My interview went well yesterday, but I have something much more fun to blog about today. Hateful homophobic Republican state senators! Usually that's not so fun, but Michelle Bachmann of Stillwater is really making it worth it. April 8 was Lobby Day 2005 for OutFront Minnesota. Thousands of people showed up, and guess who was caught on film hiding behind the bushes (ahem) peering out at the scary gay people?
The pictures were originally taken by Matt at Paradise Is Where I Am. The pictures on his site are dense and hard to load if you're on dialup, so click on the first link if you are.
Michelle Bachmann has been leading crusade to push a floor vote on a constitutional amendment to take away basic rights of thousands of people. At least she could have the courage to come out and meet with people, instead of cowering behind a bush.
Oh, wait -- she's actually looking for a lost contact. Or so I've heard.
In other Bachmann fun, this report came out of a recent town-hall-style meeting featuring Bachmann and Ray Vanderveer, her colleague in the House:
Scandia, MN. April 9, 2005
by Jan G. Hogle, Lori Gordon
State Sen. Michele Bachmann and Rep. Ray Vandeveer were in Scandia Saturday morning for a town meeting with their constituents. Usually the senator and representative expect a half dozen folks to show up for a comfortable chat. Not so on April 9th, when 36 area residents seated themselves firmly before their elected officials and demanded accountability on issues ranging from educational funding to the controversial "defense of marriage" amendment.
Saturday's meeting was stiffly cordial until the room erupted in applause at the suggestion that higher taxes were acceptable, if such taxes were valid expenditures used to keep Minnesota's quality of education at a premium level. Stating that "the quality of education is integral to what Minnesotans consider their high quality of life," several audience members asserted that Governor Pawlenty's "No New Taxes" pledge is leaving the state poorer with regard to education, social services, and overall economic stability.
While the representative and senator replied to questions with growing impatience and formulaic responses, their bodies squirmed in discomfort at the unexpected chilly reception in rural Washington County. During several comments, Rep. Vandeveer turned away from the audience member speaking to him, and spoke under his breath to the senator. Frequently the two exchanged smirks during audience remarks. Mr. Vandeveer commented later that audience members were rude and disrespectful.
The audience then moved to contest the Defense of Marriage Act, stating that several people in the room were gay or lesbian and requesting clarification from the two officials as to why persons with alternative lifestyles were considered so threatening. Ms. Bachmann was asked to cite an actual study which showed that children were harmed by exposure to couples with alternative life styles. She responded by referring vaguely to conclusions that children are best raised in a household with a mother and a father, to which the audience suggested making divorce illegal.
When asked why families who had lived in this country since before it was the United States and who had for generations volunteered to fight to defend this country were not worthy of equal representation because they believed in a different God than the Senator believes in, Ms. Bachmann had no response.
Apparently this was more than Rep. Vandeveer could handle, as he then stood up and began backing away from the audience. Stating that he andMs. Bachmann had to leave, he tried to convince the audience that the meeting time was over. Audience members shouted in protest and held up their hands, indicating at least 5 minutes remained, but to no avail.
The meeting was over.
After the meeting, some attempted to speak further with Bachmann and Vandeveer to emphasize the hurtful consequences of the narrow political policies. Even among the few conservatives in attendance, it was commented that the Defense of Marriage Act was a political waste of time perpetrated by Republicans to divert attention from more pressing issues. One retired farmer remarked, "I'm straight, but God made gays and I don't have any problem with them. The Defense of Marriage thing is a waste of time. They have more important business at the legislature."
Senator Bachmann retired to the restroom and residents began moving toward the exit. Less than a moment later, piercing screams were heard from the ladies' washroom. "Help!!!! HEEEELLLLLLPPPPPP!!!!!" With everyone's attention riveted on the door, Senator Bachmann emerged in a crouching run, crying, "I was being held against my will!" Two women were seen standing behind her, one tall and elderly, the other young and petite, both unassuming and bewildered.
The women reported afterward they had followed the senator into the restroom to continue to question her about education. One had her hand on the door handle, ready to open it, which she immediately did when Senator Bachmann became frightened and began screaming.
Mused one bystander, "I'm guessing our Senator won't be returning to Scandia any time soon."
Rep. Vandeveer spirited Senator Bachmann away from the unfriendly gathering in his shiny gas guzzling Yukon SUV in an apparent effort to either protect her from the raving liberals or save fuel on their drive to the next gathering in Hugo.