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March 02, 2018 10:28 AM UTC

Live Thread: Steve Lebsock Expelled from Legislature

  • 55 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

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


—–

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.

—–

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.

Comments

55 thoughts on “Live Thread: Steve Lebsock Expelled from Legislature

    1. Bullet proof vest?  With all those armed “good-guy-and-gal” legislators packing heat?? Ain’t that what’s supposed to make Americans most safe?

      There will be plenty of time to address gun control next week . . . 

      Flush Lebsock today, already. 

      1. One of those good-guy legislators is Lori Saine, who's crazy as the proverbial shithouse rat, so body armor ain't exactly the worst idea ever.

        Grandstanding about it from the podium, however …

      1. I'm a trifle confused. Last time I was there during a session, there was pretty thorough security.

        "These security measures will include, but are not limited to:

        • Putting personal items in a bin to be passed through an x-ray machine
        • Passing through a metal detector
        • X-ray and visual examination of all packages
        • Packages and or bags subject to physical search"

        So what is the use of a Kevlar vest??? Does he think Capitol security, overseen by the CSP, is only Kabuki security?

        1. Did that security start at his front door? In the parking lot? Front steps? He doesn't live in the Capitol, he drives to work everyday like the rest of us. Some jackass from Nebraska probably sent him a threatening email or something. 

      2. Here's apparently why:

        Garnett said he is specifically concerned about violence from Lebsock. “He threatened to ‘take me down,’ ” Garnett told The Denver Post.

        Legislators, aides, and staff generally don't go through the metal detectors.  Also, there aren't any out in the parking lots, etc.  Personally, I'd expect Lebsock is a greater risk to himself than Garnett.

      1. When it comes to a legislature's internal workings, legislative process is due process by definition. Of course, no one could reasonably expect the Fluffster to understand that.

  1. 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.

        1. Good.  Let it be recorded that, on this date, the Legislature expelled a fucking Republican serial sexual harasser . . . 

          . . . it’s a start!

    1. 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?

      1. 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.

         

        1.  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.

        2. 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.

          1. 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.

            1. 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 . . .

               

              1. 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. 

      2. 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

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

    1. 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.”

  3. 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.”

  4. 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.

    1. Yes, I didn't watch the entire thing but from what I did see and read, even many of the Republicans impressed me by the way they approached this.

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