Missouri lawmakers get in fistfight over right-to-work bill
Jan. 27, 2016
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker on Tuesday said a dispute over right-to-work legislation during a union event last week led to an alley fistfight that prompted one of them to seek a restraining order.
Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis released a copy of the restraining order and a House ethics complaint he filed against Rep. Michael Butler. Both are St. Louis area Democrats.
Curtis alleges Butler verbally confronted him during an AFL-CIO reception at a Jefferson City restaurant Jan. 19 because Curtis last year supported a right-to-work bill limiting union powers. Curtis said Butler took a swing at him in an alley as he was leaving, and Curtis said he fought back.
"Our political stances shouldn't ever result to having violent actions taken against us," Curtis said.
Butler declined to comment to The Associated Press.
Curtis was the only Democrat in September to vote with Republicans to make Missouri a right-to-work state. The House still fell significantly short of the votes needed to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto.
Curtis said he wasn't drinking at the time of the altercation. He said he sustained cuts and bruises to his ear, the inside of his lip and the side of his temple.
House rules say the speaker will refer complaints against members "without discussion" to an ethics committee within 10 days. Complaints are confidential.
Associated Press writer David A. Lieb contributed to this report.