“How Dare You Impugn My Obvious Motive?!”

The Pueblo Chieftain’s Patrick Malone reports today on the nasty debate in the Senate over Senate Bill 3, legislation to forbid the use of credit reports to screen many job applicants:

“I am here to speak for the people of Colorado who are unemployed right now and due to no fault of their own are facing plummeting credit scores, which threaten to keep them unemployed in perpetuity,” said Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, who sponsored SB3.

Carroll challenged opponents of the bill to sign a form that she distributed authorizing their credit histories to be made public to their constituents. Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, said he initially intended to sign the waiver, but ultimately declined because he did not want to expose his family to the wrath of political rivals.

The philosophical divide between the two parties deteriorated into personal attacks.

“The Republicans are saying we’ve got to protect these big corporations, and what we’re saying is give the little guy that’s unemployed a fair shake,” said Senate Majority Leader John Morse, D-Colorado Springs.

Republicans took offense. Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, said Morse’s remark impugned and misstated his party’s motives for opposing the bill and called Morse “an embarrassment.”

“I am embarrassed for you,” Harvey said. “I am ashamed of you.”

Senate Republicans became irate at the suggestion yesterday from Senate Majority Leader John Morse that Republicans were siding with “big corporations” over the “unemployed little guy”–not because this was an incorrect suggestion, as GOP tesimony against the bill makes pretty obvious. Clearly Senate Republicans opposed the idea of “tying the hands of business,” and supported the right of business to use credit reports to screen job applicants.

Which means they’re siding with big corporations over job applicants.

The reason that Senate Republicans got so irate about this is not the accurate nature of the suggestion, but the violation of “protocol” by questioning the underlying motives of a fellow legislator. Not shouting about what was said, but that Sen. Morse had the temerity to say it. AP:

Republican Sen. Greg Brophy immediately yelled, “Don’t impugn motive!”

Republican Sen. Ted Harvey backed up the anger, saying of Morse during the debate on the Senate floor: “I am ashamed of you. And I think this body should rebuke you for your comments.”

But folks, we just don’t think Morse’s comments are that far out of line. We’d say he was pretty accurately paraphrasing what Republicans were saying about the bill, and Republicans would do better to respond with facts–not whining about their feelings being hurt. In fact, this exchange displays petulance we think the GOP will find embarrassing in the long run.

Because voters really don’t care if you’re “allowed” to impugn Greg Brophy’s motives.

32 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

    The Republicans are saying we’ve got to protect these big corporations, and what we’re saying is give the little guy that’s unemployed a fair shake,” said Senate Majority Leader John Morse, D-Colorado Springs.

    That’s not impugning motive, that’s just stating facts. Impugning motive would be (just as a purely hypothetical example):

    Greg Brophy and Ted Harvey are for this bill because they’re noses-to-taint deep in the pockets of the big businessmen who bankroll their election campaigns, and they don’t give a shit about their unemployed constituents.

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    that Carroll’s motive was to impugn GOP motive? . . . DON’T IMPUGN MOTIVE, Greg!

  3. Konola says:

    When I was a community development lender I found myself constantly arguing against using credit scores when looking at entrepreneurs. The guy who is going to start a business does’t stop with the first failure. But that first failure haunts his credit score for 7 years.

    The problem is even greater when applied to job applications and insurance policies. My housemate, who has been unemployed and has always paid for everything with cash recently got a notice that his auto insurance premium was going up because of his credit score. I know for a fact that in the last 12 years he has never missed or been late on any payment, including child support payments. I know this because he gives me the cash and I write the checks.

    Should a person be rejected as an employee because they don’t have a credit history? Do struggles to pay bills during periods of unemployment translate into bad workers?

    The score was designed as a predictor of default on loans and installment credit–it was never designed to predict one’s skill or dedication to work.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      I do take some exception to this statement.

      The score was designed as a predictor of default on loans and installment credit–it was never designed to predict one’s skill or dedication to work.

      I worked with Fair-isaacs when they were designing one of their very first national credit-scoring models.  My observation is that FICO has been duplicitously SOLD as a predictor of default (something it actually does about as comparatively accurately as divining goat entrails), it was DESIGNED to replace, from a cost-efficiency perspective, expensive human beings and their thoughtful judgment from the loan decision process.

  4. abraham says:

    It is absolutely astounding that the Republican Party has steadfastly and resolutely continued on its course to become a permanent minor party.  Perhaps we should consider that outcome is exactly what they are strategically striving for.  As a permanent minor party, they can be ideologically pure and not have to worry about those pesky caucuses, assemblies and primaries.

    Why would the Democrats attempt to impugn the motives of Republicans?  Are those motives not transparent enough?  The Democrats need not say anything when Senators such as Harvey are so extraordinarily eloquent with faultless logic in carefully showing the world who and what they really are.

    The Republican policy proposals are to public policy what Ishtar was to movies.

    • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

      Ishtar wasn’t actually that bad of a movie. if you didn’t know the story about Warren Beatty and Elaine May, you might actually like it.

      Republican policy is more like Snakes on a Plane. You’ve seen it all before and it’s really lame.

  5. Gilpin GuyGilpin Guy says:

    I’m outraged if you don’t agree with me.

  6. The realistThe realist says:

    is going so well.  And it’s only February . . .

  7. PitaPita says:

    of Senator Steve King:

    During debate, Carroll placed waiver forms on each senator’s desk, asking them to sign it to allow their constituents to see their credit report.

    King was the only Republican to do so.

    The waiver read: “I (senator’s name) give permission to anyone who lives in Senate District (number) to pull my consumer credit report also known as an employee credit report for the purpose of determining my fitness for hire as their Colorado state senator.”

    At first, King said he didn’t have a problem with it. Then he said he did.

    “I started thinking about the fact that there are people in my district and in this state … who do not wish me or my family well,” King said. “We talked about employers using this in good faith for hiring. That’s one thing. But I worry about signing a document that puts myself and my family at risk.”

    Hmmm! Steve, isn’t being unemployed because of poor credit putting other families at risk?

    http://www.gjsentinel.com/news… (subscriber only – sorry)

  8. Craig says:

    What Senator Carroll requested of the Senators is already illegal under Colorado and Federal law.  It is not related to the purpose of their job and if that’s not so, Colorado statute already prohibits this and Federal anti-discrimination laws already prohibit this her law wouldn’t change this.  What her law changes is the types of business that can request this information to banks and securities companies.  There reality is that as usual, Senator Carroll has done a bill which solves a problem that is already illegal and then goes on to throw the baby out with the bath water.  It prevents lots of small businesses, like property managers, grocery stores, any retail business from knowing if the person they are hiring is in financial trouble and might be more likely to steal.  That’s a ligitimate use for this information.  And Senator Carroll prohibits people from finding this out.  Sorry that’s a FAIL in my book.  Also the stuff about notice is completely duplicative of existing Federal Law.

    So, once again, Senator Carroll introduces a piece of legislation that does nothing but cause harm and cost everyone money.  See my diatribes about the homeonwers’ association legislation she has passed.

    That she is a lawyer is just another point supporting my belief that there are way too many lawyers and that the best tort reform for Colorado would be to simply close down the CU Law School and reduce the number of people passing the bar exam.  And, I have a degree from the CU Law School.

  9. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    Colorado Pols has done much to poison the air at the Capitol over the years.

    Thanks for proving it.

    • Fidel's dirt nap says:

      take your shit sanctimony elsewhere.

      • breatheandreboot says:

        and defines our country as a “Christian Nation” until it doesn’t. Something a Republican wants everyone to do, but they won’t? Damn blog, drawing attention to it.

        Make a note, if you see an airplane full of radioactive material crash into the reservoir, do not, under any circumstances, say anything about it. Not acknowledging it clearly means it’s not there. Why would you want to poison our water? BLOOOOOOG!

  10. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:


    After watching Harvey in action, it occurs to us that Republicans should always meet progressive noise about “standing up for the little guy” with such force.  

    Who are you kidding Senator Morse? Yours is the party of Gill, Stryker, Soros and Ivory Tower environmentalism.  Your majority is owed almost entirely to the big checks of a fat walleted few.    

    Little guys, Mr. Morse?  Spit.    

    Harvey’s hammering repudiation of Morse, and the positive news coverage it drew, should be a gentle nudge to the GOP as we head into a critical election — meet fire with fire.  As that pugnacious state Senator from the promised land of Douglas County showed, the best way to take down liberals’ self indulgent “little man” baloney is to call it what it is — an embarrassment.

  11. Ray SpringfieldRay Springfield says:

    Only the employed can afford to declare bankruptcy.The unemployed will never get a job.So I suppose that the Republicans think that if a person loses a job at no fault of their own,and they then go broke they should either kill themselves,or go to prison and work for the private prisons.

    The American gulag makes fat profits for some.This used to be calld fascsim.

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