MERCER: To pun, all in fun — or not? Some legislative nicknamesA few weeks ago over at the Pure Pierre Politics blog this scribe posted an item requesting nicknames of legislators.
By: Bob Mercer, The Daily Republic
A few weeks ago over at the Pure Pierre Politics blog this scribe posted an item requesting nicknames of legislators.
Naturally the best ones we can’t publish. But there are some that we can share. See how many you can get right.
Nickname: “Snow White” — Is it Sen. Joni Cutler, Rep. Jenna Haggar, Sen. Angie Buhl or Rep. Jacqueline Sly?
Hint: Legislative interns came up with this one and sprung it a Senate Republican party.
It’s Sen. Cutler, R-Sioux Falls. The reference is to the outfit she wore one day to session. You had to be there, I guess. Seems like it was blue. Maybe.
Nickname: “Cougar” — Is it Rep. Peggy Gibson, Rep. Melissa Magstadt, Rep. Betty Olson or Rep. Kristin Conzet?
Hint: This legislator’s other nicknames include “Grrranimal Grrranny.”
It’s Rep. Olson, R-Prairie City. We think our reader who sent in Cougar was referring to her work on liberalizing laws to kill mountain lions.
But we’re not sure.
She’s 65. She has a concealed pistol permit. And she’s the only Betty in the history of the South Dakota Legislature. ’Nuf said.
Nickname: “Death Warmed Over” — Is it Sen. Jim Hundstad, Rep. Manny Steele, Rep. Elaine Elliott or Rep. Bob Deelstra?
Hint: It’s none of the three above who have had some tough health problems.
The answer is Rep. Deelstra, R-Hartford. He sponsored the legislation allowing county commissions to use cremation rather than burial for indigent people. (No, this one wasn’t my idea, either; I’m a dead man if I reveal this source.)
Nickname: “Scud Missile” aka “Energizer Bunny” and “Cracker Barrel” — Is it Rep. Frank Kloucek?
Kloucek, D-Scotland, has been one of a kind among legislators for 22 years now. He’s never been much at passing legislation, but he’s always up to some kind of publicity maneuver on behalf of somebody or someplace in his district.
“Scud Missile” comes out of the state Game, Fish and Parks Department about four governors and four presidents ago.
Said one GFP retiree about those times: “(Frank) reminded us of the popular, highly mobile but quite inaccurate weaponry used during the first Iraq war. You never knew where they were going to hit and they didn’t do much damage.”
Nickname: “Smoky Ranger” — Is it Rep. Justin Cronin, Rep. Gene Abdallah, Rep. Mark Kirkeby or Sen. Eldon Nygaard?
Hint: This has nothing to do with the cigarette breaks taken by the first three.
It’s Sen. Nygaard, R-Vermillion. This is all about his Old West attire of a flat-brimmed hat and fringed jacket.
I mean, what else would a former business professor and current operator of a winery wear to the Capitol?
Nickname: “Dartmouth” — Is it Rep. Tad Perry, Sen. Larry Tidemann, Rep. David Lust or Sen. Jason Frerichs?
Hint: This has nothing to do with blowguns or being a faculty member at a post-high school campus.
That seems to leave only Rep. Lust, R-Rapid City. (We’re not sure about the blowgun bit.)
Last year he wanted to privatize the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City. That concept withered quickly on the vine. He attended Dartmouth College, a private Ivy League school in New Hampshire, as an undergraduate.
Nickname: “One-Eighty” aka “Three-Sixty” aka “Five-Forty” — Is it Rep. Charlie Hoffman, Rep. Val Rausch, Sen. Ryan Maher or Sen. Jim Bradford?
Hint: This has nothing to do with the changes made in party registration through the years by Messrs. Rausch, Maher and Bradford (not to mention at least a few others currently in the Legislature, too).
The answer is Rep. Hoffman, R-Eureka. He’s earned this for the firm stands he tells lobbyists he’s taking on legislation, only to reverse his position, or to reverse his reversal, or even pull a triple reverse.
As one of the purveyors of the dark arts of legislating said: “He’s the happy guy who looks dizzy because he’s happy because he’s dizzy.”
From all that spinning, of course.
Nickname: “Stand up. Sit down. Fight, fight, fight.” — Is it Sen. Stan Adelstein, Rep. Stace Nelson, Rep. Shawn Tornow or Rep. Paul Dennert?
Hint: There are four right answers, at least, to this one.
Adelstein, R-Rapid City; Nelson, R-Fulton; Tornow, R-Sioux Falls; and Dennert, D-Columbia, don’t mind arguing, or amending, or making a debate longer, and longer, and longer, with arguments about constitutional rights and trips down history’s lane.
That’s not a criticism. That’s democracy. There are lots of different ways to try to get something done, some more efficiently than others.
Depending on the day, there are plenty of more names. But listing all of them names might only provide encouragement. Not to mention taking up too much additional space here.
Now please pass the coffee.