Thursday, November 20, 2014


Off and on over the years, I have considerd writing a piece about the weird stuff that happens in state legislatures. I've never done it, in part because each January the Associated Press always provides a roundup of the sillier legislation passed in the "laboratories of democracy" during the previous year.

That misses such escapades as the Great Ramp Kidnapping in the North Carolina General Assembly, a story RtO may retell someday, but not today.

Another reason I have not done the story is that, although the state assemblies are loaded with some of the loopier citizens of this so-called great republic, for the most part, the assemblies themselves are not quite so crazy. It is harder to find a whole assembly of kooks than to find individual kooks in it.

Still, when a kook rises to speaker, that seems worth noting. Thanks to Wonkette, I became aware of the new leader of the House Republicans in Nevada, who will probably become speaker in January. His name is Ira Hansen, and he is a piece of work.

The Reno News & Review summarizes Hansen's outlook:

one of the most contentious public officials in the state. Hansen doesn’t like blacks, gays, Israel, many Republicans, and most Nevadans—he once wrote that newcomers to the state, who constitute four of every five Nevadans, should accept Nevada as it is or leave.
He revealed this over many years of columns in a Sparks newspaper. Since he often repeated columns, he cannot very well say now that he misspoke, or wrote in haste. Not that he seems likely to take up these favorite excuses when Republicans are -- as they so often are -- accused of deep racism.

Another Sparks newspaper opinionator -- I am guessing, not a Republican, says:

“Alas and alack, I believe Ira is an overt bigot, racist and homophobe. … The Barbwire never forgets, and I’ve got the evidence in Ira’s own words, which I will be publishing as the legislative session approaches. Can achieving high office and political power change the leopard’s spots? I hope so …”
RtO hopes not. We would be poorer for losing an authentic voice of the people. Some people, anyway.

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