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April 15, 2015 03:28 PM UTC

Republicans Attempt Bizarre Coup To Placate Dudley Brown

  • by: Colorado Pols


A press release from Colorado House Democrats describes a wild turn of events on the floor of the House today, in which Republicans attempted unsuccessfully to override Democratic Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, and resurrect the magazine limit bill that died Monday in the House State Affairs Committee. The effort not only failed, but resulted in hard-right Rocky Mountain Gun Owners attacking fellow Republican legislators who didn’t go along with the plan in yet another act of red-on-red treachery:

House Republicans embarrassed themselves this morning with a failed coup attempt against Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst that was covered with the fingerprints of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, an extremist special interest group that has clearly taken control of House GOP floor strategy…

Actions of committees are deemed final, and the speaker routinely approves the reports of the various committees and enters them in the House journal to codify the work of those committees. Rep. Everett moved to amend the journal to overturn the work of the committee and show that SB15-175 passed. The rules of the House do not address an amendment to the House journal, leaving the decision up to the speaker, per the rules of the House. Speaker Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, ruled the motion out of order and came to the well to explain her decision.

“The issue here is whether or not by amending the journal you can change the action of a committee,” she told the chamber. “There is no specific rule that says you cannot amend the journal to say that a committee didn’t do what they actually did. I think the reason that there isn’t a rule is that is pretty common-sense. When there is no rule, according to the rules, the speaker decides. And my decision is that we will always, in this body under my rule of order, consider the action of a committee and the vote of a committee as final.”

The Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus reports:

A rare procedural move in the Colorado House on Wednesday aimed at forcing a vote to overturn the state’s ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines caught Republican Rep. J. Paul Brown in the crossfire…

Brown, from Ignacio, was one of only five Republicans to join in supporting the speaker.

“It went through the committee process. I don’t like the way the committee voted on it, but that’s what happened,” Brown said. “The speaker can be wrong on certain things. I think the speaker can be challenged. But in this particular case, when you’re trying to overturn what a committee did, that doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.”

Everett, however, said Brown should have supported challenging the speaker, questioning Brown’s commitment to repealing the gun control laws that were passed by Democrats in 2013. [Pols emphasis]

After this morning’s dustup, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners attacked all of the Republican representatives who voted against the “coup attempt.” Unfortunately for Republicans hoping to remain competitive in the 2016 elections, this includes critical targeted Rep. J. Paul Brown in HD-59–whose seat is central to both parties’ strategy for next year. Other Republicans now on the RMGO’s shit list include Reps. Tim DoreYeulin Willett, Bob Rankin, and Jon Keyser.

Here in reality, we know that Rep. Brown is pretty far from what you’d call anti-gun. Brown narrowly ousted Democratic Rep. Mike McLachlan last year after campaigning heavily against McLachlan’s support for the magazine limit bill (despite the fact that McLachlan had actually amended the magazine limit to increase it). But RMGO’s members are likely to follow the group’s lead without question, even when they make little sense as in this case–especially where it concerns downballot races voters know little about otherwise.

Bottom line: this was an embarrassing fool’s errand for the House GOP minority. It’s especially shocking that Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso participated in this action, the most brazen misuse of procedure anyone has seen since majority Republicans resorted to similarly drastic measures to kill the civil unions bill in 2012–and probably longer. Today’s incident is arguably even worse than what Republicans did in 2012, since the magazine limit bill had been killed fair and square in committee after hours of testimony. Safe to say that this will not improve bipartisan relations in the Colorado General Assembly.

As for relations between Republicans, eating their own to placate Dudley Brown seems to be the rule this year.


8 thoughts on “Republicans Attempt Bizarre Coup To Placate Dudley Brown

  1. I love it!  they should try this more often.  And I’m particularly proud of my state representative, Justin Everett, who not only managed to show up early this morning but orchestrated this stunt!

    They need to primary all of the Republicans who would not go along with the coup attempt!

  2. Gun analogy follows.

    A classic circular firing squad was unfortunately constructed by RMGO, Dudley Brown, and extremist Republicans, with five less extreme Republicans in the crossfire.


  3. The Independent’s O’Keefe has a classic cartoon about arming teachers:

    Seriously, this is one of the stupidest proposals ever. You don’t want to arm teachers. Teachers want to teach, not pack heat.

    Teaching is one of the most stressful jobs in existence. Why would you want to have teachers locked and loaded every day?

    Schools need safety infrastructure, and don’t have it. We can’t even close our back door out to the playground in a stiff wind. It takes two people to close it. There’s rumored to be asbestos in the floor tiles and ceiling insulation. There are few cameras in the hallways. There is only one aging security guard on duty most of the time. Most schools do not have assigned school resource officers.

    Fix those simple things to make buildings safer. Don’t be an idiot and arm teachers. Thanks. 

  4. Perhaps this morning they will move to amend yesterday’s House journal to reflect that the motion to amend the journal entry from the day before to reflect that State Affairs gave a favorable report on the gun bill actually passed.

    Is there any limit to how far back they can go to try to rewrite history?

  5. Although it is a little early and may not work, I wonder if this is not the beginning of the 2016 campaign with the extremist Republicans beginning to enrage their voters so that they’re “Ready for Hilary?”   Consider how many in Jeffco voted in 2014, and helped to hand the Senate to the R’s.   Some would argue that this type of engagement will help get those votes out and will give them the Legislature.   Watch for a lot more extremist actions in the coming 18 months.

  6. From the RMGO Facebook post:

    In a surprise move, the State House of Representatives just took a vote that would have enabled the Magazine Ban Repeal of 2015, SB15-175, to advance out of the “Kill Committee” and on to the floor.

    Unfortunately, Five Republicans joined anti-gun Democrats in voting against the Magazine Ban Repeal. How did your representative vote?

    (Green is pro-gun, Red is anti-gun)

    Such a “surprise” to them, I’m sure. And of course, the vote wasn’t for or against the bill – it was for or against altering the official government record to reflect something falsely.

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