Two years ago, Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, was a regular fixture here on Blotter. To cite just a handful of reasons why, recall that she compared food stamp recipients to wild animals, called Earth Day a "pagan holiday," characterized a House floor prayer commemorating the anniversary of the Gulf oil spill as "offensive," and took out a steamy restraining order against her then-boyfriend (chair of the McLeod County GOP).
Franson seemed to be vying to become the next Michele Bachmann, but all the controversy and publicity didn't do her political career any good. Though she represents a solidly red district, she won reelection in 2012 by the thinnest of margins while her party went from being the majority to the minority in both the House and Senate. Perhaps in response, she's really toned it down since. (Although she still managed to take a pot shot at yours truly along the way.)
But yesterday, the Franson we enjoyed during those halcyon days of MNGOP control of the legislature was back on display during the House's interminable debate about the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act, which she characterized as an "attack on the Bible and conservative Christians."
For Franson, however, the bill is about more than that. It's also about the F-word -- fascism.
"First, I'm just going to start off by saying, fascism -- a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government," Franson said. "To bring it closer to this bill, we could say fascism, Minnesota style, is a way of organizing school children in which a school district is ruled by special interest groups such as the LGBT groups and Minnesota Democrats in which school children and parents are not allowed to disagree with the special interests."
Here's video of Franson's testimony:
Concerns about fascism and 1984 aside, the bill ended up passing mostly along party lines after nearly 12 hours of debate. Since it's already been approved by the Senate, it now heads to Gov. Mark Dayton for his signature. Dayton plans to sign it today.