Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today issued a statement after the Majority Floor Leader exploded in a furious tirade, screaming, pointing at and lunging toward Leader Sykes and Democratic committee members as she asked the Government Oversight Committee Chair to maintain decorum during Thursday’s hearing on Ohio’s Anti-Voter Bill, House Bill 294. The Majority Floor Leader was verbally harassing Democratic members of the committee when the Leader tried to intervene with her point of order. Leader Sykes and Democrats later moved to adjourn the meeting citing safety concerns. Republicans rejected the motion.
“We were given a refresher on what constitutes disorderly conduct yesterday. Now, a day later, a member of the Republican leadership team explodes in a fit of rage during committee, verbally attacking, screaming and lunging at me and my fellow Democratic members during a hearing on his Anti-Voter Bill. We will not be intimidated. We will not back down. This behavior should not and cannot be tolerated of any member, let alone someone in a leadership position. You cannot bully us or the people of Ohio to get your way. The members of the Republican caucus who sat by and watched such a poor display of emotional control by their Majority Floor Leader should be ashamed and embarrassed by their colleagues actions.”
Thursday’s meeting was the second hearing on Ohio’s Anti-Voter bill. Democratic lawmakers walked out of the initial hearing on the bill May 20 after the Republican chairman threatened to cut off testimony on the bill.