Senate GOP leaders punish outspoken senator

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A Republican state Senator is being punished for failing to follow the lead of GOP leadership.

As a result, a low level leadership post has been taken away from Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) and he has a new seat assignment on the Senate floor, a seat at the back of the chamber that was previously occupied by a Democrat.

Sen. Delph is a supporter of the proposed ban on gay marriage known as HJR 3.  On Monday he was proud of the way he reacted when he learned that the second sentence banning civil unions would not be restored.

“I tweeted what will forever be known as the tweet heard round the world,” said Delph in a Statehouse news conference.  “That tweet stated ‘HJR 3 second sentence is officially dead fin the 2014 Indiana General Assembly.'”

It’s a tweet that violated Republican protocol.  By sending it he disclosed the results of a private discussion.

In 2008 Delph was also punished for reacting badly.  In that case it was the defeat of an immigration bill and he appeared with a fellow Army Reserve officer, Ray Mejia, who was in uniform. They both violated Army regulations.

Friday there was an explanation from a Democratic friend.

“Mike understands that words have consequences and when you’re really being what you belive is courageous that means you accept the consequences of that courage,” said House Minority Leader Scott Pelath. “If you’e not willing to accept the consequences, it’s not courage.”

Delph declined to comment but says he will have a statement next week.

GOP leaders are also keeping quiet.  They hope this controversy will die out quickly.

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