What are the chances of you being dragged out of the House Judiciary Committee?
Well, the answer is, 100%, if you are at West Virginia and reading out loud about your state representative’s political donations from oil and gas corporations during a public hearing on a bill that is likely to profit the same oil and gas companies.
Lissa Lucas is a native of West Virginia and also a Democratic candidate for District 7 of the West Virginia House of Delegates. Little did she realize the consequences of her testimony against oil and gas industry sponsored bill (HB 4268) would lead to her being dragged out of the House.
As Lissa took to the dais, she pointed out that the “the people who are going to be speaking in favor of this bill are all going to be paid by the industry.”
She further irked the supporters of the Bill by adding, “And the people who are going to be voting on this bill are often also paid by the industry. I have to keep this short because the public only gets a minute and 45 seconds while lobbyists can throw a gala at the Marriott with whiskey and wine and talk for hours to the delegates,”
Well, she could not. Her microphone was turned off. She was asked to refrain from making personal comments and was ordered to just address the Bill.
She was fully prepared with the numbers and then began to read out loud the donations made by the oil and gas industry to the members of the House Judiciary Committee.
“John Shott. First Energy $2,000. Appalachian Power $2,000. Steptoe & Johnson—that’s a gas and oil law firm—$2,000. Consol Energy $1,000. EQT $1,000. And I could go on.”
She did not stop and said, “This is not a personal comment.”
“It is a personal comment and I am going to call you out of order if you are talking about individuals on the committee,” Jhon Shott said. “If you would, just address the bill. If not, I would ask you to just step down.”
She did not stop and charged Delegate Jason Harshbarger who she will compete in November for the seat from Ritchie County, of being given donations for his campaign contribution from the oil and natural gas industry.
That was more than the members could take and Shott ordered Lucas to be removed from the House.
“I want to finish,” Lucas said.
The security guards told her otherwise.
“Drag me off then,” Lucas said.
And they did.