Rochester DFL Rep. Tina Liebling called on GOP House Speaker Kurt Daudt to resign on Wednesday, accusing him of abusing his power and ignoring the democratic process.
Liebling cited the chaotic end of the legislative session when the House passed a 90-page-plus jobs and energy bill that many DFLers said they hadn't even had a chance to read.
"This was a case of the majority, of the speaker who you just heard from, abusing his power, demonstrating an utter disdain for the democratic process and ramming through a bill that had not been read or considered," Liebling said.
The Rochester Democrat made her comments moments after Daudt and Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, had finished a press conference at the Rochester Public Library touting the legislative session. Before he left, Liebling invited him to stay to hear what she had to say. Daudt declined.
"OK. You'll hear it on the news, I guess, " Liebling said.
House GOP spokeswoman Susan Closmore called Liebling's remarks "political rhetoric" and said there was plenty of bipartisanship this year in St. Paul.
"The top DFL leader in the Senate called this session 'the most bipartisan session in years.' Minnesotans expect legislative leaders to continue this bipartisan collaboration and not resort to political rhetoric," Closmore said in a statement.
Liebling said she didn't tell anyone in the DFL caucus about her plans to ask Daudt to resign. She said she has never asked any lawmaker to resign during her career but felt Daudt's actions on Monday night went too far. She also said it was "shameful" he closed the voting board before Democrats could even cast a no vote on the jobs bill.
"How can I represent my constituents when I don't now what's going into a bill?" she asked.
Nelson said she missed most of what Liebling had to say but found out about it after the fact and said she was disappointed by the remarks.
"It's just highly disappointing to just see highly partisan rhetoric," Nelson said. "It's a disservice, really."