“Lady, Shut It!”

With a H/T to Tim Hoover of the Denver paper, here is the audio of Rep. Jim Kerr (R) getting testy with a state employee yesterday–courtesy Rocky Mountain Community Radio:

REP. JIM KERR: I don’t have the authority to take PERA away from you.

KIMBERLY BODIN: I, I know that you don’t. I know, I know that you don’t, but…

KERR: I know.

BODIN: but I know that you do have the desire.

KERR: I, uh, (laughter)

KERR: uh to make a statement like that is insulting.

BODIN: You know I’m not trying to insult you.

KERR: You did. You’ve insulted me.

BODIN: I’ve just tried to remind you that I’ve worked many years in my lifetime…

KERR: (pounds gavel, speaking at the same time) Lady, shut it, shut it. I’ve been very tolerant of you. Shut it.

BODIN: and I would like to retire.

KERR: I am the chair of this committee; all right? You are, you have, you were given every courtesy and then you insult me. And then not…

BODIN: I apologize, Sir…

KERR: Stop; stop! Not only do you insult me, but then you continue to insult me, and interrupt me. Now, I’m the chair of this committee. When I’m on the street I’m a regular guy. But I have to maintain a certain decorum here. Now, you don’t let me respond, that is rude. You insult me. That’s unacceptable. I’m done.

BODIN: Once again, I apologize.

KERR: Thank you.

First of all, we want to concede that the state employee in question, a Department of Corrections nurse who, it’s safe to say, takes plenty of crap on the job and knows how to give it right back, was probably a little out of line in taunting Rep. Kerr with a flip accusation. But she’s hardly the first snarky or otherwise tough witness Jim Kerr has encountered.

And we have to say, as a member of the party accused–rightly or wrongly–of waging a “war on women,” the words “lady, shut it” are a self-evident political tragedy. No matter how upset Rep. Kerr may have been by her half-joking suggestion that he has “the desire” to “take PERA away,” he just gave Democrats their whole campaign theme in one tidy sound bite.

13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Republican 36 says:

    I’ve been around the General Assembly off and on for thirty years and there are times when a witness becomes angry and perhaps a committee member will respond in kind, but it all blows over in a day or two. Rep. Kerr’s response may not have been the best, but we must remember what he said was said in the emotion of the moment. I don’t think this is even in the same category with the “War on Women” launched by Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and other Republicans.

    • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

      But the fact that dickishness is common does not make it okay.

      “Lady, shut it?” I would not defend a Republican saying right now this under any circumstances. At least he didn’t say, “with aspirin!”

  2. I think Kerr had the right to maintain decorum, however he should have more self-control and try to be gentle with the testifying public.  Kerr should assume the attitude of a servant of the public, not a superior, not let people push those buttons. The two of them should have lunch, patch things up.  


    The NY Legislature has just adopted a pension overhaul without a hint of theft about it. They understand that fully-vested defined benefit pension retirees bear no market risk. They realize that these retirees participate in a DEFINED benefit plan, not a VARIABLE benefit plan.

    Here’s the article:


  3. MADCO says:

    Who cares?

    It’s not like he questioned why she would work outside the home. Why she cared about her PERA  when she could retire on her husbands pension.  

    It’s not like he called her fat or ugly.  Or told her contraception or other pregnancy and birth related healthcare are irrelevant.

    He told her to shut up – not because she’s a she, but because he disagrees with her politics.  Rude? maybe  

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