Stateline Story

Paris pleads for a pardon

  
Celebrity socialite Paris Hilton is desperately trying to avoid jail for repeatedly driving on a suspended license, and flattery seems to be part of her legal strategy. According to the Los Angeles Times , her petition seeking a pardon from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) praises him: "Let me first begin by saying that I grew up as a child enjoying all of your wonderful films. You really are the truly great action hero for our time. You are doing a great job in the great state of California," Hilton wrote.

A high school senior who was issued the former cell phone number of Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) has been bombarded at all hours with calls for the state's chief executive, at first getting at least six a day, according to the Lansing bureau of The Associated Press . "This experience hasn't given me any political aspirations," student Katie Kamar said. Last week the governor left a voicemail for Kamar, apologizing for the calls and thanking her for being so courteous.

Holding your bladder might be a sought-after job skill for Oregon lawmakers. Partisan tension in the Legislature has gotten so rancorous that a Republican who missed a vote to go to the bathroom wasn't allowed by Democrats to cast his vote when he returned. So much for the civility of a Legislature whose rules require lawmakers to refer to "my good friend" or "my colleague" instead of by a lawmaker's name, notes The Oregonian .

Seymour, Wis., now claims the official title of "original home of the hamburger" by decree of the Wisconsin Legislature. But those are fighting words for Athens, Tex.; Akron, Ohio; and New Haven, Conn., which each also boast to be the birthplace. Seymour traces its burger heritage to an 1885 fair. Wisconsin state Rep. Tom Nelson (D) was moved to defend Seymour's honor after Texas lawmakers drafted a resolution claiming Athens the home of the all-American beef patty. Nelson tells the Appleton Post-Crescent he might send a few cans of Manwich sloppy Joe mix to the Texas Legislature "as a consolation prize."
A Texas bill to charge a $5 entry fee to strip clubs and use the money for sexual-assault prevention and treatment got strong support in a preliminary vote, according to The Dallas Morning News . Three years ago, Gov. Rick Perry (R) supported a similar fee to raise money for schools, but lawmakers killed it because they said it was unseemly to link strip clubs to education.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is threatening to boycott Connecticut if the Legislature passes a bill banning the bullhook, a common elephant-herding tool. The Connecticut Post quoted animal-rights activist Karen Laski as saying the circus' threat was "like saying, 'We won't bring our corporation into the state unless we can beat up our employees.'" The circus is currently playing in Hartford and has invited lawmakers to visit the elephants in an effort to kill the bill.