Thursday, January 24

Lundberg stands by Bruce — and no one else

Berthoud Republican Representative Kevin Lundberg was the only member of the statehouse to vote against censuring Representative Doug Bruce, after Bruce, mid-prayer, kicked a photographer during his first day in the legislature.

Here are Lundberg's remarks, from the Rocky Mountain News:

“I come down here not to defend Rep. Douglas Bruce, because what he did in my opinion was wrong,” Lundberg told colleagues. “It was an exercise in very poor judgment and it did compromise the decorum and the integrity of this House.”

But Lundberg cautioned against “rushing down the road of censure,” saying a lesser rebuke better suited the incident that will set a precedent for future lawmaker discipline.

Censure is the harshest penalty a lawmaker can face –- short of ouster or jail for contempt

“I believe we are setting frankly a low for this action that has never been taken in this body,” Lundberg said.

Last week, Lundberg also devoted some words to Bruce in the first edition of his e-newsletter, the "Lundberg Legislative Report":
One focal point of these first few days has been the arrival of our newest member, Douglas Bruce. Much has been made of the incident that occurred during opening prayer and I will not add more to that discussion here. I will pay more attention to his substantive contributions to this year’s legislative process.

Rep. Bruce has, in a respectful manner, challenged the way safety clauses are used on the majority of bills run in the legislature. He is running amendments to remove the safety clause from any bill that does not meet the constitutional requirements for safety clauses. It has already caused much debate on what it means to uphold the state constitution, rather than find ways to work around it, as all three branches of our government are far too prone to do.

He is also seen by most as the preeminent authority on the TABOR amendment. This is the year many are going to try to put in place a means to strip TABOR from our constitution. I am confident Representative Bruce will be an invaluable watchdog over that process.
Bruce, with and without the help of his enemies, is already putting an ugly public face on supporters of TABOR, and while Lundberg might not be trying to make that point, it seems like maybe he is preemptively sticking up for TABOR as much as he is sticking up for Bruce.

No comments: