As part of a $639,000 renovation of several state senators' Capitol Annex offices in 2006, Senate President David Williams' office was equipped with a $17,000 entertainment center featuring a 60-inch plasma TV screen.
The screen remained in Williams' office until this General Assembly session when it was moved to the Senate chambers in the Capitol to serve as one of two screens displaying bill status and senators' votes.
The Senate's old projection system burned out and was what Williams described as "antiquated technology" that needed to be replaced. To replace the screen in his office, Williams said he went to Office Depot and bought one with his own money.
He also told the Herald-Leader the screen bought with tax dollars that hung in his office for nearly five years "was always meant to be a substitute" for screens in committee rooms.
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Strangely enough, though, the need for the screen to serve such a purpose never occurred until after Williams decided to run for governor. But as much as Williams might want to defuse a potentially damaging issue with this TV screen switcheroo, the reality of modern political campaigns strongly suggests we're going to hear a lot about the first screen in coming months.