State Senator Rob Hogg was the floor manager for a bill in the Iowa Legislature that addresses bullying. However, Hogg apparently had more important things to do while the bill was being debated on Monday.
After Sen. David Johnson (R-Ocheyedan) offered an amendment to the legislation, Sen. Julian Garrett (R-Indianola) asked Senator Hogg to yield for a question.
Hogg’s response: “Yeah, but I’m trying to finish a text message here. Just a second.”
“Texting while debating,” a bewildered Garrett asked.
Hogg continued texting for several more seconds before debate of the bill he was floor managing could continue.
However, just minutes later, in the midst of their conversation, while Senator Garrett was addressing Senator Hogg, the Cedar Rapids Democrat began texting again. He was also clearly ignoring his senate colleague.
After Garrett finished, Senator Jake Chapman (R-Adel) rose to discuss the amendment. “Senator Hogg, I hope you’re paying attention,” he requested.
“I am not certain what could have been more important that required Senator Hogg to delay debate to send a text message,” Chapman told TheIowaRepublican.com.
The next day, as debate on the bill continued, Senator Hogg suddenly found interest in the legislation. Perhaps, too much interest. Hogg screamed and cursed on the senate floor, claiming an amendment to the bullying bill offered by Senator Johnson would give school administrators immunity “for not doing anything, for sitting on their asses!“
Several senators immediately called for a point of order as Hogg had breached both the rules and etiquette of Iowa Senate floor debate. Hogg then called point of order on himself.
“To have such a disregard for the decorum of the Senate is truly unfortunate. The people of Iowa expect far better of our elected officials,” Sen. Chapman said.
Republicans wanted the bullying bill to protect all Iowa children, instead of dividing them into special groups. The bill passed, 26-19. The amendment did not.
Rob Hogg had a busy Monday and Tuesday. Along with texting, cursing and screaming at the Capitol, the liberal state senator ushered liberal U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse around the state to push for climate change legislation.
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