ST. PAUL, Minn. — Monday night’s debate on the protest legislation authored by Rep. Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River) led to a contentious exchange between Republicans and Democrats.
House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman (D-Brooklyn Park), made a “call for the house” after noticing several of her colleagues were not in their seats during the debate over the Zerwas bill.
“I hate to break up the 100 percent white male card game in the retiring room, but I think this is an important debate,” Hortman said after making the motion.
Upset by her comments, Rep. Bob Dettmer (R-Forest Lake) called on Hortman to apologize to the body stating, “If I had made a comment like that, it would have made the newspapers.”
Hortman refused to apologize saying she was tired of seeing women of color being ignored.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minneapolis), who gave a speech in support of allowing protesters to continue without harsher penalties rose in defense of Hortman by giving a definition of racism and saying, “I don’t think Rep. Hortman’s statements were racist.”
Rep. Greg Davis (R-Preston) is calling for Hortman’s resignation according to Heather Carlson of the Post Bulletin.
Rep. Greg Davids said he thinks House DFL Leader Melissa Hortman should resign for comments re: breaking up 100% white male card game
— Heather J. Carlson (@PBhcarlson) April 4, 2017
However, Hortman is winning the internet for her card game comments. On Twitter, many individuals are coming to her defense and applauding her for her comments on the floor.
— Nasty Woman ❄ (@realYumford) April 4, 2017
— Sarah Leistico (@SarahLetsGo) April 4, 2017
Even the DFL State Party chose to chime in:
— Minnesota DFL Party (@MinnesotaDFL) April 4, 2017
The omnibus public safety bill was ultimately passed 94-37.