubled bus service had also come to his attention, and Terry himself appeared at a legislative hearing, where he berated the Republicans for doing nothing to try to resolve the situation.
Castle, thinking about his night in the law library, was as impetuous as he was insulted.
“That’s a lie,” Castle blurted.
“You can’t call the governor a liar,” Terry snapped.
The governor swept out of the hearing. Castle, aghast at what he had done, caught up with Terry outside the chamber and apologized.
“You have no future in the state, young man,” Terry told him.
Now there was the real lie. Castle went on to be a state senator, lieutenant governor, governor and congressman. Someday their exchange would come to be recognized in the annals of Delaware as governor-to-governor. Who knew?
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