Rush Limbaugh to be inducted into Hall of Famous Missourians
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Rush Limbaugh to be inducted into Hall of Famous Missourians

Date: March 5, 2012
By: Jordan Shapiro
State Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - A week after he called a Georgetown University law student a "slut," radio personality Rush Limbaugh is slated to be inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians.

Speaker of the House Rep. Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, said he was "proud" to induct Limbaugh.

"He certainly is deserving of being in the Hall of Famous Missourians," Tilley said calling Limbaugh one of the most recognized radio personalities in the country.

Rep. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis City, said she is "praying" that Tilley reverses his decision to honor Limbaugh, calling the induction a "slap in the face for all the women in Missouri."

"He [Limbaugh] is an embarrassment not only to the Republican party, he is an embarrassment as a human being," Nasheed said.

Limbaugh drew heavy criticism for his comments last week when he called law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" on his radio show. Limbaugh apologized days later on his website after several sponsors dropped support for his program and said his "choice of words were not the best."

Fluke spoke in support of President Barack Obama's birth control mandate to Congress.

"She [Fluke] wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex," Limbaugh said on his radio show.

House Minority Leader Rep. Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City, said Limbaugh was not a choice he would make for the Hall.

"It is offensive to women. There is a growing class of citizens upset of his [Limbaugh's] misguided and offensive comments," Talboy said.

Limbaugh's appointment is not the only action Democratic women are complaining about.

Last week seven Democratic female representatives held a press conference criticizing Republican House leadership for not recognizing them during a debate about Obama's contraception mandate. They called themselves the "silent seven" and said they were not recognized to speak against a resolution condemning the mandate.

During a press conference last week, the Democratic House members said the debate on contraception showed a "disrespectful, despicable and a blatant disregard" to women.

The Hall of Famous Missourians is located in the state Capitol rotunda. Inductees are honored with a bust paid for by funds donated at the Speaker's annual golf tournament.The Speaker has discretion on who joins the Hall.

Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, did not criticize the choice of Limbaugh and said he does not make the decisions regarding the Hall.

"I know he has done well for himself," Mayer said of Limbaugh.

Tilley said other members in the Hall had controversial views, such as Mark Twain and John Ashcroft, former Missouri governor and U.S. Attorney General.

"They probably all said things and taken positions that were controversial at the time, but when you look at what Rush has accomplished in life and in his radio career he is undoubtedly probably the most famous Missourian," Tilley said.

Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield said Limbaugh's induction "cheapens the entire Hall."

E. Spencer Schubert, a Kansas City sculptor, was selected to make Limbaugh's bust. He denied comment on Limbaugh's induction.

The most recent member of the Hall is John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil, a baseball coach in the Negro Leagues, who was inducted February 27.

Other members of the Hall include George Washington Carver, Walt Disney, Scott Joplin and Laura Ingalls Wilder. There is no date set for Limbaugh's induction. Tilley said he also plans on inducting Dred Scott later this year.