Republican Gardner: Remove Merrifield

Update: Representative Merrifield delivered an apology from the floor of the House and distributed an official memo that reads: “I don’t want my remarks or my health [Ed. Note: It has been reported that Merrifield is suffering from neck and throat cancer] to sidetrack the important work of the House Education Committee. Accordingly, I am asking Rep. [Judy] Solano [D-Brighton] to assume my duties as chair for the remainder of the session.”

According to a fresh report from the Associated Press, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has called for House Speaker Andrew Romanoff to remove Rep. Mike Merrifield (D-Manitou Springs) from the chairmanship of the House Education Committee in the wake of the revelation of a controversial email saying that supporters of charter schools deserve “a special place in hell.”

Gardner’s got it right: I don’t see any way that someone with so much personal malice for a significant number of the constituents affected by his committee’s decisions should be left in charge. The honorable thing for Merrifield to do would be to resign.

Rumors are swirling that Merrifield indeed may announce his own resignation from the committee chair this afternoon. Story developing …

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