The Des Moines Register
April 1, 2009

More than 500 people who are upset with a plan to change Iowa’s tax laws were cleared from a hearing tonight at the Iowa House after they interrupted multiple times.

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House Speaker Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, cleared the crowd at about 8:30 p.m. The decision brought about loud protests as the crowd was escorted from the chambers by Iowa State Patrol officers.

“This is the most atrocious thing I’ve seen in the history of the 15 years I’ve been a lobbyist. Pat Murphy has acted like a jack-booted Nazi,” said Ed Failor Jr., president of Iowans for Tax Relief, a conservative taxpayers’ rights group from Muscatine with 50,000 members..

Failor Jr. was escorted from the House chambers after Murphy overheard him speak with the media.

House rules say that no protesting or advocating can be done in the House.

Murphy said he should have ordered the chambers cleared much sooner than he did, since several of the speakers were booed.

“The idea behind the public hearing is to give people public input and allow people the ability to speak for and against the bill. This is not an athletic event,” Murphy said.

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