The End of a Click-Friendly, Anti-Gay, Holocaust-Trolling Republican State Legislator

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 8 2014 11:16 AM

The End of a Click-Friendly, Anti-Gay, Holocaust-Trolling Republican State Legislator

He made it into my story about Tennessee's primaries, and he was covered in my tweets about the results, but state Sen. Stacey Campfield deserves another moment. In 2012, Campfield became Internet-famous for the legislation quickly termed the "don't say gay bill." If successful—and it was introduced right after the GOP's surge of 2010 wins—it would have prevented any teaching of homosexuality to students younger than eighth grade. And just a few months ago, Campfield wrote a post that compared Obamacare signups to willfull participation in the Holocaust. "Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of manditory sign ups for 'train rides' for Jews in the 40s," he said. (Misspelling in the original, for once.)

The day before the election, I met Campfield's chief opponent Richard Briggs, most famous for being part of the medical team that worked on ABC's Bob Woodruff in Iraq. He was given a shout-out from the stage of Sen. Lamar Alexander's final rally in Knoxville. After the rally, he got a little catch-up time with Gov. Bill Haslam. From that and from a conversation with Briggs—where he stressed that "on the issues," he was not more liberal than Campfield—I got the impression that the establishment wanted Campfield out. Briggs was sore that Campfield had been attacking him for not taking a stance on "amnesty," as if that meant he was for it, as opposed to just aware that a state senator could not change immigration policy.

Advertisement

Briggs won by a landslide. He won 13,977 votes to Campfield's 5,824, with a third candidate taking 1,201 votes. Campfield was banished for, basically, being a local Todd Akin—a conservative who said dumb things and distracted voters from the need to beat Democrats.

He responded to the election result with a blog post consisting of four words—"Well, that was fun"—and a video of Frank Sinatra singing "My Way."

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?