Rush Limbaugh will be inducted into his home state's Hall of Famous… (Brian Jones / Associated…)
Rush Limbaugh may have lost sponsors, been condemned by feminist groups and overall widely criticized for calling a Georgetown law school student a "slut," but the conservative radio host will be honored in his home state with a bronze bust in the Missouri Capitol.
Limbaugh, who was born in Missouri, will be inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians, along with Dred Scott, an African American slave who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom in 1857, leading to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that slaves were "property."
Scott and Limbaugh were recently chosen for the honor by Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilley, a Republican who represents Perryville, just north of Limbaugh's birthplace of Cape Girardeau.
As speaker, Tilley has unilateral control over who is chosen for the honor.
Past inductees include Sacajawea, the Shoshone guide for explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark; former "Price is Right" game show host Bob Barker; former U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft; writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie; and former President Truman.
"What made [these figures] famous and worthy of induction was the way they overcame adversity and controversy to achieve great things, making significant contributions to society along the way," Tilley said in a statement e-mailed to The Times. "Rush Limbaugh undoubtedly belongs to this group."
Tilley has faced criticism for his choice, made before Limbaugh directed his ire at Sandra Fluke, who testified in favor of President Obama's directive to insurers to pay for birth control.
State Democrats are urging officials to refuse placement of the bronze bust in the capitol, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
In a letter addressed to the acting commissioner of administration, lawmakers wrote:
"While it is undisputed that Mr. Limbaugh is famous, fame alone has never been considered sufficient for induction. Mr. Limbaugh's greatest distinction during his controversial career has been his penchant for divisiveness."
Tilley, however, has indicated that he will not change his mind in choosing Limbaugh, pointing out that "current members of the hall often had detractors and were not always uncontroversial or universally loved and adored."
"By inducting Rush, I feel that I am honoring one of Southeast Missouri's favorite sons. He's had a tremendous impact on radio and the conservative movement in general," Tilley said in his statement.
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