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Lawmakers involved in racism controversy agree to cease-fire

April 11, 2000
Call: 441-9278
By: Dan Shaw

State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Lawmakers involved in a bitter fight involving accusations of racism in St. Charles County have agreed to disagree, at least for the next week.

Midday Tuesday, Rep. Quincy Troupe, D-St. Louis City, met with Sen. Steve Ehlmann, one the persons he labelled last week as racist.

Also present were Rep. Russell Gunn, D-St. Louis County, head of the Legislative Black Caucus. They declined to name additional participants.

Troupe said he did not apologize for allegations Ehlmann is racist, but said they lawmakers had "agreed to disagree."

"We decided that all we would have a week cooling-off period where we could discuss the issue of racism in the St. Louis area," Troupe said.

Ehlmann declined comment. He expressed a desire to shift discussion away from the claims of racism.

"Let's talk about the issues that gave rise to this problem," Ehlmann said.

Republican lawmakers have filed, in both the House and Senate, resonstrances -- an official slap-on-the-wrist by lawmakers -- in response to Troupe's allegations.

The legislator who is sponsoring the remonstrance in the House, Rep. Jon Bennett, R-St. Charles, said he would not press the rebuke if Troupe did not speak up on the racism issue again.

"Whether we do it or not is up to Quincy," Bennett said.