JEFFERSON CITY — A women's rights group wheeled hundreds of rolls of toilet paper into the Missouri Capitol to protest plans to honor conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
A few members of the state chapter of the National Organization for Women protested briefly in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday before hauling more than 500 rolls of bath tissue up to the third floor office of House Speaker Steven Tilley, R-Perryville.
Chapter vice president Claire Major, of Columbia, said the group wants to persuade Tilley to reverse his decision to induct Limbaugh, who is from Cape Girardeau, into the Hall of Famous Missourians.
Major pushed a hand truck with most of the rolls into the middle of the speaker's office. Atop those rolls was a large handwritten card encouraging Tilley to "flush Rush." Major said the idea for the protest came from a similar campaign started by the group's national chapter in the 1990s.
Hall of Famous Missourians inductees have their busts displayed on the third floor of the state Capitol. Several dozen people have been chosen by Missouri House speakers through the years, including President Harry Truman, Mark Twain, Walt Disney, George Washington Carver and Stan Musial.
Tilley's choice of Limbaugh for the honor became public earlier this month, just as outrage erupted over Limbaugh referring to law student Sandra Fluke as a "slut" and "prostitute" after she testified to congressional Democrats in support of their national health care policy that would compel her Jesuit college's health plan to cover birth control.
"He doesn't respect women, and we need to make sure that half of Missouri's population is respected by someone in the Hall of Famous Missourians," state chapter president Jamie Tomek, of Bowling Green, said of Limbaugh.
Tilley said he probably will donate the toilet paper to local charities. He said the hundreds of rolls won't change his mind about Limbaugh's induction.
"If they want to really protest, they should send canned goods and everything else that we can donate as well," he said. "I knew he (Limbaugh) was going to be a controversial choice and I knew that they would hold him to a different standard than we've held any other person that's been inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians."