DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa House Democrats walked out of the Statehouse on Wednesday morning, a move that temporarily stalled debate on two gun rights measures but left Republicans with the option of taking action by themselves.

House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy issued a statement that accused Republicans of not giving him proper notice of the legislation, which he labeled as extreme. An aide said the Democrats were together, somewhere in Des Moines, but he wouldn't give details.

House rules allow the 100-member chamber to convene and approve measures with a simple majority, so Republicans could choose to resume work because they hold 60 seats.

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, said Republicans were pondering their next move.

One of the bills up for debate would allow people to use deadly force to protect themselves and the other called for writing gun rights protections into the Iowa Constitution. The second measure would have to be approved by another legislative assembly next year and then be referred to voters.

In his statement, McCarthy, D-Des Moines, said Republicans hadn't been honest with him.

"House Republicans have betrayed our trust and have told us today, contrary to what we were led to believe yesterday, that not only are they debating bills they said would not come up, they are going to attempt to alter the Iowa Constitution with extreme language that, if enacted, would turn Iowa into the wild, wild west," McCarthy said.

McCarthy said House Democrats saw it as a misuse of power.

"We therefore in unity have left the state Capitol in protest," he said in the statement.

Paulsen said Democrats were told well in advance of the plans for debating the gun measures.

Oddly, the gun measures likely would face trouble in the Senate, where Democrats hold a narrow majority.

Asked whether Senate Democrats would be skeptical about the bills, Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal responded, "I would say that's accurate."

Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, said he wasn't warned in advance of the walkout.

"I know nothing about what happened," he said.

The Democrats' action occurred soon after the House came into session for the day. They asked for a break to hold a private meeting but instead they left the Capitol.

Rep. Kim Pearson, R-Pleasant Hill, said he was puzzled by the move.

"They ought to be willing to debate the issue," Pearson said.

Tim Albrecht, a spokesman for Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, said the governor would have no comment.

Dean Fihr, a spokesman for McCarthy, said House Democrats would have no comment beyond the statement Democrats issued. Fihr wouldn't say when Democrats would return.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


(4) comments


So this is the new way of "negotiating"? Just leave? Careful what you start, the other side can do the same thing to you. What a group of losers, no wonder why people have little respect for our "leaders".

The next time we are having a meeting at work where there are things I don't agree with I think I'll just take the people on my side of the argument and leave.


Way to go Dems!!! You think it will be the Wild West? Really?!?
If that was the case, all of my family and friends and fellow gun owners across the country, who already own a dozen or more guns each would have made sure there was nothing but Conservatives left a long time ago, and we wouldn't have to put up with all your crap. But, no, we are reasonable law abiding folks just looking to hunt and protect our families. We should be able to do so without fear of unreasonable lawsuits from losers

Todd Blodgett
Todd Blodgett

Democrats are only shooting themselves in the foot, so to speak. Who benefits from this Democrat walk-out? Well, criminals, for one. Trial Lawyers, for another. Then there's the inept, WOULD-be criminals, who pick the wrong house to rob, get their @$$ shot off, and sue. These Democrats have picked a bunch of real winners here. Now, the fun part begins, when these pro-criminal legislators are forced to defend to the folks back home what they did. And pro-lawbreaker lawmakers will have no takers.

JB Johnson of Britt
JB Johnson of Britt

Several years my cousin was raped and killed by a group of Mlps thugs as she was walking across the work parking lot at night. She would still be alive if she had a gun and killed a few of the scum sitting in Stillwater right now. We have every right to defend ourselves.

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