WEDNESDAY UPDATE #3: Here's the video of what we can only describe as a rambling and not very apologetic Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman this morning, addressing his wrongheaded outburst yesterday against Senate President Morgan Carroll:
We're not sure what he's trying to say, but based on what we already know (below), it's fairly ridiculous. This is when most well-adjusted adults admit they were wrong, apologize and move on. But not Sen. Cadman. And not this election year.
WEDNESDAY UPDATE #2: Cadman delivers a
quasi-apology bizarre, rambling non-apology this morning, developing:
GOP Sen. Cadman says he admits "there was an absence of malice" on how Dems have handled GOP's universal backgroung check repeal bill #coleg
— Ivan Moreno (@IvanJourno) January 15, 2014
WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The Grand Junction Sentinel's Charles Ashby:
Cadman caught just about everyone off-guard Tuesday when he went to the microphone in the Senate and spent more than 10 minutes haranguing Carroll and Heath for delaying the bill without telling him or Rivera that they planned to do so. Under Senate rules, however, the majority party has the right to schedule bills whenever they want [Pols emphasis] as long as they allow at least one official vote before the session ends in May.
UPDATE #2: The Colorado Springs Gazette's Megan Schrader:
"Had I known that she would have done this, I would not have seconded her," Cadman said, referring to making a second motion to elect Carroll as president of the Senate on opening day of the session last week.
He even speculated some might start a recall effort in Carroll's district.
But as heated as the issue became Tuesday, the move to waive deadlines on Rivera's bill appears benign. [Pols emphasis]
Carroll said they always had every intention of introducing Rivera's bill and assigning a bill number to it, but simply wanted the flexibility to assign it to committee when there would be time to listen to what is sure to be a crush of public comment on the subject.
UPDATE: We were just forwarded the scanned document you see immediately below from Senate Majority staff. This is being presented to us as incontrovertible evidence that Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman was wrong today in attacking Senate President Morgan Carroll over the introduction of a GOP bill to repeal last year's universal background check legislation.
At the top of the paper, highlighted for clarity by Senate staff, you can see two handwritten dates. These were reportedly written by nonpartisan legislative staffers. On the left is the deadline for submission by Senate majority staffers to the Senate Secretary–today at 1PM. At right is the corresponding deadline for the bill to be introduced on the Senate floor. As you can see, that deadline is tomorrow.
Presuming the validity of this document, and we have no reason not to, Cadman owes President Carroll a very humble apology. Right after that, he should explain to the House GOP, state Republican party, and all the blogs and right wing "news sites" running away with this story what really happened today.
Fat chance, we know.
FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports on fireworks today in the Colorado Senate: it seems last Wednesday's spirit of "bipartisanship" couldn't even make it one week.
Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, lashed out at Senate President Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, accusing Democrats of purposefully delaying the introduction of legislation aiming to overturn the law passed last year expanding background checks to private gun sales and transfers…
“It ought to be an outrage. Maybe they’ll start a recall. [Pols emphasis] Because, frankly, if you’re willing to ignore the rules, you shouldn’t be enforcing them.”
We'll be curious to see if this principle gets invoked by Republicans on Colorado sheriffs ignoring laws they don't like. In this case, however, the problem, as Senate President Morgan Carroll responds, is that Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman's allegations simply aren't true:
Following Cadman’s press conference, Carroll told reporters that the legislation would be introduced by 1 p.m. Tuesday, which Democrats believed to be the deadline all along.
As of 1 p.m., the bill had been handed over to the Secretary of the Senate and will be officially introduced and assigned to a committee on Wednesday, according to Senate Democrats.
“Every bill’s going to get a full hearing, everyone’s going to get a chance to testify; we’ve done everything within the rules,” said Carroll, who told reporters she was surprised by Cadman’s “rant”.
Every source we've spoken with backs up President Carroll on this point. It seems there has to have been some kind of miscommunication between the bill's sponsor, freshly sworn-in Sen. George Rivera, and GOP Senate leadership, because it's difficult to explain this rationally otherwise. It's our understanding that the bill in question was in fact due at 1:00PM today. Cadman's explosion in the Senate occurred well before noon.
Cadman's theatrics notwithstanding, it's a fact that every Senate President has the right to grant extra time for legislators to work on their bills. This is not a controversial practice. Sponsors can request this, or leadership can grant it to allow time for negotiations on a bill. Or, as Carroll explained in today's story, there may be a perceived need to give more time to accommodate public testimony.
“To be honest, if I were him, I would be a little embarrassed at going off like this when we are 100 percent in compliance with the rules,” she said. “He’s quick to assume that strange things might happen when no violation has occurred.” [Pols emphasis]
Apparently, Cadman was trying to claim that Democrats wanted to prevent the bill in question from ever being introduced. Given the outcry that would result in, it's very difficult to imagine, and we're inclined to think Cadman knows that wasn't what was going on. Either way, it didn't happen. What did happen is a full-on partisan temper tantrum, intended to win coverage from the press and further aggrieve gun rights activists.
And coming from a man who just one week ago was celebrated as a "statesman" for seconding President Carroll's nomination, these knee-jerk threats of recall only days later are especially unfortunate. If this incident is any indicator, Cadman's temper could become a defining element of this year's session–and not in a good way.