Live Thread: Steve Lebsock Expelled from Legislature

UPDATE #8: Steve Lebsock is expelled from the legislature by a vote of 52-9 (4 members excused).


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UPDATE #7: The moment of truth approaches:

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UPDATE #6: Getting close: Rep. Lois Landgraf joins Republicans voting to expel Rep. Steve Lebsock.

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UPDATE #5: Rep. Cole Wist (R) will vote to expel Rep. Steve Lebsock.

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UPDATE #4: Stunning drama on the floor of the Colorado House moments ago:

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UPDATE #3: GOP Rep. Larry Liston (R) becomes the first Republican to announce he will vote to expel Rep. Steve Lebsock. Liston says he was a “NO” vote when he arrived at the Capitol this morning, but has changed his mind after hearing discussion today.

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UPDATE #2: Denver Post:

Assistant Minority Leader Cole Wist suggested a potential path for Republicans to vote to expel, despite their shared concerns over the investigation.

“There is a correct way to fight back, and an incorrect way to fight back,” said Wist, R-Centennial, after he read aloud from the state harassment policy’s prohibition on retaliating against accusers. By distributing a dossier of accusations against the women, Lebsock’s handling of the situation, he said, was “demeaning.”

“Rep. Faith Winter, I believe you,” Wist said. “To the victims that have filed complaints, I believe you. Thank you for your courage. Thank you standing up for yourselves. Than you for standing up for your dignity.”

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UPDATE: Denver7:

House Majority Leader KC Becker, who introduced the measure to expel Lebsock, started the hearing off by saying the Legislature would be “letting down everyone in Colorado who could lose their job for a lesser offense.”

Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, who was one of Lebsock’s alleged victims and who was allegedly propositioned by Lebsock at a party after the 2016 legislative session, started the hearing with an emotional speech saying that the evidence against Lebsock was overwhelming and that he’d retaliated against her and the other women who had come forward.

“Today is not just about me. This is about at least 10 other people. Ten others spoke to a reporter, 5 others filed complaints, 3 went on record with the media, plus the several other women that I have talked to that were harassed by this individual who were too scared to come forward,” Winter said. “Ten others that have felt their hearts race, felt intimidated and have felt bullied by this individual. Ten others that their place of work was changed forever. Today is not about sex; it is about power. Sexual harassment is about power and the power that this individual wielded over others.”

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Follow along with us as the first debate over expulsion of a sitting Colorado legislator in 103 years goes on in the Colorado House this morning:

We’ll update as developments warrant. Already two Democrats considered on the fence on the expulsion of Rep. Steve Lebsock have announced they are yes votes, while Rep. Faith Winter’s powerful statement brought the entire House gallery silently to their feet.

55 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    How much time is Rep. Lebsock allowed for a response/defense on the motion? And will anyone else be speaking for him?

     

  2. Genghis says:

    “I’m sick of wearing my bullet proof vest”

    Oh, for fuck's sake.

  3. ajb says:

    Does everybody have to give a speech before they vote? 

  4. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    The tweet actually says garnett is tired of carrying a "bullet proof desk" around.

    Now, that would get kind of heavywink

  5. Rule #1 when attempting to get people to side with you as accused: don't distribute retaliatory material before the vote to those who might be sympathetic.

  6. Genghis says:

    Well now, that's pretty resounding. A vote doesn't get much more lopsided in this day and age.

  7. Genghis says:

    Kyle Clark is reporting that ol' Steve switched his voter registration to GOP this afternoon, and now the Republicans are saying they get to pick his replacement.

     

    lol what a clusterfuck.

    • unnamed says:

      When would he have done that?

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Republicans want to claim him?  I'm all for it, figuring one more vote isn't going to move the majority and they will have a choice of appointing someone who fits their caucus or the district, but not both.

      Do you suppose Lebsock will continue running for Treasurer, now as a Republican?  Will there be an update on The Big Line?

      • The realistThe realist says:

        I haven't checked the rules/law, but wouldn't he have had to be affiliated with one party or the other as of January 1 this year? Doesn't sound as if he's eligible to be a candidate for either party, or as an unaffiliated candidate. Experts, weigh in.

         

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

           Lebsock would have had to affiliate with Republicans by 1st business day in January if he planned to run for Treasurer as a Republican.

          But he's not planning to run as a Republican, he's doing a big "F**k you" to the Dems by trying to allow the Republicans to nominate his replacement. I don't see that eventuality covered in the rulebook for the Treasurer candidate.  So it will probably go to court. Oh joy. More histrionics.

        • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

          The law says that the party to which the expelled member belongs.

          Art V Sec 2

          (3)  Any vacancy occurring in either house by death, resignation, or otherwise shall be filled in the manner prescribed by law. The person appointed to fill the vacancy shall be a member of the same political party, if any, as the person whose termination of membership in the general assembly created the vacancy.

          That's present tense, so probably the Republicans.  They don't have to, though, and then Hick can.

          • Genghis says:

            And that adds even more entertainment value. A vacancy in the legislature must be "filled in the manner prescribed by law," but C.R.S. § 1-12-203, the "law" governing vacancies in the general assembly, doesn't appear to say anything at all about vacancies created by expulsion.

            I'm goddamn jolly well glad this didn't happen when one vacancy could have made the difference.

            • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

              If needed, I expect the court will just extend 1-12-203 to include expulsion, as it's the only resolution that makes sense.

            • The realistThe realist says:

              Looking ahead – perhaps this is the fear the Republican leadership in the Senate has – that if THEY expel one of their own (i.e. Baumgardner), that he will change party affiliation at just the right moment, and the Democrats will be able to fill Baumgardner's vacancy with a Dem, thus flipping the Senate. 

              I don't anticipate that happening (the change in party affiliation by the 'Stache), but maybe there's an irrational fear on the part of Grantham and Holbert . . .

               

              • Mike W. says:

                I can only think of a few Republicans in the legislature that wouldn't simply fall on the grenade rather than tossing it back to the people that threw it, and none of them have a sexual assault complaint against them. 

      • Genghis says:

        Do you suppose Lebsock will continue running for Treasurer, now as a Republican? 

        No idea, but I'm going to hope really, really hard that this happens. laugh

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Maybe he can bunk with Baumgardner at Rancho de Grabber in hot, Hot Sulfur Springs . . . 

        . . . it wouldn’t be a first time. 

    • flatiron says:

      assume that would be challenged in court, which will delay pick until after session is over, at which point the point is moot

    • Temporary seat loss for all the right reasons – assuming Republicans want to claim it.

    • davebarnesdavebarnes says:

      Steve Lebsock

       

      @RepLebsock

      ·

      59m

      I changed party affiliation at 3:02pm. As I walked down to speak for the last time, approx. 4pm, I handed the minority leader a document with affiliation change. Nothing was planned. He did not know about party change before.

  8. Gray in Mountains says:

    Wow. I'm frankly amazed. Been reading work stuff all day thoroughly expecting this to be postponed. The legislature has impressed me today

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      I was equally impressed; and surprised; at Republican response to the situation. As Mitch McConnell surprised many when he spoke last fall about the Roy Moore AL situation: “believe the women.”

  9. RepealAndReplace says:

    Who has announced to run as a Dem in November in that district?

  10. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Now is time to step up the pressure on the other harassers in the legislature.

  11. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    This is a good final nail in Lebsock's political career, from the Denver Post:

    As for Lebsock’s new party affiliation, “the Republicans can have him,” said Colorado Democratic Party spokesman Eric Walker. “As far as the seat, we’re looking into it. Either way, we’re confident the district will be represented by a Democrat by the time the next session begins.”

  12. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    I am rather proud of the house, including the eight who voted against expulsion.  We had a civilised debate and ended with an honorable result.

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