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Smith's accusation [during the first open conference committee] that Lujan had acted suspiciously so enraged Lujan that he confronted the senator on the Senate floor in the middle of news media interviews.

"You are full of shit," Lujan said to Smith. "You have anything to accuse me of. Why didn't you come and tell me to my face or at least make the phone call?"

Smith responded, "I'm glad you feel that way, Speaker."

The tense standoff – which followed a night in which lawmakers worked more than they slept — attracted attention as state senators, staff and others looked on as the speaker angrily denounced Smith.

"Just like you, when a constituent comes up to you and asks you to put something, that's how it happened," Lujan said of the amendment. "But you are accusing me. You are not worth a darn."

"Mr. Speaker, that was your amendment," Smith said.

"That was my amendment, and I don't deny it," Lujan shot back. "You are not worth a darn. That's what's the matter with you. You are a racist S.O.B."

And that, folks, explains why so many were pushing so hard to open conference committees.

That solves one of the

of the session that we never thought would be resolved. House Speaker Ben Lujan is metal. Very metal.