Almost exactly a year ago, we visited the Wingnut Wonder of Knoxville, Stacey Campfield. Embarrassing, even by Tennessee’s admittedly low standards, Campfield was at that time in the Tennessee House, pushing his “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would prohibit teachers from discussing gayness in school. He brings it up every year, actually. When he first introduced it in 2008, here’s how he described the [utterly fake] problem faced by Tennessee schools:
“If I were to say ‘Jack and Jill went up the hill’ or ‘George Washington and Martha Washington were husband and wife,’ there are groups out there that would say we were pushing a heterosexual agenda. To keep those lawsuits from coming, I thought we should still be able to talk about that side of it,” Campfield says.
Still no lawsuits on that front, but you never know! At the time I said this:
Really? Because Jack and Jill have been going up that hill for quite a long time now, but nowhere near as long as it’s been since George and Martha gay married each other heterosexually, and I haven’t heard of one lawsuit. Perhaps I don’t read the missives from Campfield’s mothership.
And I still don’t. This is also the same man who got kicked out of a University of Tennessee football game because he drunkenly refused to take off his Mexican Wrestler mask. Oh, and:
Over the years, Campfield has proposed other controversial legislation, such as replacing the state’s food tax with a tax on pornography and requiring the state to issue death certificates for aborted fetuses. In 2005, Campfield compared the state’s Black Caucus to the Ku Klux Klan when they refused to let him join because he is white.
FAST FORWARD ONE YEAR LATER.
Due to in-your-face stupid voters, Stacey is in the state Senate now, and guess what? He’s pushing his “Don’t Say Gay” bill again! Unfortunately, Tennessee’s leg has gotten a lot wingnuttier in the past couple of years and it’s actually going better for him:
After some convoluted maneuvers, a Senate committee Wednesday approved a bill that will prohibit teachers from discussing homosexuality in kindergarten through eighth-grade classrooms.
The measure (SB49) is sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, who unsuccessfully pushed the same idea – nicknamed the “don’t say gay” bill – for six years as a member of the state House before he was elected to the Senate.
As introduced, the bill would have put into law a declaration that it is illegal to discuss any sexual behavior other than heterosexuality prior to the ninth grade.
It required a couple of amendments in order to pass — a study to see if gayness was being taught in schools! — but it passed. My god.
However, there’s more fun in Stacey’s world lately, because as I said, he’s Tennessee’s most embarrassing legislator, and he’s not that bright. Del Shores offered to debate Stacey on the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which is Stacey’s own legislation, and the gentleman scholar actually asked for a $1,000 retainer to participate in the debate. That is, um, kind of illegal!
Campfield has been criticized on some blogs this week for seeking a $1,000 “retainer” fee to debate the “don’t say gay” bill with Del Shores, a Texas-based movie producer and director who has made films on homosexuality.
State law includes prohibitions on a legislator taking compensation for work related to legislative duties except for his or her salary and expense payments due from the state. Another statute prohibits legislators from accepting an honorarium except for travel expenses.
Of course he now claims the retainer was for travel expenses, which is different from what he said to Del Shores on Facebook:
“I will happily debate you. I require a $1,000.00 (sic) retainer fee and all expenses covered. You can do with the rest all you want.
$1,000 AND expenses covered! That is different! As I said before, Campfield is not known for being particularly bright.
It remains to be seen whether Campfield will be brought up on ethics violations or anything of the sort, but we can be sure that whatever happens, old Stacey will do something embarrassing again pretty soon. He’s like clockwork.