Pre-video release, regarding the (now known to be verbal) dustup State Representative Lynn DiSanto had with State Representative David Johnson, this past weekend she was claiming to be made of stern stuff:
I’m not weak or a snowflake. I’ve engaged in hundreds of debates and heated battles with men and women. That is part of the job, and I’m equipped to battle anyone that way.
And after her show of machismo and bravado, DiSanto adopted a more conciliatory tone:
Many of you and my colleagues also expressed concern regarding the situation and felt that it needed to be addressed. It was a very unfortunate event and for me it was a scary event. I believe that his behavior was unacceptable and unprofessional.
He has acknowledged that his behavior was wrong. Representative Johnson has made a personal apology to me and I have accepted that apology.
Listen/watch that here (about 30 min in).
In fact, to the media, the face that DiSanto put on made it sound like things were down right cordial:
“I wish Rep. Johnson nothing but the best of luck moving forward and I would like to publicly say Rep. Johnson is not just my colleague, but he is my friend,” DiSanto said.
And then the video of the legislator’s back and forth unhappiness was released. So much for friendliness. From all reports, much of that cordiality disappeared. And while legislators were in session, DiSanto was elsewhere, popping back into session around 3:15-3:30.
It sounds like it was only a day trip DiSanto took to Pleasantville, with a detour on the way back through grumpy town. Instead of being friendly with her new friend Representative Dave Johnson, he’s once again a villain in her fairy tale, at the same time she’s also attacking Republican Leadership:
The two representatives say they are upset with the way Speaker of the House Mark Mickelson handled the whole situation.
DiSanto says she felt pressured to let it go by leadership and was trying to take the “high road.”
DiSanto says she felt she was doing what was right for the caucus when told the House she accepted Johnson’s apology and said it was not necessary to form a committee to investigate him further.
“I wish Rep. Johnson nothing but the best of luck moving forward and I would like to publicly say Rep. Johnson is not just my colleague, but he is my friend,” DiSanto said on the House floor on Monday..
KELOLAND News asked DiSanto how she could say someone who called her those kinds of names was her “friend.”
“The video does not show the rage that was in his voice,” May said.
“I think my biggest concern is an event like this occurred at our capitol and there was very little support, from leadership and people we look to handle these types of situations,” DiSanto said.
We reached out to House Speaker Mark Mickelson for comment. Mickelson says the House formed a committee to investigate Johnson’s conduct as a legislator and the committee was disbanded at the request of Representative DiSanto.
Honestly, it is just me that thinks this went way, way farther than it ever should have in the first place? If there actually was an issue and/or Representative DiSanto was serious about resolving her differences in the first place, then why has it been a non-stop media tour, and barfing of things out on social media?
People were crabby. People had strong words. One of the people apologized. The reaction was strong, but it was finished. It’s time to stop the silliness parade and the drama circus, along with the accompanying publicity tour. Legislators can be done with the distractions now, and get back to work.