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Mike Parry laughed at during subcommittee hearing, told to "pop some pills!" [VIDEO]

Parry, taking lots of heat from Democrats and onlookers, looked like he needed some pills during last Thursday's hearing.
Parry, taking lots of heat from Democrats and onlookers, looked like he needed some pills during last Thursday's hearing.

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Mike Parry has built some Hindenburg-like momentum in advance of tomorrow's primary against Allen Quist.

Last Thursday, chairman Parry called a meeting of the Subcommittee on Employee Relations. The ostensible purpose of the meeting was to discuss contracts the Dayton administration negotiated with two unions representing nearly 28,000 state employees calling for a two percent across-the-board pay raise.

As you'd imagine, Parry and other Republicans aren't happy about the raise. But the issue of public employee compensation ended up taking a backseat to Parry himself, who ran the meeting like Kim Jong-il and ended up calling a recess after he was disrespected and laughed at both by Democrats on the subcommittee and by folks in the audience.

Here's a partial transcript of the hearing, followed by the video:

Rep. Winkler didn't appreciate Parry's dictatorial tactics.
Rep. Winkler didn't appreciate Parry's dictatorial tactics.
Sen. Parry: If there is any clapping, any hissing, anything like that... [clamoring in the audience] I will direct Capitol security to remove you.

Rep. Ryan Winkler, D-Golden Valley: Mr. Chair, if this was a committee hearing to discuss business taxation and the room were filled with businesses, I don't think you would be making threats at the outset of the hearing to tell them that if they made an untoward noise, including lagughing, that they would have to be ejected from the room. I think that you are not treating these people with respect, and I would just like to take a moment to welcome all of you...

Sen. Parry, interrupting: Excuse me, Representative Winkler, excuse me. I have said that to every committee meeting as a chairman, before I've started. And I will continue to do that. This is no disrespect for anyone who comes before my committee. They need to know my ground rules as the chairman. Are you clear on that, Representative Winkler?

Rep. Winkler: Mr. Chair, you threatened to clear the room when the audience laughed.

Sen. Parry: Exactly. And I will if it gets ruly again [sic], or out of control, I will adjourn, or take a recess and have the room cleared. That's my rules, for my committee. When you run a committee, Representative Winkler, you can have your rules. But until you do, we'll live by my rules in this committee...

[Later in hearing] Rep. Leon Lillie, D-North St. Paul: Mr. Chair, you know, you keep running this meeting... [someone had a question] and you would pile on with your own little question, now Representative Winkler had a question and you kinda editorialize, you know, is this, is that how you work it in the Senate? I don't think chairs in the House do that. Is that kinda, is that allowed in the Senate?

Sen. Parry: When you're chair it is.

Rep. Lillie: So all is good and fair in love and war in the Senate.

Sen. Parry: I guess that's what it is.

Rep. Lillie: It's probably a blessing you're down to your last three meetings. I figure you'll milk this for three days of per diem perhaps.

Sen. Parry: We'll take a ten minute recess.

According to the Star Tribune, someone in the audience bellowed "Pop some pills!" after Parry called for the 10-minute cooling-off period.

Following the unconstructive hearing, Parry promised reporters he'd take some questions outside the Capitol, but ended up stiffing them. Feeling stood up, the Star Tribune's Jennifer Brooks left the embattled Congress hopeful a note on his truck:


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