Rush was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians at the State Capitol in Jefferson City 5/14. Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilley alerted media statewide less than half an hour before the ceremony’s scheduled start time at 1 p.m. Rush, a Cape Girardeau native, is being honored for his three decades as a syndicated conservative talker—and still the nation’s most listened to.
However, women’s rights groups have gotten more than 35,000 signatures on petitions opposing the plan to induct him. They say Limbaugh disrespected women when he described Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke in February as a “slut” and “prostitute.”
The Hall of Famous Missourians is a series of bronze busts located on the third floor of the Missouri Capitol between the House and Senate chambers. Missouri House Speakers have the discretion each session to decide who is inducted into the Hall. Each bust costs around $10,000 to make and is paid for by the Speaker’s Annual Gold Classic, reports KDSK-TV St. Louis.
The Hall of Famous Missourians also hosts Mark Twain, Walter Cronkite, Bob Barker, Harry Truman and actresses Betty Grable and Ginger Rogers.
There’s no guarantee the bust will be displayed, however, as House Minority Leader Mike Tabloy (D-Kansas City) released the following statement about Limbaugh’s induction:
“House Speaker Steve Tilley today purported to induct misogynistic talk show host Rush Limbaugh into the Hall of Famous Missourians. Instead of being open to the public as is tradition, the ceremony was conducted in secret in a locked House chamber with only Republican officials and other select people allowed in. The secrecy and exclusion of the public demonstrates that even Republicans are embarrassed at honoring someone who recently called a female college student with whom he disagreed a ‘slut’ and a ‘prostitute.’
After the first four inductees to the Hall of Famous Missourians were selected by a group of legislative spouses, House speakers assumed the role and have chosen all subsequent inductees. Until now, no one as controversial and unworthy as Mr. Limbaugh has been put forth for inclusion.
But the Hall is an entirely unofficial honor and Speaker Tilley has no legal authority to order that the bronze bust of Mr. Limbaugh be granted space in the Capitol Rotunda alongside the busts of previous inductees. House Democrats have asked the Office of Administration, which controls all public areas of the Capitol, to refuse to display the Limbaugh bust, and we are confident that it will not be placed in the Hall of Famous Missourians.”
RBR-TVBR observation: We can see why there was so much secrecy surrounding the event. We’re also pretty sure this will cause a bit of a partisan flap in that state. Indeed, Limbaugh is a Famous Missourian and may deserve the honor—but the timing might still be a bit early.