Mississippi state Rep. Steve Holland (D), who introduced a bill to rename the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of America, is saying that it was all a joke as a way to bring attention to anti-immigration legislation that his Republican colleagues are considering in his state.
Holland spoke with the Blog of New Orleans this afternoon. This is what that page is reporting:
Turns out Holland has a bit of a goof streak going on. He called Gambit to tell us the bill is his tongue-in-cheek single-finger salute to mock his Republican peers obsessed with illegal immigration.
"That's exactly what it is," he says. He's throwing the bill into session with his Republican counterparts, who he says should be focused on helping "feed, clothe and educate children, take care of older adults, provide economic development and high systems in this state, and all the hell they want to talk about is running illegal immigrants out, and drug testing welfare and Medicaid recipients — all superfluous crap as far as I'm concerned. So I thought I'd just join them with a bill to chew on, saying the Gulf of America instead of the Gulf of Mexico, since everything Mexican and Hispanic is 'so bad.' Nothing but a 'spamalot' bill is all it is. Tongue-in-cheek."
"Nobody in Mississippi has responded, but I've been responding to phone calls all over the world," Holland says. "Maybe I didn't think about it, but hell, I've been here 29 years, I got to try and have some fun as best I can with all these jerks."
Looks like Holland got his inspiration from the Great Stephen Colbert!