“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.