The top three craziest politicians in Colorado – including my own representative!
Marilyn “Legislate Your Genitals” Musgrave (Republican in the House of Representatives, Colorado’s 4th Congressional District)
You know how about five or six years ago everyone started talking about gay marriage a lot? That’s Musgrave’s doing. She introduced the first incarnation of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which was a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and has tirelessly worked to promote the FMA’s subsequent spawn. Her bigotry is such that she neglected her other duties to her constituents in order to promote this bill. Previous to her work in Congress, she overcame two vetoes by the governor to ban gay marriage in Colorado. Hey, if she believes that the federal government can guarantee the sanctity of marriage better than the people actually in the marriage, she’s a bit delusional about the power of the government.
As an added bonus, Musgrave is an equal opportunity hater. While running against Democrat Stan Matsunaka in 2004, her campaign sent pamphlets to her supporters with pictures of Matsunaka. His eyes were digitally modified to make them look narrower and more slanted than they actually are. She’s also been endorsed by the KKK, mostly because of her anti-gay stances, but also because they see a kindred spirit. She is one of the most conservative members of Congress.
I’m actually pretty comfortable with Musgrave Bible-thumping instead of working. When she does do her actual job as my representative, she votes nearly opposite of what I would on almost every issue. When President Bush relaxed federal restrictions on protecting natural areas in the West from resource extractors, Musgrave was one of the reasons that Colorado opened up its previously protected lands to developers, miners, and loggers. She votes for tax cuts for industry and the rich but votes to keep or increase taxes on small businesses. She is adamantly anti-union. She does not believe in a division between church and state. The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington claims her as one of the twenty most corrupt members of Congress due to her tendency to flout campaign ethics laws.
She has voted against pay raises for active-duty military personnel – that is, people on the battlefield – while simultaneously voting for a pay raise for herself.
Not that any one of her extremely conservative political positions make her crazy – it’s all of them added together, along with her self-righteousness.
Douglas “The Kicker” Bruce (Republican, Colorado House District 15)
Bruce was appointed to fill Rep. Bill Cadman’s seat in District 15 in October 2007. Before even beginning to fill that role, he ruffled feathers by delaying his oath of office in order to try to serve longer than just the partial term left by Cadman – essentially attempting to sneak around Colorado’s term limits laws. Eventually House Republicans had to threaten to appoint someone else if he did not complete his swearing in by the end of the day on January 14. Colorado therefore introduced legislation to force representatives to take the oath of office within two weeks of being appointed to a seat.
But there’s more! On the day of the swearing in, before he even took his oaths, Bruce kicked and stomped on a Rocky Mountain News photographer for taking a picture of him during the prayer. He argued that taking a picture of him during the prayer (and when he told the reporter not to) “violat[ed] the order and decorum” of the House. He refused to apologize. Enraged, the entire House of Representatives censured him, making him the first representative in Colorado to be censured. Remember, this is a state that thought shoot-outs and duels were appropriate political actions in its early days. The only reason Bruce kept his seat was that the other representatives did not want to punish District 15 for their bad choice of replacement.
Since that wild beginning Bruce has alienated so many colleagues that every single bill he proposed has died in committee. If he supports a bill, this will often be a cue for others to oppose it. Bruce’s primary interests are in reducing taxes and fiscal responsibility, but little headway has been made on either goal since he took office. He has been removed from the Veterans and Military Affairs committee for his “callous indifference” to veterans (among other things, he refused to cosponsor a resolution recognizing Military and Veterans Appreciation Day).
Bruce is most well-known for getting the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) passed in Colorado, making it a leading state in limiting tax increases except as related to inflation or population increase. Effectively this has plunged Colorado to the bottom of the list for states that provide funding for education and libraries; TABOR does not allow tax increases if a population simply gets richer, so schools get the cut. TABOR is so associated with Bruce that efforts to get around it are called “de-Brucing.” Former governor Roy Romer called TABOR “economic terrorism;” in response, Bruce published business cards that read “Douglas Bruce: Terrorist.”
Fortunately this kick-crazy asshole doesn’t have a chance of getting office next term; he was defeated in the Republican primary by Mark Waller.
Tom “The Brown People Are Coming To Eat Your Children” Tancredo (Republican in the House of Representatives, Colorado’s 6th Congressional District)
Tancredo will no longer represent the 6th district in January 2009; instead of running for his seat again, he chose attempt the long shot by going for the Republican presidential nomination. He gave up in December 2007, but not before saying a lot of his usual freaky stuff.
Tancredo is most well-known for his xenophobic racist rants against illegal immigration. Now, let me say this: to be opposed to illegal immigration is not, in itself, an insane position. Declaring Miami to be “a third world country” or “Havana” because it has a lot of (legal) former Cubans is. (Insisting on the point after the city of Miami banned him and he was personally rebuked by Florida Governor Jeb Bush is even crazier.) Tancredo harshly criticized other Republican presidential candidates after they (eventually, sulkily, with dragging feet) had a debate on Univision. (See this video he put out to convince Republicans to boycott the debate. Notice the use of Hispanic breasts – good enough to ogle, not good enough for a Green Card.)
Tancredo calls immigration on other Congress members if they have any associations with immigrants, whether or not those immigrants are legal. Meanwhile, he employs illegal immigrants to do work around his home. Tancredo favors punishing U.S. citizens by revoking the privileges of that citizenship if their parents were/are not citizens. So, basically he wants to prevent legal citizens from using the school system. Tancredo also strongly opposes multilingual ballots for voters and bilingual education. Tancredo has gotten in the face of other Republican leadership in Congress and has been reprimanded for not sticking to the party line; he believes a little too heartily in the risk that insecure borders pose to America, and refused to tone it down. At one point Tancredo advised that the United States should bomb Mecca. Like Musgrave, Tancredo has been endorsed by a number of hate groups.
Before getting creeped out by skin darker than his own, Tancredo was a champion of term limits and vowed not to run after three terms in Congress. For some reason (hypocrisy? His inherent jackass nature?) he decided to run for a fourth term and was re-elected.
For some reason all three of these crazy candidates have something against the military. Tancredo, for his part, was a draft dodger for the Vietnam War.