The House Ethics Committee will investigate a western Missouri lawmaker’s controversial Facebook post.
House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, delivered an emotional speech on the floor during Wednesday’s veto session in Jefferson City. She blasted State Rep. Warren Love’s, R-Osceola, August Facebook post about vandalism of a Confederate statue in Springfield.
“On Facebook, the gentleman specifically wrote, this is totally against the law. I hope they are found and hung from a tree with a long rope,” Beatty says.
Beatty wrote a letter to Love on Monday, saying that he has “forfeited the right to hold elected office.” Beatty also addressed the issue with the Capitol Press Corps on Tuesday.
“As House members, we have to hold our self to a higher standard,” says Beatty. “And his (Love’s) comments were absolutely out of line. He never takes into account the impact that that has, particularly on the minority members.”
Representative Love has apologized for what he calls his “extremely poor choice of words”. He says his post was not advocating violence, but was calling for prosecuting “the offender to the fullest extent of the law.”
House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, tells Beatty and the full House that the matter has been referred to the Ethics Committee.
“Lady, my understanding is that you’ve filed a resolution to that effect and pursuant to House Resolution 74 governing our ethics procedures that matter will stand referred today to the Ethics Committee,” Richardson says.
House Majority Leader Mike Cierpiot, R-Lee’s Summit, chairs the Ethics Committee. State Rep. Gina Mitten, D-St. Louis, is Vice Chair. Mitten is the Assistant Minority Floor Leader.
Love has told Missourinet his comment was “cowboy-ism“, adding that he does not support violence.
Here is the full statement that Love issued on August 31:
“I am deeply sorry for the extremely poor choice of words I used to convey my frustration with the act of vandalism that took place at the Springfield National Cemetery. Where I am from the expression I used simply means we should prosecute the offender to the fullest extent of the law, but I understand how what I wrote offended those who saw it as advocating for violence. I do not in any way support violent or hateful acts toward the perpetrator of the crime. I apologize for using inappropriate and offensive language to convey these thoughts and ask for the forgiveness of my colleagues, constituents, and all Missourians.”