On Tuesday night, Andrea Jenkins became the first transgender person elected to office in the history of Minneapolis.
As it turned out, ballots cast that same day would eventually also translate to victory for Phillipe Cunningham, another transgender candidate, who will join Jenkins on the Minneapolis City Council next year.
Wednesday morning, everyone got a nice ugly reminder why victories like those are so historic.
In four terms in office, GOP Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, has built a deserved reputation as both a hardcore Republican and a public relations nightmare. Check for yourself.
Franson's mistakes are not mistakes, or gaffes. These are the things she actually thinks, and she does not regret them -- even if it appears she might. In 2012, Franson compared the food stamp program for (poor) people in Minnesota to "feed[ing] the animals." She apologized. Then she said it again.
Franson's pecularities run the gamut -- find another politician that's both anti-vaccine and anti-Earth Day -- but saves her most offensive thoughts for social issues. Homosexuality is not "normal behavior," a bill to protect LGBTQ kids from school bullying is "fascism." Shit like that.
It's been a while since Franson offered something that was so offensive as to be noteworthy. This month, for example, she has tweeted about her Jeep.
Here's one about frying eggs.
Nothing like eggs cooked in bacon fat ���� pic.twitter.com/JyuieExX5y— Mary Franson (@MaryFranson) November 1, 2017
Here's one about abortion, and why she won't be drinking at Tin Whiskers, which she thinks wants its future customers "murdered."
Another business I will not spend money at while I’m in Saint Paul. Why does a business want future customers murdered? https://t.co/MMx5a6EgvQ— Mary Franson (@MaryFranson) November 1, 2017
Still, for someone with Franson's track record, this is fairly mild. Which brings us to Wednesday, the morning after Minneapolis elected Andrea Jenkins, and, in Virginia, Democrat Danica Roem became the first openly transgender person in U.S. history to win election to a state Legislature.
A guy who thinks he’s a girl is still a guy with a mental health condition.— Mary Franson (@MaryFranson) November 8, 2017
As one would expect, this sentiment did not go unchallenged in Franson's replies.
thats sex, not gender, then again I’m not surprised none of you know the difference since you can’t be a decent human being and respect people’s decisions that in no way affect your life— dain (@dainarellano) November 8, 2017
I think your opinion might change if you took some time to get to know some trans people.— Ed Kohler (@edkohler) November 9, 2017
Franson is ignoring those, and does not feel like adding to her thoughts about an apparent mental health crisis which, like so many other things she has said, exists nowhere in accepted literature but is still widely believed inside Mary Franson's head.
Reached by City Pages, Andrea Jenkins had this to say:
"Thank you, Representative Franson, for showing all Minnesotans your true bigotry and unapologetic transphobia. As a tax-paying citizen, I am extremely disappointed in seeing my public officials displaying such discrimination against and complete disregard for transgender residents of the great state of Minnesota."
Franson, for her part, declined to comment, saying: "You're fake news. Tabloid paper. I'll pass."
Then she tweeted that she had texted that. It was weird. Still an improvement from what followers can usually expect from her account. City Pages would like to endorse Rep. Franson's opinon about eggs and bacon fat. That was a good tweet. She should've realized she'd peaked, and retired on the spot.
Retire from ... what? you wonder. Twitter? The House of Representatives? Public life?
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