While self-defense advocates (okay, gunnies) were taking time off work and away from their families to show up for and testify at hearings on some seriously ugly gun bills in Minnesota, DFL Rep. Alice Hausman who sponsored two of them – an “assault weapon” ban and a mag cap limit — couldn’t be bothered to show up to defend them herself. Instead she sent Heather Martens, a paid flack for the Joyce Foundation-funded AstroTurf® organization, Protect Minnesota (formerly known Citizens for a Safer Minnesota). According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune – no friend of gun rights, they — “That is an extremely unusual practice for a legislator seeking to get bills passed in the Legislature.” Unfortunately, Ms. Hausman had “other commitments” . . .
My guess is that she was avoiding another public spanking administered by lawyer, law-school prof and Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance President Joe Olson. Whatever the reason, do you know why the Strib found the practice of letting a lobbyist present her bills for her so unusual? Simple; because in doing so, she broke the rules of the MN House of Representatives. Specifically:
Article II – Floor Proceedings, Voting, Decorum:
2.39 Executive Branch Or Lobbyist Presence In Committee. No House committee, division or subcommittee shall permit any member or staff of the executive branch, registered lobbyist, or lobbyist principal, to be seated at the committee table with members of the House during official proceedings of committees of the House.
And no matter how she may try to twist and turn, the fact of the matter is that presenting a bill would absolutely be considered as “seated at the committee table with members of the House.”
And the antis talk about the NRA having legislators in their hip pocket.