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A mysterious House Republican dissed the memory of Michael Jackson today by objecting to a resolution honoring
the King of Pop. The anonymous objection, transmitted through Republican caucus chairman Glen Casada, knocked the resolution from the House consent calendar where noncontroversial bills are lumped for quick passage. That means it will go on the regular calendar for a separate up-or-down vote. The sponsor, Rep. G.A. Hardaway, D-Memphis, is vowing to force the House to act on the resolution on Monday.
"At that time, we'll see votes in favor and who votes against it," he tells Pith. He says he hoped to pass the resolution today so he could present it to Jackson's father, who's visiting Memphis this weekend.
"I have no idea who it was who objected or why. I'm surprised. We're talking about promoting tourism in a state that's known for all kinds of music and then we do this. We made our mark in blues and pop and the Memphis sound is unique. We're talking about the same city and state that's home to Elvis. His baby girl was married to Michael Jackson. We ought to honor the memory of Michael Jackson."
Hardaway speculates it was the child molestation allegations against Jackson or his general weirdness that brought the objection. But he says:
"We can't use that as criteria. What about every man, woman and child who ever made a mistake? Those were charges. There's a big difference between charges and convictions. Are we going to hold people to that degree of perfection?"
We've placed a call to Casada to try to learn the name of the anonymous House objector, but haven't heard back yet.
: Casada phoned to say "a couple of Republican members" objected to the resolution. "Michael Jackson is not from Tennessee," Casada tells Pith, "and these members felt the expense of the resolution was too much for someone who is not from Tennessee." He wouldn't name the Republicans. But Pith suspects one of them is Rep. Donna Rowland, R-Murfreesboro, who has complained in the past
about the cost of resolutions while sponsoring more than a few of these pats on the back herself