Good riddance to …


… Jesse Helms. Is he wearing lipstick in this photograph? Or did his mouth always look like a badly sliced tomato?

“Just think about it – homosexuals, lesbians – disgusting people – marching in our streets, demanding all sorts of things including the right to marry each other and the right to adopt children. How do you like (that)?” he said.

That’s from The Independent. And look at this from The Guardian:

For all his political posturing, however, Helms repeatedly showed himself inept at the tedious business of shepherding legislation through Congress.

The Senate’s tradition of choosing committee chairmen by seniority eventually brought him to head the agriculture committee (1981-87). It should have been an enviable chance to promote North Carolina’s farming and tobacco interests, which employ half its people. Yet the state, ranked eleventh by population, had one of the nation’s highest poverty rates and lowest levels of federal funding.

Helms contributed his share to this misery with his ownership of rented houses in poor black districts of Raleigh. Some tenants reported that his properties had been without adequate heating for 30 years. The city’s building inspectors repeatedly issued summonses against Helms to remedy a wide range of dilapidations, from rotting floors to leaking pipes.

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