A resolution honoring the two Idahoans who made the hit film “Napoleon Dynamite,” which is set in Preston, Idaho, and features lots of local not-quite-profane expressions, brought much merriment to the House on Wednesday morning.
Amid the jokes, a House member insisted on a roll-call vote on the resolution, which could’ve just passed by a voice vote. House Speaker Bruce Newcomb then declared – using a phrase from the movie – “Remember, those that vote ‘no’ are freakin’ idiots.”
As the House’s voting board lighted up, there was lots of laughter, but then the green lights lighted up and the resolution passed unanimously, 69-0.
Newcomb said, “The speaker would just like to point out that I’m relieved, because I was concerned that there were some freakin’ idiots in this place.”
The resolution includes some tongue-in-cheek takeoffs on the high-minded merits of various features in the film, along with a heartfelt commendation of Jared and Jerusha Hess for their work.
What lurks beneath his jacket
As the Senate was debating the “Napoleon Dynamite” resolution, Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, rose to his feet.
“Everyone in this room are campaigners, or they wouldn’t be here,” he said, “and we just started a new campaign.”
Goedde then pulled open his dark suit jacket and pulled aside his tie, revealing a white T-shirt with big, red block letters reading, “VOTE FOR PEDRO.”
That got even more laughs than Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis’ comment: “Apparently I just don’t get it. I didn’t understand ‘Seinfeld’ either.”
Or than Senate President Pro Tem Bob Geddes’ revelation of his possible conflict of interest with the resolution: Copies are to be sent to the mayor of Preston and the principal of Preston High School. The mayor is Goeddes’ first cousin, and the principal is a second cousin.
Geddes said he hasn’t been able to find a direct family tie between himself and the Hesses, which he regrets since “they’ve got $3 million.”
They’re into ‘bondage’
During the heated debate on the GARVEE bill in the House, Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, said, “They don’t call ‘em bonds for nothing. Bonds is just short for bondage.”
Other opponents picked up on that theme, and criticized the “bondage” Idaho’s moving into. “This scares the daylights out of me,” said Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home.
All in good fun
Remember that mine-tailings bill that went down amid consternation over the prospect of dredging the Coeur d’Alene basin? Its sponsor, Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, still is lamenting the death of the bill in the Senate, after it had passed the House, as a low point of this year’s session.
In the spirit of the laughter that’s spread through both houses, here’s a little rhyme:
If you go down to St. Maries
Ask who believes in tooth fairies
They vote for a man
Who sees riches in plans
That others call Superfund-scary.
It’s worth 10 bucks
Chuck Oxley, Associated Press reporter, said one of the toughest moments of the legislative session for him came when he had to pay Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis $10, because he’d lost his bet.
When the Senate amended its internal rules earlier this session to allow closed committee meetings at any time, for any reason, Davis said the rule wouldn’t be abused and there probably wouldn’t be any closed meetings this session – and Oxley bet him there would.
However, Oxley said, “I told him if it costs me 10 bucks a session to keep you from closing meetings, I’ll gladly give it to you.”