The Week in Wingnuts: Dog Background Checks, a UN Plot Against Fishing & More

Our weekly rundown of the wildest ideas being pushed forth by state lawmakers.

Bruce Bennett/Getty; Bettmann/Corbis; Brian Tolbert/Corbis

Arkansas: Solution? Shoot ’Em

Chris Nogy, the husband of Leah Nogy, the chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party secretary, hates Obamacare so much that he declared war against it in an open letter in the Arkansas Republican Party’s official newsletter. Writing that Obamacare is a domestic threat and “inevitable to start down the road to socialism,” he targeted not Democrats, interestingly, but the “turncoat” Republicans who are now flirting with implementing the law. “I don’t feel the same way about the Democrats as bullet backstops as I do about the Republicans who joined them,” Nogy wrote. “Part of me feels that this betrayal deserves a quick implementation of my 2nd amendment rights to remove a threat domestic … If we can’t shoot them, we have to at least be firm in our threat to take immediate action against them politically, socially, and civically.”

North Carolina: Pit-Bull Peril

North Carolina Rep. Rodney Moore, a Democrat from Charlotte, was inundated with angry mail this week after she put forward a bill that would have required a criminal background check for owners of pit bulls, mastiffs, Rottweilers, and other “aggressive” dogs. “There needs to be some kind of accountability,” said Moore in defense of her plan, that would have required owners to purchase a $25 “aggressive dog permit.” But the bill caused such a furor that it was quickly killed in committee. “It’s a good idea,” Moore said, after the bill was killed, “but maybe the language was kind of harsh.”

Iowa: Bad Justice

Apparently concerned with what they saw as a tip in the balance of power toward the state’s Supreme Court, conservative lawmakers in Iowa amended a bill that would cut the salaries of the justices involved in the state’s 2009 gay-marriage ruling, which overturned Iowa’s ban on same-sex marriage. Although there are seven members of the Iowa Supreme Court, the bill, if passed, would cut to $25,000 annually only the salaries of the four members who made the decision. Rep. Tom Shaw, the amendment’s main proponent, said that in overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage the Iowa Supreme Court had “trashed the separation of powers.” “We’re just holding them responsible for their decision,” Shaw said.

Montana: Oops

Tom Jacobson, a freshman Democrat Montana representative, made a mistake that looks to have killed the Medicaid expansion—a key component of Obamacare—for the foreseeable future in his state. With fiercely contested legislation bouncing around from the Senate to the state’s House of Representatives, it finally came time to vote on the provision once and for all. Republicans, who opposed the measure, motioned to have the bill sent back to committee, effectively killing it off. Thinking he was sending the bill to the House floor where it would surely pass, he delighted Republicans and voted yes to sending it back to the committee where it remains today.

New Hampshire: The U.N. Hates Fishing

New Hampshire Republican Rep. Al Baldasaro was caught on tape this week railing against the United Nations, saying that its sustainability initiative, Agenda 21, would ban fishing. Having made headlines in the past for once saying that the state government was selling children to gay couples for $10,000 each, he said that Agenda 21 is designed to “contain people” and would prevent a family of eight from catching fresh fish for each family member. "Rep. Al Baldasaro is off his rocker,” said activist Zandra Rice-Hawkin, one of Baldasaro’s most outspoken critics. “His rampant conspiracy theories harm public policy making."

Something strange happening in your state that we missed? Shoot us an email at [email protected].