Sacramento is a place of high stakes political theater, but today’s fracas between Assemblymen Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) and Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) before the Assembly Labor and Employment committee is never a dull moment.
Republican Matthew Harper Responds to Unbelievable Behavior by Chair of Labor & Employment Committee During Public Debate
Denounces Bullying Tactics by Democrat Assemblyman Roger Hernández During Committee Hearing
During a routine bill presentation today in front of the Assembly Labor and Employment committee, Chairman Roger Hernández (D-West Covina) used bullying tactics to stop any opposing comment from his Vice-Chairman and colleague, Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach).
The erratic behavior began when Hernandez first cut off a witness testifying mid-sentence. Although Hernández had already recognized Harper as the next speaker, instead, Hernández cut Harper off before he was able to say one word.
Hernandez then began frantically calling for a vote to quickly silence Harper. When Harper insisted to be heard, Hernandez physically reached over another person to personally turn off Harper’s microphone. The spastic behavior continued with Hernandez demanding capitol security to remove Assemblyman Harper’s microphone from the dais.
Assemblyman Hernández blocked discussion on a hot topic, SB 3 (Leno), a minimum wage increase bill that would have major implications to businesses and workers throughout the state of California.
From Assemblyman Matthew Harper:
“Blocking discussion in this manner is unfair, undemocratic and soils the decorum of the Assembly. I was sent here to represent the concerns of the voters of my district and chairman Hernández shut down my ability to speak for who I represent.
“Our state’s underemployment rate is overwhelming and the bill being rammed through our committee would make it harder to hire. We are sent here to debate policy that impacts the lives of Californians, not shut down dissenting points of view.
“The chair’s actions were offensive and disrespectful today, not just to me, but to Californians who want jobs and deserve to know the impacts policy will have on their chances of employment. The good people of the San Gabriel Valley deserve better from their representative and Californians as a whole deserve more from those who serve them.”
Editor Update: Assembly Labor and Employment Committee fracas YouTube video courtesy of John Myers of KQED News: