Target: Michigan House of Representatives Speaker Jase Bolger
Goal: Demote Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas to District Representative for his fascist silencing of female Representatives Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum.
Michigan Representatives Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum were banned from speaking during legislative sessions this week for “not respecting House decorum.” This was the reasoning given by Republican Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas. House Republicans have not released a statement describing what Brown or Byrum said or did to offend House etiquette, nor is there a document defining exactly what “House decorum” entails.
Representative Brown reserved the right to speak in the June 13 session on the abortion amendments that were recently passed to the state Senate. She concluded her statement by telling MFL Stamas she was, “flattered by his interest in her vagina, but no means no.” The gavel sounded and Brown was disallowed speaking privileges for the next two sessions.
Representative Byrum attempted to speak out on a bill that had been rejected earlier that same day. Byrum advocated for the illegality of vasectomy, unless the operation was life-saving. After the motion was voted down, Byrum approached the floor podium and requested to speak. She was simply ignored.
Now, House Republicans are offended and even disgusted, in particular with Rep. Brown’s performance. Abortion rights are a heated issue about bodies and lives and deaths and deep, deep personal privacy. Emotions are going to rage on this one, in any conversation, be it in legislation, at a holiday dinner, or in any public place. The Speaker’s job is not to put his personal offenses at the forefront of House decorum. It is to use his discretion in distinguishing between pointed disrespect and passionate rhetorical oration. MFL Stamas took advantage of his majority position to silence the minority.
Sign below to demand that Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas be demoted from his authoritative position in the Michigan House of Representatives.
Dear Michigan House of Representatives Speaker Jase Bolger,
Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas abused his authority this week when he silenced Michigan Representatives Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum. His citing of the House decorum being disrespected was a knee-jerk reaction to hearing something he personally did not like. This is not who we want as an official representing our majority interests.
We understand that the Speaker reserves the right to allow or disallow representative speech on the floor, but this instance was a clear manipulation of authority in order to avoid the essence of an issue. There are big, big emotions at play on the pro-choice/pro-life amendments, and that’s all that came out on the House floor Wednesday. Instead of addressing the protests with retort and reason, Mr. Stamas silenced his colleagues, a frightening display of fascism. We are urging you to demote Mr. Stamas from his post of Majority Floor Leader to that of District Representative.
[Your Name Here]