The House State Government committee has passed Rep. Andy Holt's resolution urging conservative talker Sean Hannity to move to Tennessee, a bill rated A LITTLE STUPID on our Legislative Stupidity Index© last week.
And there was discussion.
Chairman Ryan Haynes tried to move things along, asking immediately if there was a motion to go ahead and vote on the resolution. But first, Democratic Rep. Johnny Shaw, of Bolivar, had a question.
"Why do we want Sean here?" he asked.
Holt looked on with a straight face, and explained.
"Mr. Hannity is a conservative individual who possesses some amount of wealth, and we would like to attract any individual, whether they're wealthy or whether they're not to a state that offers so much opportunity and so many things that we have to offer as a state, we want to attract folks to this state," he said. "And this is one person that I have a particular interest in attracting. He's expressed his interest in leaving New York, so he's spoken about Florida and Texas at length and I think he ought to recognize that Tennessee is also a wonderful southern state that he should consider for his relocation."
Shaw agreed that Tennessee is "a good place" and said he'd invite anybody to move here.
"But are we going to do resolutions for everyone that's rich to come to Tennessee?" he said. "Or for conservatives? You know, we got our own troubles down here without Sean stirring up some more. I'm just really wondering and I don't mind going on record for this but why do we want another troublemaker in our state?"
Holt clarified that his resolution was a blanket invitation, addressed to Hannity and "all like-minded New Yorkers," smirking all the while as if Shaw was the one introducing an absurd discussion in the middle of the committee's ostensibly serious business.
For her part, Republican Rep. Sheila Butt said the resolution would provide good publicity about the legislature's efforts to lower taxes in Tennessee.
The bill quickly passed on a voice vote. But it was Republican Rep. Curry Todd — the guns-in-bars sponsor who was later arrested for DUI and possession of a handgun while under the influence — who provided the proceedings with the perfect kicker you only get when this bunch is in session.
"Make sure we make an amendment to keep the liberals in New York," Todd said, just before the committee was adjourned, "we don't need them down here."