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‘Something I’ve Never Heard of’: Calif. Dem's 'Offensive' Action Toward GOP Member Caught on Tape


“The chair’s actions were offensive and disrespectful..."

A Republican California assemblyman was left stunned Wednesday when the Democratic chair of the Assembly Labor and Employment committee cut off his microphone and then ordered security to physically remove the microphone from the meeting.

The incident occurred during debate over legislation that would increase the Golden State's minimum wage to $11 in 2016 and $13 in 2017. The current minimum wage is $9 an hour and is set to already rise to $10 an hour next year.

Republican Matthew Harper said that Democratic chair Rodger Hernández cut off a witness testifying mid-sentence. When Harper, who Hernández had already recognized as the next speaker, began to testify, he too was cut off.

"You cut me off," the Republican assemblyman said after Hernández accused  him of "yelling."

Video captured Hernández then reach over another individual to physically turn off Harper's microphone. The committee chair then got security involved, ordering them to remove the microphone.

[sharequote align="right"]"This is something I've never heard of."[/sharequote]

"Sergeants, please remove the mic," he instructed. "Please remove the mic. You're yelling. You are out of order. You have not been recognized. ... I'm running the meeting."

Harper told TheBlaze in a Thursday phone call that he couldn't believe Hernández took such action.

"This is something I've never heard of," he said. "Not only does the chair of a meeting cut off debate, but in an effort to really cut it off, he literally reaches to pull your microphone out."

Harper said he simply wanted to deliver the three to four minutes of remarks he had prepared and represent his constituency on the "most high-profile bill" that the committee has heard this year.

After the committee voted 5-2 on party lines in favor of the legislation, Hernández then approached Harper and told him he was "in the wrong," the Republican assemblyman told TheBlaze.

Hernández's office did not immediately return requests for comment Thursday.

In a statement, Harper said, “Blocking discussion in this manner is unfair, undemocratic and soils the decorum of the Assembly. I was sent here to represent the concerns of the voters of my district and chairman Hernández shut down my ability to speak for who I represent."

“The chair’s actions were offensive and disrespectful today, not just to me, but to Californians who want jobs and deserve to know the impacts policy will have on their chances of employment," Harper added. "The good people of the San Gabriel Valley deserve better from their representative and Californians as a whole deserve more from those who serve them.”

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