House Republicans were closeted in a closed-door caucus for two hours this afternoon; once they emerged around 5 p.m., House Speaker Scott Bedke said he had nothing to announce. He said there’s been no decision made on whether to reinstate Rep. Heather Scott’s committee assignments after she issued an apology statement to all House members this afternoon, just before the caucus meeting started. “Not at this point,” Bedke said.
Bedke, who hadn’t yet seen Scott’s written statement, said, “Apologies in my book include the following: I am sorry. What I did was wrong. What do I need to do to make it right? I will work with the offended to make it right.”
He said, “I hope that Rep. Scott has apologized to everyone. … It’s high time that she did. Her careless words have impugned the morality and integrity of a lot of good people. Words mean something. I am hopeful that the House of Representatives can get past this.”
Added Bedke, “I was elected by my peers to be the leader, to be the judge, at times the jury, and at times the executioner, although I don’t like that word, and it is my responsibility, a responsibility I take very seriously, to maintain the minimums of decorum, the minimums of mutual respect, and civility in the Idaho House of Representatives. You’ll find me always doing that. Not on my watch will those standards be eroded.”
“I’m optimistic that we as a group can move on,” Bedke said. “That is my sincere desire. … The legislative process has started. I’ll do everything I can to make sure that we consider the people’s business at hand, not a distraction.”
Scott, R-Blanchard, attended the whole caucus, Bedke confirmed. Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, against whom Scott said she had directed her harsh comments, was there for part of the meeting, but had to leave to help her husband prepare for serious surgery he’ll be undergoing in the morning.
Bedke said, “Let’s all move past this as best we can.”