Committee Chair Boots ProgressNow from Mic, Censors Public Comment Against Right-to-Work Supporters

Committee Chair Boots ProgressNow from Mic, Censors Public Comment Against Right-to-Work Supporters

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Committee Chair Boots ProgressNow from Mic, Censors Public Comment Against Right-to-Work Supporters

WTF is up with this. Today's committee hearing on right-to-work was one of the most hotly contested of the session, testing the new Republican majority's ability to govern in a ...

WTF is up with this.

Today’s committee hearing on right-to-work was one of the most hotly contested of the session, testing the new Republican majority’s ability to govern in a democratic way.

After allowing members of the public to read letters from business leaders and employees across the state, the Chair of the House Business and Employment Committee told ProgressNowNM’s communications director he could not read an email between the sponsor’s expert witness and political operatives discussing right-to-work legislation, then had him removed from the microphone.

See the full news release below :


PROGRESSNOW NM
News Release 

Thurs. January 29, 2015 

Committee Chair bans ProgressNow from speaking in right-to-work hearing

Alex CurtasSanta Fe – After allowing members of the public to read letters from business leaders and employees across the state, the Chair of the House Business and Employment Committee told ProgressNowNM’s communications director he could not read an email between the sponsor’s expert witness and political operatives discussing right-to-work legislation, then had him removed from the microphone.

In the third hour of the committee’s hearing on Rep. Roch’s ‘right-to-work’ bill, HB22, ProgressNowNM’s Alex Curtas introduced himself in public comment to read an email between the sponsor’s expert, Paul Gessing, and Republican campaign operatives discussing their plan to find a ‘sugar daddy’ to fund a study and push right-to-work as a tool to un-elect ‘dumb’ Democrats. (read the email here)

Chairwoman Jane Powdrell-Culbert (R-Bernalillo) immediately interrupted Mr. Curtas and said he could not speak if he mentioned the expert or others included in the email.  Mr. Curtas informed the chair that the email was germane to the topic, read part of the email, then was cut off by the chair who said he could not continue.  She then motioned to the attendant to remove Mr. Curtas from the microphone. 

Patrick Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNowNM:

“We counted more than a dozen people who read letters, statements or emails from other people without any interference from the chair.

The chair quashed our right to free speech in the people’s legislature.  With all due respect, the chairwoman has no right to squelch criticism of her friends just because it is uncomfortable. 

She owes Mr. Curtas and the public she serves an immediate apology.”

ProgressNow NM is a non-profit public advocacy group representing more than 100,000 New Mexicans supporting progressive policies in the state. The group has been a vocal critic of the proposed bill.


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