Photog-kicking State Rep. calls guest workers "illiterate peasants"
Antitax crusader Douglas Bruce kicked a newspaper photographer and was then sworn in as a state representative on Monday, but not while the House was in session, as he had demanded. Bruce later said he wouldn't apologize and said the photographer should be the one to say he's sorry.
Bruce, a Republican, backed down in his standoff with Democratic House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and members of his own party over Bruce's insistence that the full House attend when he was sworn in to fill a vacant seat.
He settled for a smaller ceremony when the House was not in session, which is standard practice for midterm appointees.
Carrying a family Bible, Bruce went to the House floor Monday morning as a guest of Rep. Kent Lambert, a fellow Colorado Springs Republican.
When Rocky Mountain News photographer Javier Manzano took his photo during the traditional morning prayer, Bruce, who was standing, brought the sole of his shoe down hard on the photographer's bent knee. A CBS4 News videographer saw Bruce make a kicking motion, but didn't see the actual contact.
"Don't do that again," Bruce told Manzano.
Later, Bruce refused to apologize.
"I think that's the most offensive thing I've seen a photographer do in 21 years," he said. "If people are going to cause a disruption during a public prayer, they should be called for it. He owes an apology to the House and the public." [cbs4denver, Jan 14, 2008]