By Cameron Rasmusson
Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, is taking heat for allegedly saying that female legislators only gain leadership positions if they “spread their legs.”
The Idaho Statesman reports that several witnesses heard Scott make the remarks on Dec. 1 at the Legislature organizational session. Witnesses described the incident as an angry outburst after Scott learned that Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, was appointed to chair the House Agriculture Committee. She now faces a possible formal reprimand from House leadership for violations of ethics rules governing legislator conduct.
Although it’s been a month since the alleged remarks were made in the House lounge and later repeated in the House chambers, the beginning of the 2017 legislative session spurred renewed concern over Scott’s behavior. Her remarks, which “stunned Boyle and other lawmakers who heard it,” according to the Statesman, and other behavior trends have prompted growing concern among Boise legislators.
House Speaker Scott Bedke declined to comment to the Statesman, as did Boyle and Scott, although she did tell reporter Bill Dentzer, “I don’t think you’ve got it right.” Neither has Scott returned the Reader’s request for a comment. Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, also had no immediate comment after news of the incident broke early Wednesday evening.
Scott’s comments are the latest episode in a string of unusual behavior. In a letter of complaint addressed to Bedke, Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, called out Scott’s “paranoid and aggressive behavior.” The cited incidents include Scott damaging the capitol building in search of bugs she believed were installed in the ceiling by Legislature leadership. Perry also accused Scott of traveling to other districts and deriding her fellow members of the Legislature.
“The escalating pattern of behavior exhibited by Representative Scott has had a negative effect on many members of the caucus, particularly the female members,” Perry wrote. “They do not feel safe working in her presence.”
Scott’s alleged incidents are married to an increasingly icy relationship with the press. According to Associated Press Reporter Kimberlee Kruesi, Scott told her she was “no longer speaking to the press” at the December organization session. And before the November election, she described several local candidate events as liberal media traps designed to make her look bad.
In lieu of working with the press, Scott aims to promote her agenda through a new website, “Growing Freedom For Idaho.” The website lists dozens of goals, from prohibiting abortion after six weeks to repealing Common Core education standards.
While we have you ...
... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.
You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal