Nothing Like a Meltdown During a Committee Hearing

by Rick Olson

“Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.”   Benjamin Franklin 

Meltdown!

Meltdowns. Most people find them offensive and off-putting while I find myself amused by them. Admittedly, I am sometimes surprised…but mostly amused. Such was the case today, With House Criminal Justice and Safety Chair, Laura Pantelakos.

Rep David Murotake (R) Nashua completed his testimony opposing House Bill 135 when the rather large crowd broke into applause, despite two prior warnings of the Chair not to do so. Representative Pantelakos began feverishly hammering the podium with the gavel, and yelling for the applause to cease. Then she said those magic words:

“Show some respect for the members of this committee. We are forced to sit here and suffer through this…I am not going to tolerate this!”

Naturally, there was a reaction from the crowd…some boos’s and some groans…and laughter.  Laughter because she demanded respect from the crowd all the while standing up there with her shrill piercing voice…like nails on a chalk board, yelling at us all like a bunch of naughty school children. Some might call it disrespectful..me? not so much…She is just another liberal who does not care a fig what the people have to say and committee hearings such as these are just an exercise to be suffered through. Naturally, after other testimony, some folks again began to applaud. (being in the back, I applauded loudly so as to egg on others).

Rep. Dan Itse (R) Fremont so very eloquently approached the microphone and reminded Rep Pantelakos of the constitutional duties of the house. (I wished I had recorded it). Nevertheless, it left me with a most-lasting favorable impression…

Yes, it was funny….Funny, Indeed. But it also served as a teachable moment. We witnessed the very heart of the mindset and attitude of the chair when she viscerally popped off at us all. I would even go so far as to suggest that next time a bill of such great import comes into the fore, we all fill out red cards, asking for 5 minutes to speak…if for no other reason, than to see that hilarious melt-down. Let the people be heard!

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