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Rush Limbaugh enters Missouri hall of fame; not all are pleased

May 15, 2012|By Matt Pearce
  • Rush Limbaugh with a bust in his likeness during a ceremony inducting him into the Hall of Famous Missourians.
Rush Limbaugh with a bust in his likeness during a ceremony inducting him… (Julie Smith / Associated…)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  Rush Limbaugh is in the Hall of Famous Missourians. The question now may be whether he’ll stay there.

On Monday, Limbaugh was inducted into the hall in a secret ceremony that wasn’t advertised, that was closed to the public and that was guarded by armed State Highway Patrol members.

"He may say things that strike a nerve," Republican House Speaker Steven Tilley later told the Kansas City Star. "But that doesn't undo everything he's accomplished in his career, and it doesn't provide a reasonable excuse why he shouldn't be honored by his home state for his many accomplishments."

Limbaugh, who is from Cape Girardeau, Mo., joins other famous Missourians in the hall of fame such as Harry S. Truman and Mark Twain. He responded to his selection by thanking the Republican lawmakers and staff assembled for the ceremony and by calling Democrats “deranged.”

The selection and induction, as you may have guessed, have not particularly struck the Democrats’ fancy, particularly given that Limbaugh's selection to the hall came shortly after he called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a "slut."

In fact, Missouri's Democratic House Minority Floor Leader Mike Talboy told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he was "very confident" that the bust wouldn't stay in the Capitol rotunda.

"It is still my hope that the citizens of Missouri don't have to have someone like that in the Hall of Famous Missourians," he said.

According to a report given to the Los Angeles Times, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s Office of Administration thinks House Speaker Tilley may not have had the authority to put Limbaugh in the hall.

“It appears that the speaker of the House continues to place busts in the Hall of Famous Missourians without working through the Capitol Review Commission,” the report said of the state Capitol’s preeminent bust-placing authority.

However, when asked for further comment, the governor’s office didn’t exactly stick its neck out and say it would fight to keep the radio personality's bust out of the hall:

“Based on the findings of the Office of Administration’s review, the governor looks forward to working with the Board of Public Buildings and the State Capitol Commission to review the purpose and governance of the Hall of Famous Missourians and to develop a comprehensive strategy regarding where all busts, statues and other monuments are displayed in the Capitol.”

Limbaugh, meanwhile, has only praise for Tilley, who got him in the hall and who once defended his choice by saying, "It's not the 'Hall of Universally Loved Missourians.'"

"He hung in,” Limbaugh said of Tilley, according to the Star. “He was tough. He laughed at them when they called his office, which is what you have to do because they are deranged. They're literally deranged. He stood up to it and in fact enjoyed it and threw it right back at them. I want to thank him for that."

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national@latimes.com

Twitter.com/mattdpearce

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