BOSTON -- Angry rants, accusations, and calls for investigations dominated the Democrat-run House of Representatives on Thursday, as a debate over new sexual harassment rules devolved into open chaos. With the cloud of an FBI corruption investigation already hanging over Democrats in the Senate, House Democrats took to the floor to snipe at each other, culminating with the House Dean calling for his own party's AG to investigate the Democrat House Speaker. The latest dispute comes just days after the suggestion of an ethics investigation into the actions of the Democrat Secretary of State.
"Yesterday proved that Democrats are incapable of running the Legislature in an orderly and civil way," said MassGOP Chairman Kirsten Hughes. "After a year of legislative inaction on everything but pay raises for legislators, multiple FBI corruption investigations are hanging over the Legislature, and Democrats on the campaign trail are suggesting ethics investigations into constitutional officers. Given this chaotic state of affairs, it's not surprising to see the House descend into disorder, with a senior Democrat calling on the Democrat AG to investigate their Party's own House Speaker. The people of Massachusetts deserve better than this."
MASSterList: "You Have To Wonder About The...Future Of House Leadership"
"But it should be noted that now leadership in both chambers, the House and Senate, are in turmoil, all tied to #MeToo movement accusations, and it’s a big mess. Unlike Rosenberg, DeLeo will probably survive this furor, but he’s definitely wounded and you have to wonder about the effectiveness, if not the future, of House leadership." (MASSterList, 3/16/18)
In The Midst Of A Pitched Debate On Harassment Rules, The Dean Of The House Called On The Democrat AG To Investigate The Democrat Speaker
"Rep. Angelo Scaccia, a Hyde Park Democrat whose lengthy tenure has earned him the title of dean of the House, ripped House Speaker Robert DeLeo for the repeated use of non-disclosure agreements, noting that public money was spent to ensure employees' 'silence.'
"Addressing DeLeo from the House floor, Scaccia said, 'You've been getting away for too long in this House with the sound of silence.'" (Gin Dumcius, "Boston lawmaker calls for Attorney General Maura Healey to investigate House Speaker Robert DeLeo amid harassment debate," MassLive, 3/15/18)
"Taunts" At The House Speaker Were Repeatedly Ruled Out Of Order In A Testy Exchange
"In his remarks on the floor, Scaccia, a Democrat who has tangled with DeLeo previously, repeatedly taunted DeLeo to leave his office and preside over the House during Thursday's debate.
'Mr. Speaker, where are you? Come out. Come out of your office and chair,' he said. Each taunt was gaveled out of order by Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad, who was presiding." (Colin Young, "Charges fly between Dems as House updates sexual harassment policy," SHNS, 3/15/18)
Another Democrat Accused House Leadership Of "Silencing Tactics"
"'These silencing tactics have no place in this House,' said Rep. Diana DiZoglio, D-Methuen, speaking on the House floor Thursday. 'They cover up misdeeds by politicians and others and allow perpetrators to move from one victim to the next.'" (Shira Schoenberg, "Rep. Diana DiZoglio blasts 'silencing tactics' as House updates sexual harassment rules," MassLive, 3/15/18)
The "Anger And Frustration Bubbled Over" Thursday, Culminating In "One Of The Most Animated House Sessions In Recent Memory"
"Frustration and anger bubbled to the surface in the Massachusetts House on Thursday where one lawmaker's personal story of harassment led to a testy debate over how employee complaints have been handled in the House and a call from one House Democrat for the attorney general to investigate his own party's leadership.
"The tense drama unfolded as the House was engaged in an emotional debate over the use of non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements in cases of sexual harassment and other workplace disputes. In one of the most animated House sessions in recent memory, one state representative broke what she said was an agreement House leaders compelled her to sign as an aide in the building in order to receive severance, and then the dean of the House called for the attorney general to investigate the use of such agreements under House Speaker Robert DeLeo." (Colin Young, "Charges fly between Dems as House updates sexual harassment policy," SHNS, 3/15/18)
Democrats Engaged In A "Heated Back-And-Forth" As The Chaos Continued
"Later, DiZoglio engaged in a heated back-and-forth with state Representative Marjorie C. Decker, who applauded her courage while opposing her push to ban all nondisclosure agreements. All the while, state representatives furiously texted, and at one point a male voice could be heard whispering, 'Jesus!'" (Josh Miller and Matt Stout, "Two state representatives excoriate Speaker DeLeo on House floor over non-disclosure agreements," The Boston Globe, 3/16/18)
A Democrat Candidate Is Suggesting The Ethics Commission Investigate Secretary Galvin
"Whether Galvin’s comments were simply bluster or a reference to more concrete actions taken by the secretary, Zakim said he would leave it to the Ethics Commission or the attorney general’s office to determine whether a more formal investigation is warranted." ("Boston City Councilor Zakim Presses Galvin Over Phone Call With Lawrence Mayor Rivera," SHNS, 3/6/18)