Two Democrat Party state lawmakers in Virginia were caught on a microphone disparaging opposing party lawmakers’ emphasis on parental rights legislation. They used words such as “garbage” and “parental crap” to describe their feelings about their political opponents.
The lawmakers, Senator Monty Mason and Delegate Shelly Simonds, were at a meet-and-greet at Christopher Newport University and were engaged in a discussion about Virginia GOP’s recent legislative proposals. One proposal that passed, Senate Bill 1515, required pornography websites to verify a user’s age to be at least 18 years old before allowing access to its content. The lawmakers blasted Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s proposed amendment to require children to get permission from parents to set up social media accounts and use websites that collect user data, such as online shopping sites. Youngkin’s amendment was rejected, but the bill passed.
Mason apparently said, “Well, there are three real bills that were of consequence: the hemp bill, offshore wind adjustment that we ended up [inaudible] not even discussing, and the one he slapped — that online parental garbage on pornography bill.” He also said it was “stupid” to force age verification on online shopping sites and “it’s just all a part of this parental crap that they’re selling.”
Simonds agreed with Mason and said party control in the state’s Senate is important to stop “stupid things” from being passed.
Granted, the recordings were posted on social media by the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), which has an interest in portraying Democrats in a negative light.
That aside, “hot mic” moments, where a microphone is on and recording without the speakers realizing it as defined by Cambridge Dictionary, are always fodder in politics. But, as politics have made its way into education and higher education, these moments have become a valuable insight into what leaders think about current events.