Representative Quam interrupts committee meeting with outburst

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(ABC 6 News) – A Minnesota House Election Finance and Policy committee meeting took a bizarre turn Wednesday in part to an outburst from Byron’s Republican Representative Duane Quam.

The committee was debating a bill that would expand early voting in Minnesota.

Towards the end of the meeting, Representative Quam was asking whether the bill impacts the amount or types of checks and balances counties have to go through that apply during election day voting.

After feeling as if his questions were not being answered, Quam gave an angry outburst, frustrated over his inability to ask questions.

“Then haul me out of the committee if you’re not going to allow us to actually debate the darn bill,” said Quam.

Video from the committee meeting shows Quam yelling and insisting on his right to ask questions, even as DFL committee chair Mike Freiberg pounds his gavel, trying to force order on the hearing.

“No. I will not allow you to ignore valid questions. I didn’t get an answer to my first question,” Quam yells. “You say, ‘No follow-ups.’ You need to actually cover the bill.”

Following that outburst, ABC 6 News spoke with Representative Quam who says his behavior was inappropriate. But he’s concerned the DFL’s faster-than-average passage of bills means less oversight and discussion.

“The appropriate thing would have been to recess have a conference on the side and straighten stuff out stop closing down discussion debate and let us ask our questions,” Quam explained.

Quam also told us that he had a conversation with the committee chair after the meeting and there’s no bad blood between the two.