SAB Legislative Hall Of Shame Week 10: Senator Connie Triplett


We skipped last week in the Hall of Shame awards because it was a short week coming off of the crossover break and the legislature really didn’t get up to much. But this week there was plenty of activity, and one legislator who definitely earned this “honor.”

The abortion issue is always a contentious one, with strong opinions on both side. But our legislature has policies and procedures in place which allow our elected officials to address controversial issues while minimizing the drama and invective. Unfortunately, state Senator Connie Triplett (D-Grand Forks) ignored those rules of decorum and walked out on a debate and vote over two bills to limit abortions.

Below is video of the turmoil Senator Triplett caused in the state Senate by storming off, as well as Senate Majority Leader scolding legislators over attempting such a stunt again.

“Triplett says she left because she thought the bill was ‘reprehensible’ and intrusive because it requires knowledge of a woman’s state of mind when she gets an abortion,” reported Great Plains News after the spectacle.

Setting aside the issue of abortion itself, we should expect that our elected leaders have the gumption to stick to tough debates and not punt when things get heated. Senator Triplett has long been a proponent of abortion, and I suspect that’s part of the reason why her constituency keeps re-electing her. But I also suspect that constituency expects her to be in the room when that issue is being debated and voted upon.

Some have been applauding Senator Triplett as though her meltdown, and petulant refusal to return to the floor to vote, were some sort of a brave act of civil disobedience. But there’s nothing brave about running away from a debate.

Senator Triplett behaved childishly, and those she represents should consider someone a little less prone to drama in order to better advance their views.