Doug Bruce Kicks News Photographer 1st Day In Denver
DENVER – Douglas Bruce literally kick-started his first day at the state capitol when he kicked a Rocky Mountain News photographer. Shortly after 10 a.m., with Bruce standing along the side of the House chambers floor, he kicked Javier Manzano, a photographer for the Rocky for taking his picture during the Morning Prayer. He waved his finger at another photographer after he took a picture during the Pledge of Allegiance. A Sergeant-At-Arms came over to stop the photographer. After the Pledge, the photographer asked the Sergeant if there was a rule he was breaking. Bruce told the photographer, “It’s my rule, don’t do it. You got it? Don’t do it. I will never give you a photograph again.” There are no rules against media photos on the House floor during morning rituals.
“I said don’t do that,” said Bruce about kicking the Rocky photographer. “His photographer ought to apologize to the House and to me.”
“For a person to believe that he can provide a lesson in decorum by kicking another human being is unfathomable,” said Rocky Mountain News Editor, President and Publisher John Temple in an article posted on the Rocky website. “Mr. Bruce’s conduct was totally out of line. He owes the photographer and the full House an apology.”
“I was trying to stop him from doing something that was tasteless and disruptive, blocking the aisle, making noises, I mean, his conduct was deplorable.”
When Bruce kicked the photographer, he wasn’t yet a Representative, but rather a guest of Representative Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs). The only way to be on the House chambers floor is to be a lawmaker, a member of the media or an invited guest of a lawmaker.
“Well, I don’t want people kicking people, but I don’t know anything about this,” said Lambert.
“He should not have done what he did, he should not have done what he did, do you want me to say that 50 times?” said Bruce after being sworn-in.
When I asked if he should have done what he did, Bruce said, “I was trying to stop him from causing a public disruption. I’m glad that he maybe, finally I hope, learned a lesson.”
After the kick, but before being sworn-in, House Republicans met and voted 22-1 (one absent) that if Bruce wasn’t sworn-in by the end of the day, they would ask that his seat be vacated and re-appointed.
“I think Mike May, who’s the minority leader said it best, we need all hands on deck right now, our numbers a little bit light,” said Senator Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs).
Bruce is taking over for Cadman who left the House to fill an empty Senate seat.
“I think they (constituents) have a right to expect that they will get 100-percent effort, 100-percent of the time,” says Representative Michael Merrifield (D-Colorado Springs/Manitou Springs). “I find it interesting in someone whose so critical of the government, who’s constantly criticizing what kind of job that gets done by the government, then working as hard as he can to stay involved in it as long as possible.”