Tag Archives: joke

Some Boycott Democratic Fundraiser Over Joke

Some Democrats are boycotting the Hamilton County Democratic Party’s upcoming annual fundraiser in response to Chairman Paul Smith’s continued refusal to apologize for a sexist joke, reports the Chattanooga Times-Free Press.
It’s the latest setback for Smith, who’s facing louder calls to step down after an attempt at humor on a Democratic Party business document was perceived by numerous women as misogyny.
An email about Smith obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press began circulating among party officials and board members Wednesday. It explored the possibility of an emergency meeting about a no-confidence vote that could prompt his resignation.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Smith declined to discuss his future as chairman or the Oct. 10 Estes Kefauver Dinner, named after the esteemed Chattanooga lawmaker and considered the local party’s main mechanism for pre-Election Day money.
“I don’t want to get in an argument with that bunch,” he said, describing those he offended and others who are boycotting the dinner. “I’m trying to register people and work for the candidates.”
Smith, 75, included a lengthy joke about women on a board meeting agenda four days after U.S. Rep. Todd Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape.” He said he printed it as an attack on Akin, but his explanation baffled and offended high-ranking women in the county party. Smith last week called them “troublemakers” who don’t understand his jokes.
Board member and Hamilton County Young Democrats President Colby Knecht, 20, said his group is withdrawing a $1,500 commitment to the dinner.

Joke About Women Gets No Laughs at Demo Gathering

Female and male leaders in the Hamilton County Democratic Party are criticizing their chairman, Paul Smith, for including an off-color joke about women on an official business document, reports the Chattanooga Times-Free Press.
Smith printed the joke, described as a guide to “happy life,” on an otherwise run-of-the-mill agenda for the party’s Aug. 23 board meeting. The joke recommends finding a woman who, among other things, “cooks from time to time,” cleans up, has a job and “is good in bed.”
“It’s very, very important that these four women do not know each other,” the punchline reads, “or you could end up dead like me.”
The joke appeared four days after Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., declared that women’s bodies can block unwanted pregnancies in cases of what he called “legitimate rape.” Akin later apologized for his remarks.
Party board member and Greater Chattanooga Democratic Women’s Club President Rita Fehring, former county party chairwoman, said Smith was “a moron” for printing the joke.
“He claimed that he was trying to make light of the Akin matter,” she said. “You know, there’s nothing light about rape. Misogyny’s not really funny when you’re a woman.”
Smith, a longtime local Democratic insider, refused to apologize last week, claiming he was misunderstood. He said the women he offended within the party were “troublemakers” who should have discussed their concerns with him instead of going to the media.
“It was not meant in any way to be a smear,” he said in an interview. “I think my intent there was strictly to point out that the guy who made the statements over there [Akin] is a political Neanderthal and politically ‘dead,’ and if somebody doesn’t understand that, they have a lack of depth of understanding.”

Hamilton Commissioner ‘Just Kidding’ in Suggesting Only White Males Should Vote

Hamilton County Commissioner Fred Skillern acknowledges to the Chattanooga Times-Free Press that he made this remark to three other white men with him in an elevator after the commission voted down a resolution calling for repeal of Tennessee voter photo ID law:
“Why don’t we go back to the Constitution when the only voters were white male property owners?”
Skillern, a Republican, says he was “just kidding” with the remark, addressed toward Democratic Party Chairman Paul Smith. If so, the remark apparently didn’t inspire any laughter from Smith or the other men aboard the elevator.
(Local Democratic party activist Phil) Phillips said Skillern’s statement was “seemingly overstated” and took him aback.
“It was kind of like guys stand around locker rooms and tell dirty jokes,” he said. “It shocked me that he would say that in front of someone he just met 10 seconds ago.”
Skillern said Phillips and Smith took his statement out of context. Skillern supports voting rights for all law-abiding U.S. citizens, regardless of skin color or sex, he said.
“We just go back and forth with each other all the time,” Skillern said of Smith.
Skillern said he was making the point that the Constitution has been amended and voting rights laws have changed a number of times throughout U.S. history. “They’re acting like it’s never been changed before,” he said.
County commissioners don’t have the authority to change state law, and Skillern said he wouldn’t support a change even if they did.

Haslam Plagiarizing Bill Clinton with ‘Ernie’ Story?

By Eric Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam has added a new detail to his oft-told anecdote about his wife Crissy’s high school boyfriend.
He acknowledged Tuesday the story isn’t true.
Haslam has been warming up crowds before his speeches with a story about a chance encounter with a former boyfriend named Ernie who’s now a convenience store clerk.
The story is peppered with references to the governor’s two-year campaign for office and to the family-owned Pilot Flying J truck stop chain, where Haslam was president before embarking on a political career.
“She gets up to the cashier, and they give each other this huge hug,” Haslam said in Tuesday’s speech. “And they weren’t at a Pilot, so I’m thinking, wait a minute.”
The punchline involves the governor asking about what would have happened had Crissy Haslam had instead married Ernie.
“And she said, ‘Well, then Ernie would be the governor!'” Haslam said to uproarious laughter.
Reporters who noticed differences in Haslam’s retelling of the story asked the Republican governor after the appearance whether Ernie was real.
“No!” Haslam responded with a laugh.
“It’s an old story, I can’t remember where it came from,” he said. “I think maybe originally it was a Bill and Hillary Clinton, from about 20 years ago.”
In an episode of the former NBC series “The West Wing,” the fictional president tells a staffer a similar story about a ditch digger, but is advised against using it in public.
Haslam told reporters that he’s always on the lookout for new lighthearted anecdotes to work into his public appearances, “because I keep telling the same ones over and over again.”
Note: Jeff Woods has full quotes (and some commentary) on the Haslam remarks.
“Is Ernie real?”
“Noooooooooooo,” Haslam said, shamelessly, as if it were a stupid question.
“You mean that story just sprang from your fertile imagination?” a shocked Pith asked.
No, Haslam said, he stole the anecdote from somewhere. He said he thinks Bill Clinton used to tell it about Hillary.
“You mean, there’s some kind of political joke book that you guys steal from?”
“If there is, I need one because I keep telling the same ones over and over,” the governor replied.

And here, from Woodsie, is the Ernie story as told by the governor.
People ask all the time well how do the two of you like your job? And we do. We love it. We both love what we get to do. It does take an adjustment. We went during the campaign hustling across the state and occasionally wondering about state troopers in our rearview mirror to having state troopers driving you everywhere, which is a lot more convenient.
So every now and then instead of being late we are actually early. And so we were going somewhere about four or five weeks ago and it was Crissie and me and the state trooper driving, and Crissie said, ‘Hey, if we have time I’d love to stop in and grab a Diet Coke somewhere.’
And so he pulls into a convenience store real quick, and I said, ‘I’m fine.’ I was on the phone, and so Crissie runs in. And through the front window of the convenience store, I could see her. And she gets up to the cashier and they give each other this huge hug. We weren’t at a Pilot, so I’m thinking, ‘What’s going on?’ She comes back in the car and I said, ‘What was that all about?’ And she says, ‘What are you talking about?’ And I said, ‘With the cashier?’
And she said, ‘Oh, that was Ernie.’ And I said, ‘Ernie?’ And she said, ‘Yeah, Ernie, my high school boyfriend.’ And I said, ‘Oh, OK.’ And I turned and kind of looked out the window, and I must have been smiling or something. And she said, ‘What are you smiling about?’
And I said I was thinking, ‘What if you’d married Ernie?’ And she said, ‘Well then, Ernie would be the governor.’

Legislator Apologizes for Making Colleague Butt of Jokes

State Rep. Phillip Johnson, R-Pegram, has apologized to “anyone offended” by his joking about Rep. Sheila Butt’s last name in a House floor speech last week.
Johnson regularly makes joshing remarks whenever a freshman representative makes his or her first appearance on the House floor to present a bill. When Butt, R-Columbia, brought a resolution to the floor on Monday night, Johnson began by observing that her maiden name was Keckler and questioning her about the name change with marriage.
People say his wife married a Johnson, he said, then inquired what people would say she married.
“One of those five Butt boys from Portland, Tenn.,” she replied.
Johnson went on with several puns and comments on posteriors. For example, he pronounced the word “ascertain” as if it had an extra ‘s,” and stressed the words “rear” and “behind” in other commentary.
“Do you see any crack in this legislation that’ll prevent us from crossing the great divide and bringing smiles to the cheek of every member of this House?” he asked at another point.
He concluded by declaring “I will no longer make you the butt of any practical jokes in this session.” Then, after pausing a moment, he added, “But.”
On Thursday, Johnson made an apology speech, also on the House floor.
“Sometimes my wit can push the envelope a little bit.. On Monday night I pushed the edge,” he said, adding praise for Butt as “a wonderful representative.”
“I apologize if anyone was offended by any of my words. They were all in jest,” he said.