Mississippi Lawmakers Have Physical Confrontation

By: Mike McDaniel Email
By: Mike McDaniel Email

A heated debate over a workers' compensation bill turned into a political cat fight outside the Mississippi House chamber.

As lawmakers verbally fought over a workers' compensation bill Thursday afternoon, another fight followed. This one was a little more physical.

In one corner was Democratic Rep. Bennett Malone; in the other, fellow Democrat, Rep. Bob Evans.

"It sort of took me off guard a little bit," said Evans.

The two men came to cross words after a vote was taken on the workers' comp bill, which narrowly passed the house 60 to 56.

At issue, was Malone's vote. He was one of only three Democrats who voted for the bill which was pushed by Republicans.

"He never assured us that he wasn't going to for it, but he indicated he was probably going to be O.K. and vote against it," said Evans.

After the vote, outside the chamber, Evans says he made a comment as he walked by Malone.

"I said something to the effect of I hope he enjoyed the benefits of his labors, the money that might go into his campaign," Evans said

That's when Evans says Malone called him an explicit name.

"When he called me the name, I stopped and then he, as best he could, lunged toward me trying to swing fists," said Evans.

Evans says he held Malone back as he continued to swing his arms until someone subdued him. Although no contact was made, Evans says the contentious debate coupled with the bill's narrow passage is what sent tempers flying

"All those things led up to this. Do I regret that it happened? Certainly, I regret that it happened," said Evans. "But do I regret taking the position I took on the bill? Certainly, I do not."

Malone was unable to be reached by news time about the scuffle. However, this isn't the first time he has been involved in a physical altercation at the capitol.

Back in 2000, Malone punched then-senator, Tim Johnson, in the back of the head after a disagreement over another bill.

"I hit him just as hard as I could. I don't apologize for that," said Malone at the time.

Evans says he respects his fellow Democrat, but just doesn't understand why he would vote to push a Republican agenda.

According to reports, Malone admits to going after Evans, saying he was being accused of selling his vote.

Evans says he doesn't apologize for his comment and will continue to stand against the bill.

Evans says he’ll attempt to contact Malone to work out their differences before lawmakers return to the capitol on Monday.

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  • by Ivan Location: roosterpoot,ms on Apr 3, 2012 at 10:07 AM
    had that been anyone else they would have gone to jail.
  • by Winston Location: Right Here on Apr 2, 2012 at 08:50 PM
    It does my heart good to see the Democrats getting along so well. Seems at least three of them have their eyes open and are doing their best to keep the State of Mississippi away from this precipice POTUS is pushing us toward.
  • by Hilarious Location: Meridian on Apr 2, 2012 at 08:21 AM
    This is _______ HILARIOUS
  • by Curious on Apr 1, 2012 at 03:36 PM
    Veteran, we did get change in Jackson. That has nothing to do with these two "Senior" Democrats. They have been there for years. Pay attention.
  • by Gregory Location: Collinsville on Apr 1, 2012 at 10:24 AM
    It's high time that we took a stand against promotion of the general welfare and call it by its true name -- socialism -- so that way everyone will hear its name and fight against it because it's called "socialism." The Mississippi House voted against socialism; they voted against the typical socialist government that's always taking away money from hard-working corporations and giving it to lazy workers. Mississippi Republicans are looking after their true constituents' best interests, and that's why they continually warn Mississippians about the dangers of socialism: corporations have rights, too. Keep on fighting the fight against socialism, my fellow Mississippians, and one day together we can overcome the horrors of social cohesion, social contracts, and social welfare.
  • by veteran Location: lauderdale county on Apr 1, 2012 at 07:26 AM
    you wanted change in jackson, you got it.
  • by Roy Forrest Location: Jackson, MS on Apr 1, 2012 at 06:12 AM
    I personally know 2 honest men who were speaking with Rep. Malone when this occurred. Per their separate accounts to me; Rep. Evans walked up and said, "Bennett, how much money did you get for your vote?" (For those who don't know, Rep. Malone's health condition is poor. The ole man can barely walk.) Rep. Malone began swinging @ Rep. Evans. Rep. Evans grabbed hold of Rep. Malone's tie and yanked him forward and both "gentlemen" fell to the floor and were then separated by others. The Rep. Malone who cold-coked Tim "Elvis" Johnson may have the same temperament as he did then, but his physical condition is now so poor he'd better calm down or someone is going to really physically hurt him.
  • by Randy on Mar 31, 2012 at 03:53 PM
    the democratic party is failing,,this you can see
  • by Lena on Mar 31, 2012 at 09:02 AM
    I respect Rep. Malone for standing up for what he believes him. More lawmakers should be like him.
  • by Y Location: ms on Mar 30, 2012 at 08:52 PM
    How controlling is our government? What happened to our freedoms? Have we become a socialist government? Are repulicans and democratics becoming corrupt? Is it time for another revolt in political parties, history seems to repeat itself, why we see the errors of our ways and correct them? I thought they were suppose to be professionals in the house. Sounds as if one was controlling with verbal and one was trying to control physically. Both were in the wrong to me. That is why i am independent. I choose whom i think will do the better job to represent us poor people. Why did they have to know how someone else was going to volt. This is a joke of the united states that i served my country to defend or is this some kind of late night sitcom or a childrens cartoon we are watching? What is next?
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