Shmuck of the Week: Dave Schultheis (again)
Colorado Springs Republican senator Dave Schultheis continued a style of politics this week that values Biblical interpretations and right-wing philosophy over human life, human suffering and common sense. His latest sentiments involved a bill that would require pregnant women to be tested for HIV. The bill is important because if HIV is caught early enough, its spread from mother to baby can be prevented.
But Schultheis said he'd rather that HIV-positive women did pass the deadly virus onto their children, so that their suffering would remind society about the dangers of sexual promiscuity. "This stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part and I just can't go there," he was quoted as saying. "We do things continually to remove the consequences of poor behavior, unacceptable behavior, quite frankly.
"What I'm hoping is that, yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that," he continued. "The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior."
Earlier this month, Schultheis won another Shmuck of the Week award for his comments criticizing the Colorado Department of Transportation for trying to protect the lives of Latinos.
Schultheis again championed dogmatic politics over human life by accusing CDOT of wasting money by running a public service announcement in Spanish warning people who may or may not be illegal immigrants to buckle their seat belts.
Eighty Latinos died in traffic accidents in Colorado in 2008, or roughly one quarter of the total number of people who were killed in car crashes. Of the eighty, 59 were unbuckled.
"All these ads are going to do is provide one more assimilation off-ramp for new arrivals. Bilingualism in our buckle-up ads -- just like bilingualism in our schools -- will only encourage the further balkanization of our culture, reduce the pressure on new immigrants to learn English and make it harder in the long run for immigrants to become Americans," he was quoted as saying.
"And where is this going to end?" the forward-thinking Schultheis asked the Rocky Mountain News. "Can we expect a new round of PSAs from CDOT this year in Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese or some other foreign language?"
Next up for the Senator: A bill that would allow Emergency Rooms to let victims of violence die if they haven't been to church in the past month.
For previous Shmucks, see our archive.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.