Yesterday, while in the side gallery of the House covering the close of the legislative session I was made aware of a confrontation on the floor of the House during the previous day between Representative Denny Hoskins (r – noun, verb, CPA) and Representative Michael Frame (D-105).
On Thursday the House was considering SCR 31 on international education. Representative Hoskins (r) was the handler for the bill. From the bill summary:
SCR 31 – This resolution encourages students and faculty in Missouri to promote international education as part of curricular and extracurricular life at Missouri’s colleges and universities.
This resolution is substantially similar to SCR 13 (2009) and to HCR 7 (2008).
Representative Michael Frame (D) at his desk on the floor of the House
on May 14, 2010 at the far side and back of the Democratic side of the aisle.
I interviewed Representative Frame yesterday:
Show Me Progress: Could you describe what happened with, Representative Hoskins on the floor yesterday?
Representative Michael Frame (D): Sure…and, yesterday there was a, a House, a resolution, for international students or international studies. We spent a great deal of time on it, which I found a bit odd with this time of the year, spending so much time on a, on a, you know, for a non-binding resolution. When he finished, when he, when he closed he said that, this is a very good resolution and I turned to one of my, colleagues and said, it’s the best resolution in the universe, kind of making fun of what Representative [Bryan] Pratt [r] had claimed about the ethics bill, a day or two earlier. I didn’t intend for him to hear that, but I guess he had heard it and, and there’s a lot of this talking going on the floor. And while he was still on mic he said, come on over here and say that. Or something like that and, and I didn’t, I just kind of ignored his, his invitation and began to reach down, and actually, I was going to vote in favor of it. And as I was looking at, at my screen I heard my colleague Representative [Trent] Skaggs say, “He’s coming over here, he’s coming over here.” And I really didn’t know, you know, what he was referring to, I did hear him say those words. And when looked up, when I turned up again he was almost nose to nose with me. And asking me if, if I had a, a problem, with some few other cuss words thrown in there as well, too. And, and do I have a problem, do I have problem. I told him he was, you know, to paraphrase, was, was way out of line. He really needs to step back. And Representative Skaggs and Representative [John] Burnett physically got between the two of us. And again informed him you really need to return to your other side. Burnett, there was a bit of an exchange there, Burnett said you [inaudible], you, you charged over here in a very physical way that was, you know, a bit intimidating and, and a little bit threatening. And you just need to back off. And, and I didn’t see him charge over here, I’ll take their word for it he did. I was looking at my monitor. But, informing him he needed to back off, back off. At that point some of his Republican colleagues came over and, and encouraged him to return to his side of the aisle…
Representative Denny Hoskins (r) in conversation on the floor of the House on May 14, 2010.
…Show Me Progress: Do you think that this is a symptom, one of the symptoms of, maybe, the environment?
Representative Frame: Yes. And, I, I think he’s a frustrated legislator. I’m not sure about that. I, I’m not sure what it was. I don’t know if he was having a really bad day or, or why it was. I, I really didn’t think what I said, and again, it wasn’t directed at him, but I don’t know why he took such great offence to me calling his resolution the best resolution in the universe. I thought that would actually be a compliment, but, to tell you the truth, it wasn’t directed at him, it was really more directed at Representative Pratt. But wasn’t even talking with representative, I was actually talking with Representative Skaggs, but my comment was, was more directed at Pratt and just making a bit of fun. And he, he became very angry though and, and charged over at me. And like I said, when I looked up, it was nose to nose. I got to think that there was something else behind it. That it was a pretty, I won’t say innocent, but, but a very casual statement that I made. I don’t think it was any way majorly offensive enough that you would actually enter into some type of physical violence because of it.
Show Me Progress: All right, well thank you.
Representative Frame: Okay, thanks.
The vote on the bill, at the time of the incident (from the Journal of the House, May 13, 2010):
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS
SCR 31, relating to international education, was again taken up by Representative Hoskins (121).
On motion of Representative Hoskins (121), SCR 31 was adopted by the following vote:
Maybe behavior on the floor can influence a few votes.
A non-binding resolution takes up a chunk of floor time on the House during the second to last day of the session. Does anyone think it’s possible that the majority leadership was throwing one of their members a public relations bone?