House leader yanks Bruce from State Affairs Committee
February 15, 2008
House leader yanks Bruce from State Affairs CommitteeDENVER – House Minority Leader Mike May removed Rep. Douglas Bruce from the powerful and influential State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on Friday, saying he no longer has confidence in the maverick lawmaker after Bruce refused to co-sponsor a resolution honoring military veterans.”I no longer believe it is in the best interest of the House nor for the active-duty or retired military personnel of Colorado to have Representative Bruce continue to serve on the committee of reference for veterans and military affairs,” May said.May said a replacement will be named next week.In addition to veterans affairs, the committee often handles some of the most controversial issues in the Legislature.Bruce said he has supported veterans in the past and that he considers a vote to co-sponsor a resolution is not a vote on the resolution itself.”I yield to no one in my respect to members of the military,” he said. “I also think it was wrong to use 100 members of the military as props for their political theater in this building. Instead of wrapping themselves in the flag, they’re wrapping themselves with the military.”Bruce has angered his colleagues, including fellow Republicans, since being appointed to fill a vacant seat last month.On Wednesday, the Colorado Springs Republican told his colleagues in the House he believes resolutions are a waste of time because they have no legal impact.He refused to sign on as a co-sponsor of the veterans resolution and then refused to vote on a health-care resolution.The House then voted 51-13 to force him to vote on the health-care resolution.He responded by voting against the resolution and shouting “Are you happy?” to his colleagues.Including Bruce’s “no” vote, the health-care resolution passed 61-3.Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, said he got upset when Bruce refused to support the resolution backing veterans after members of the military packed the House chambers for the annual Military and Veterans Appreciation Day at the Capitol.”I’m so angry I can’t even talk right now,” Balmer said.Last month, Bruce became the first lawmaker in Colorado history to be censured by the House when he kicked a Rocky Mountain News photographer for taking his picture during a morning prayer. Bruce refused to apologize.