Fists (Ok, Fist) Flies at the Alabama Senate
Via the AP: Ala. lawmaker punches Senate colleague
A Republican state senator who punched a Democratic lawmaker in the head expressed regret, saying “that’s not the way grown men solve their problems,” but he said he won’t immediately apologize.
Republican Sen. Charles Bishop claimed that Democratic Sen. Lowell Barron called him a “son of a (expletive)” in the Senate chamber on Thursday.
“I responded to his comment with my right hand,” Bishop said.
Alabama Public Television tape captured the punch.
“I was raised in the woods of Arkansas and people don’t say that about your mom,” Bishop said.
Barron denied saying that to Bishop. He said the Jasper senator used an expletive to him and he was trying to get away when he was hit by Bishop on the side of the head near an ear. He said he had not decided if he would file charges.
And, of course, it’s already on YouTube:
The impact in question is at the very beginning of the clip.
The headline in Montgomery Advertiser: Session ends with a bang
For most of the session the Republican minority stalled legislation in protest of operating rules they say are unfair to them.
The tense session exploded Thursday when Sen. Charles Bishop, R-Jasper, punched fellow Sen. Lowell Barron, D-Fyffe, on the Senate floor during the last day of the session.
Their accounts of what provoked the event differed as much as their votes have, but it topped off a session in which patience was tested and tempers flared.
Bishop had unsuccessfully asked Barron to bring up a bill banning money transfers between political action committees during the meeting. The incident occurred shortly after the Senate recessed.
Bishop said Barron had called him a “son of a bitch.”
Barron, who said he is considering bringing criminal charges against Bishop, denied it. Barron said he might have said he “didn’t give a damn.”
He said Bishop told him to “watch your back” because “I’m going to F you every day.”
“Nothing I did was provocative,” he said.
But Bishop disagreed, saying he responded accordingly to a remark about his mother.
“I responded with my right hand,” he said. “I hit him wherever I could get my right hand on him.”
He apologized for it happening on the floor of the Senate, but did not apologize for hitting him.
“If he calls me that again, it will happen again,” he said.