Say it ain't so, Dave!
Colorado Springs Republican state senator Dave Schultheis, whose untenable positions and fabulously xenophobic quotes made him one of Westword's favorite Shmucks of the Week, has announced that he won't seek reelection in 2010.
A champion of small-minded racists, Schultheis wasn't just vilified by Democrats; he was also shunned by many in his own party, who couldn't get behind his hard-line beliefs.
"During my years in the Legislature, I have purposely never sought a leadership position, as I believed my role was to stand firmly against every temptation to moderate my conservative views for greater acceptance by the caucus," he said in a statement quoted by The Gazette in Colorado Springs. "As a result, I felt free and unencumbered, to hold high the banner of each and every conservative principle that Republicans say they believe in, and to do so without compromise."
Here are two highlights from the 2009 legislative session:
After hearing that the Colorado Department of Transportation planned to spend $15,000 (less than a the cost of most new cars) on a TV ad in Spanish warning people to buckle their seatbelts (one quarter of the total number of people who were killed in car crashes in Colorado in 2008 were Latino; nearly three quarters were unbuckled), Schultheis said:
"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."
And where is this going to end?" he added. "Can we expect a new round of PSAs from CDOT this year in Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese or some other foreign language?"
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In February, Schultheis continued his style of politics -- one that values Bible-thumping interpretations over human life, human suffering and common sense -- when he expounded on a bill that would have required pregnant women to be tested for HIV (if HIV is caught early enough, its spread from mother to baby can be prevented).
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. "We do things continually to remove the consequences of poor behavior, unacceptable behavior, quite frankly," he said.
"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."
Maybe you will take your own advice in retirement, Senator, before it's too late.