February 23, 2005
DENVER - Rep. Bill Cadman of Colorado Springs threatened another lawmaker Tuesday in a rare verbal altercation on the floor of the Colorado House of Representatives.
It’s not clear whether the Republican lawmaker will be disciplined for threatening Rep. Val Vigil, D-Denver, during debate on a bill that would allow the families of fallen soldiers to get a special license plate commemorating their loss. Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle are looking into the incident and deciding on a course of action. “He said he was going to shove his fist up my ass,” Vigil said. “It was stupid. I guess he showed the true colors I always thought he had — he just blows up.” Cadman, who once made a legislative staffer cry because of his aggressive treatment of witnesses during a heated committee meeting on redistricting, said he was reacting to a comment made by Vigil. “Two emotional guys confronted each other,” Cadman said. “There is nothing I can tell you to make it better or make it different. I wish both of us had stuck to the issue and not to each other.” The fight was over House Bill 1028, which would create a fallen-soldier license plate in Colorado. During a committee hearing last week on the bill, Cadman stripped out a provision of Vigil’s original measure. Vigil was able to reinstate that provision of the bill when it came up for debate Tuesday on the floor of the full House. That angered Cadman, who called out Tuesday that the move was “garbage.” Vigil responded, “No, you’re garbage.” That’s when Cadman made the threat. “I was talking about the product, and he was talking about me, but we’ll work it out,” Cadman said. Vigil insists Cadman was in the wrong. “I did what I had the right to do,” he said. “He had the right to debate it and count his votes.” The spat was a clear breakdown in decorum in the House, and it caught the attention of House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver. “I talked to Rep. Vigil, I’ll talk to Rep. Cadman, and I’ll see if anything needs to be done,” Romanoff said. “I’m going to continue to try and instill more civility in the chamber.”