Lawmakers Caught Playing
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Press Photographer Catches Lawmakers Playing Solitaire on their Laptops During a Session-Truth!

Summary of the eRumor:  
This is a forwarded email with a photograph of two lawmakers playing solitaire on their laptop computers during a budget hearing.

The Truth:  
The photograph is real and was taken by Associated Press photographer Jessica Hill. Connecticut State Representatives Barbara Lambert and Jack F. Hennessy were playing solitaire on their laptop computers during a Monday night session of the state assembly. Hill took the photograph on August 31, 2009 from the back of the historic Hall of the House in Hartford, CT as lawmakers convened to vote on a new budget for the fiscal year.

According to a September 8, 2009 article in the Hartford Courant, the embarrassed Hennessy apologized  in a letter to Bridgeport residents admitting to bad judgment and calling his actions inexcusable.

Some versions of this eRumor might indicate that the incident occurred in the US Congress during a session of the House of Representatives, which would be incorrect.

updated 11/12/2009

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Nothing else need to be said. This is one of their THREE DAY WORK WEEKS that we all pay for.  I am ready to start from the beginning by voting out all elected officials and not letting any of them stay in office for more than two terms.  No more lifelong healthcare, retirement, voting in their own pay raises, taking perks on our taxes, etc.

House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, pictured standing, far right, speaks while colleagues Rep. Barbara Lambert, D-Milford and Rep. Jack F. Hennessy, D-Bridgeport, play solitaire Monday night as the House convened to vote on a new budget. (AP)

The guy sitting in the row in front of these two... he's on Facebook, and the guy behind Hennessy is checking out the baseball scores. These are the folks that can't get the budget out by Oct. 1, Seriously!!!

So, we’ve got a 30 day budget extension. Well, guess what, 30 days from now we will be in the same boat. I guess this makes it easy for the news ‘reporters’ as all they have to do is recycle the same headlines from this week and from 2 years ago. And these yo-yo’s will still be playing SOLITAIRE


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