Hours before he was sworn in to fill a vacancy in the Colorado Legislature, Douglas Bruce (R) kicked a Rocky Mountain News photographer who snapped the freshman lawmaker's picture during the House's opening prayer (click here to see video of the incident). Bruce, the father of the state's so-called Taxpayers' Bill of Rights amendment limiting state spending, had asked photographers not to take his picture, according to the Rocky Mountain News . He later called it "more of a nudge or a tap." But the incident prompted House leaders from both parties to begin considering a reprimand, censure or even expulsion. Bruce says he can't be punished because the incident happened before he took the oath of office.
Kicking off his campaign for North Carolina's highest office, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory sent an e-mail announcing his run for "governer." Then the plot thickens. The News & Observer reports that campaign manager Victoria Smith blamed the typo on a hacker who allegedly changed the word to embarrass the campaign. After the error was fixed, Smith said the hacker re-hacked the system to fix the spelling. In the end, the candidate himself weighed in: It was just a mistake.
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) is bracing for flak from his proposal to hike highway tolls 50 percent in 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022. But it may be hard to beat the 5,000 phone-call complaints about his decision not to give state workers the day off after Thanksgiving, The Associated Press writes. Or the 10,000 calls he received from dog lovers pleading for Corzine to spare the life of a canine slated to be euthanized for mauling a gardener. Or the time he suggested New Jersey citizens pump their own gas at filling station. "When I said Jersey girls will pump gas, (my staff) couldn't answer the phones" fast enough, Corzine told the AP.
Two Republicans in the Hawaii Senate failed in their bid to topple their minority leader, Fred Hemmings, despite having the support of half of the chamber's Republicans - themselves. The Honolulu Advertiser reported that though there are only four Republicans in the 25-member Senate, the duo failed to garner enough votes when their nominee for the position, remaining Republican Sen. Paul Whalen, refused to accept the post.
North Dakotans are up in arms about a National Geographic article they say portrays their state as a collection of ghost towns. One of the most perturbed is Gov. John Hoeven (R), who sent a letter to the magazine's editor calling the article "off the mark" and suggesting a follow-up that better reflects the state's progress. Hoeven told the Minneapolis Star Tribune , "They could have done the same thing in Minnesota. Pick any state, find an abandoned building or house or a car sitting in a field, take a picture and say that represents the state - come on."