|Nevada Assemblyman Jim Wheeler|
Republican Nevada state assemblyman Jim Wheeler of Gardnerville said that he would vote for legislation in favor of slavery if his constituents wanted him to. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the assemblyman was speaking to the Storey County Republican Party when he made the remarks last August, although they are only now coming to light.
"If that's what they wanted, I'd have to hold my nose, I'd have to bite my tongue and they'd probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah, if that's what the citizens of the, if that's what the constituency wants that elected me, that's what they elected me for," he said. "That's what a republic is about."
The remarks have kicked off a firestorm with Republicans and Democrats alike rushing to denounce Wheeler, who rode the 2010 wave of tea party fervor into his spot on the state assembly.
The Associated Press quoted a statement by Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval that said, in part, "Assemblyman Wheeler's comments are deeply offensive and have no place in our society. He should retract his remarks and apologize."
I understand the assemblyman was trying to make a point that he represents his constituents. But is it always a black and white case that the politician ALWAYS vote how a district feels? Or at some point does the elected officials thoughts, experience and position factor into decision making?
What if the KKK actually moved into Wheeler's district and said they would like more segregated legislation? Would he REALLY vote that way?
OR - what if thousands of LGBT Nevadans moved to Gardnerville? Would he suddenly support marriage equality?