Breakdown Of Decorum At Senate Session

State Sen. Ray Lesniak

STATE — Decorum went out the window when a Union County politician disgraced himself on the floor of the state Senate last week during a statehouse debate on school funding.

Former Governor and Senate President Richard Codey had to physically separate Sens. Michael Doherty and Ray Lesniak after the Democratic power broker interrupted his Republican colleague during a speech.


When Doherty finished speaking, he went over to the other side of the Senate chamber to talk to Lesniak. The Elizabeth Democrat reportedly told Doherty to “get out of my face.” Lesniak also reportedly threatened to “pop” the Warren County Republican.

It was at this point that Codey intervened to keep the situation from deteriorating any further.

“I’m thankful to Gov. Codey for saving me from embarrassing myself,” said Lesniak, whose catcalls were compared to South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson’s shout during President Barack Obama’s health-care address to Congress.

“I guess he didn’t agree with what I was saying,” Doherty said, adding that Lesniak’s behavior was “beneath the dignity of the office we hold.”

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