Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation, Dispatches from the Sunshine State

Dispatches from the Sunshine State: Jesus plates, beastiality and the Confederate Flag

OH COME ALL YE LICENSE PLATES: A few bills moving through the State Senate would put religious themes on certian specialty license plates. Enthusiastic evangelists will be able to show their faith far and wide (right under their “Jesus is my co-pilot” and fish stickers), though they may want to start praying, because passage of the plates does not look good. Maybe that’s for the better, anyway; I mean, putting out these plates would create quite a quandry in religious circles with parishoners trying to decide whether their vehicle should get the “Choose Life” or Jesus plates. I’m not hatin’ though. Just like Gov. Crist, I don’t see a problem with the plates. I’m just hoping a compromise can be made, so my new favorite State Senator Al Lawson can get this awesome plate passed:


OF BEAST & MAN: State Senators have been more successful with their beastiality bill. I raised the rankles of animal lovers (including Rep. Bill Heller!) when I added a similar bill to my Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation last year. I feel the same now — that beastiality has never been “legal” and animal cruelty laws are sufficient — but there were more wacky bills this session than last to justify putting it on the list.

SPEAKING OF REDNECKS: The Sons of Confederate Veterans had quite the hootenanny this weekend. The Dixie memorial park is officially dedicated and that huge-ass flag on I-4 and I-75 is here to stay. I didn’t go, but I hear it was a multicultural affair. Come to think of it, so were the Sunday lynchings at the turn of the century, just in a different context.

Behind the News

The South loses again (but this time Confederates sue)

FloridaConfederateFlagThis was a small story early in the year, but garnered few headlines. After all, with the huge Confederate flag at I-4 and I-75, Tampans are probably tired of hearing about the Civil War.

But, alas, the Sons of Confederate Veterans are angry again. This time over license plates.

Last year, the SCV petitioned the Florida Legislature to approve a license plate bearing the Confederate flag. They found a sponsor — Panhandle Rep. Donald Brown, who, by the way, looks like a 19th century throwback himself — and the race was on to join other Deep South states with similar license plates. The money would have funded “educational and historical programs” from the SCV.

The bill never made it out of committee. So, in January, the SCV sued the state of Florida.

Talk about sore losers!

But, what can you expect from a group still angry over the Civil War, right?

In a press release, the SCV says it “did everything that was required by Florida Statute to have the Confederate Heritage plate approved by the Legislature and we were not given the time of day by the Florida

They are being represented by the Rutherford Institute, whose biggest claim to fame was representing Paula Jones in her suit against former President Bill Clinton. Big players, these guys.

But lest you think this was some crazy conspiracy on the part of intolerant legislators who HATE Confederate veterans, puppies, the Gandy beach, and all things sacred … the SCV wasn’t the only organization snubbed by lawmakers. Last year, a number of organizations petitioned for their own license plates: Tennis players, Christians, horse lovers. Choctaw Indians wanted free license plates, but they didn’t get their wish either. Considering the U.S. government committed genocide against them, I’d think they’d deserve a few free license plates. But no, and surprise, they aren’t suing over it.

Get the full text of the federal lawsuit here.