Stateline Story

WORTH NOTING: Schweitzer's Tongue in Cheek Causes Trouble

  • September 12, 2008
  • By Nathaniel Weixel

Some things you just don't joke about. During a July speech in Philadelphia , Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer spoke facetiously about pressuring election officials to help a fellow Democrat win the 2006 U.S. Senate race. Tamara Hall, a Montana Republican activist and talk-show host, saw his remarks online and didn't find them amusing. She filed a complaint with the U.S. Attorney's Office and they're looking into the matter, The Billings Gazettereports.

Vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin - a self-described "pit bull" - could learn a few tricks from Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D). She's been boasting about putting her state's jet up for sale on eBay to cut costs, but she didn't land as good a deal as Rendell, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer . Alaska 's jet ended up being sold through a broker for $600,000 less than the previous governor paid for it. Rendell sold a Pennsylvania state plane for several hundred thousand more than the state paid for it 16 years ago.

In an example of life imitating television, the Iowa State Patrol has unveiled a cruiser that hearkens back to a 1980s television cop show, "Knight Rider." Radio Iowa, a radio news network, reports that Trooper Marc Griggs started driving a voice-activated patrol car in February. Unlike Michael Knight, Griggs can't carry on a conversation with his car, but he can tell the onboard computer to turn on the sirens, lights, and other gadgets without taking his hands off the wheel.

D'oh! Election officials in Vermont are getting tired of people casting joke ballots for the likes of Bart Simpson and Mickey Mouse. The Times Argus reports that clerks automatically toss votes for Mickey, but the spiky-haired Fox television character is trickier. Bart Simpson could be a real person.

Georgia state superintendent Kathy Cox got to prove she's smarter than some of the kids in her school system. According to The New York Times, Cox correctly answered 10 questions drawn from elementary school curriculums to win $1 million in the reality quiz show, "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" The money will be donated to two state schools for the deaf and a school for the blind.