The Follies

The Follies

- in Fitzsimon File

Now that the election has come and gone, the ridiculous quotes and claims from the campaigns are over—and the ridiculous quotes and claims from those who were elected begin. 

Here to get things started is a top ten list in no particular order, of the most outrageous, offensive and over-the-top quotes from state lawmakers in the last 15 years or so.  It's a bottom ten really.

10. "The State of Louisiana, among its other sins, has relied on a large portion of its annual budget to come from gambling casinos. Now, by disgraceful means, the N.C. Senate leadership and the governor have forced the lottery on the people of our good state. Will God wink at such action? I don't think so. Will we come to realize that the groanings of the earth are God's reminders of His calling of mankind to return to Him through repentance before it is eternally too late?"

—Republican Representative Russell Capps, in a letter to the editor of the Raleigh News & Observer September 20, 2005. Capps was writing after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, apparently warning us that the same thing could happen to North Carolina if state lawmakers passed a lottery.

9. "When I was growing up, I was beaten like a rented mule once or twice a week at school."

—Democratic Representative Ronnie Sutton, in the 2007 General Assembly session. Sutton made the remarks in a debate on the House floor as part of his argument against legislation that would ban the use of corporal punishment in North Carolina schools. Sutton prevailed. The bill was defeated.

8. "I am disgusted with my Republican colleagues who have looked at me through dark-colored glasses with evil thoughts."

—Republican Representative Cary Allred, May 29, 2010 Allred made the remarks as he resigned from the House after allegations of what the News & Observer called "drunken and inappropriate behavior.  Allred later changed his registration to unaffiliated, citing his betrayal by his fellow Republicans and telling a reporter that "if they don't like it, they can go to hell."

7.  "Is it true that a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke? Well it is true to me."

—Democratic Senator David Weinstein, May 7, 2009. Weinstein was quoting the Rudyard Kipling poem "the Betrothed" in his remarks during the Senate floor debate on a statewide smoking ban.

6. "…this is a commonly found disinfectant in virtually every household. Even disadvantaged folks would typically have this in their household."

—Republican Representative Robin Hayes during the 1995 legislative session. Hayes was explaining an abstinence only sex education curriculum that teaches students to wash their genitals after marital sex. 

5. "Anyone working in a Western Union I would hope has enough common sense to be able to discern who they should question and who they shouldn't… If a fella comes in with a pair of shaggy boots on, and jeans and a t-shirt, and he's got a straw hat on? I mean, come on! Give me a break!

—Republican Representative George Cleveland, June 12, 2007. Cleveland was explaining to reporter how employees at Western Union could determine who was an undocumented immigrant in defense of his proposed legislation that would tax international money transfers by undocumented people.

4. "I hope all the queers are thrilled to see him."I am sure there will be a couple legislative fruitloops there in the audience."

—Republican Representative Larry Brown, in an email message September 27, 2010. Brown was responding to an email announcement that House Speaker Joe Hackney was receiving an award from Equality NC, a gay rights organization. Brown was unopposed in the November election.

3. "Can't feed ‘em, don't breed ‘em"

—from a bumper sticker handed out by Republican Senator Hugh Webster, October 7, 1998. Webster passed out the bumper sticker at a news conference by House Republicans during the welfare reform debate.

2. "There's a lot of it that's truth, the way I see it. Who came to this country first–the White man, didn't he? That's who made this country great."

—Republican Representative Don Davis, August 22, 2001. Davis was responding  to the criticism he received for forwarding an email to his fellow lawmakers that said in part, "Two things made this country great: White men and Christianity. Every problem that has arisen can be directly traced back to our departure from God's law and the disenfranchisement of White men."

Democratic Representative Ronnie Sutton, a Native-American who made this list on his own, said the quote reflected Davis'  "white-supremacist, Gestapo mentality."

1.  "The facts show that people who are raped — who are truly raped – – the juices don't flow, the body functions don't work and they don't get pregnant,"

—Republican Representative Henry Aldridge, April 21, 1995

Aldridge, who was a retired dentist, made in the remarks in a House Committee meeting early in the 1995 session and they immediately made national news.  When the 1997 session convened, Aldridge was promoted to Chairman of the House Human Resources Committee.