Tommy Tucker, a Republican state senator in North Carolina, reportedly told a newspaper publisher to "be quiet" at a public hearing earlier this week.
The tense hearing took place regarding proposed legislation that could shift public notification of local government actions online and away from print.
Things became heated at the meeting when a local newspaper publisher sought a recorded vote on the bill, the Raleigh News and Observer reported.
Hal Tanner, publisher of the Goldsboro News-Argus, argued that a voice vote showed the bill failing by one vote, while Tucker disagreed with him.
The committee co-chairman, he said the bill had passed and the rules did not allow for a recorded vote - and told Tanner it was not his place to comment.
"I am the senator, you are the citizen. You need to be quiet," Tucker said.
The Charlotte Observer reported that three other people in the room had confirmed Tucker's statement; however, Tucker denied making the remark.
Tucker said Tanner had slighted the committee's integrity, and he had taken it "personally." He says he told Tanner, "I'm the senator here, let me finish."
Earlier in April, an opponent of legislation to require drug testing of public aid recipients was told by Tucker to "sit down" during a committee hearing.
"You're okay with (drug users) getting federal dollars if they've had a doobie and get the munchies and need more food stamps?" Tucker said. "Sit down."