That was Sen. Bob Ziegler (D, Ketchikan). I lied when I said all the other Democrats on the Judiciary Committee were liberals. Bob was a blue dog Democrat.
He’d been Ketchikan’s State Senator for quite a while when I met him, in the summer of ’73. We just got along. He told me that sometimes when he got an abusive constituent letter he’d write back, informing the voter that some moron was sending him letters and signing their name. He’d sign the letter Sweet Old Bob. He was an American original.
He was the guy who introduced me to Article V. He was carrying our BBA bill in the Alaska legislature, and he knew what he was doing. The day it came up for a floor vote in the Senate he took me aside and explained things to me. I was to sit down, shut up, and vote, and that’s what I did. It passed without debate. At the time, we were the 32nd state.
Bob and I became personal friends. I like thinking about him.