Let’s meet Illinois state Rep. Mike Bost, who’s hoping to unseat freshman congressman William Enyart in the 12th district. Bost’s campaign slogan is “Passionate Leadership for Southern Illinois,” which is his attempt to turn his status as a minor YouTube celebrity into a Congressional seat. YouTube just loves his occasional tantrums on the floor of the Illinois House, like the time in 2012 when he had a meltdown over what he believed was unfair rules of procedure — rules that he had voted for when Republicans held the chamber. While screaming about the Democrats’ oppressive floor rules that had been “crammed down our throats” (again, rules which he had voted for and which Dems kept when they took over the House), he threw a stack of paper in the air, punched them, and shouted “Let my people go!” It’s kind of epic, and pretty much the sort of thing we’d love to see in the U.S. House, because while we like good government, we depend on a steady stream of bad government to write about.
But thanks to the Huffington Post, we also know that Bost “has a lengthy history with local authorities, including some incidents that suggest ‘passionate’ is a bit of an understatement.”
Especially the dog-shooting. We’d have to agree that was pretty passionate. What happened was that in 1986, Bost’s 4-year-old daughter chased a neighbor’s beagle that was running loose; the dog then bit her badly enough that she needed 19 stitches on her face. The dog was quarantined in a pen at its owner’s home so it could be tested for rabies, but Bost didn’t feel that local authorities were taking quick enough action, so he drove to the trailer park where the dog was and Second-Amendmented the beagle to death, just as Adams and Jefferson would have wanted. According to the police report, neighbors of the dog’s owners were “upset and frightened” by the shooting because it took place within 20 feet of their
trailers manufactured housing, as if they didn’t understand that the price of Liberty is eternal ricochets.
Bost was charged with criminal damage to property, unlawful use of weapons, and reckless conduct with a weapon, but was found not guilty by a jury, presumably because when your kid is bitten by a dog, you can’t just stand around waiting for Animal Control to put it down.
More recently, in 2006, Bost was surprised when police informed him that a gun owned by him had been used by one man to threaten another; he was unaware that the gun had been stolen from his gun safe. This sort of thing just happens — guns go missing, and if you have a bunch of them, it’s not unusual for one or two to wander off, especially if you’re a pro-gun legislator. It only makes sense, then, that in 2008, Bost voted against a bill requiring the prompt reporting of stolen guns, because why would you need to tell the police that you were missing a gun? That could lead to confiscation, probably.
The police report in that case leaves some matters unanswered, particularly how the gun was removed from the safe — it’s not clear whether it was kept locked or who had access to it, although it seems likely that the gun was taken by friends of a 17-year-old girl who was living with the Bosts at the time. (Strange detail: Bost named her when asked by the police if anyone of “questionable character” had been around the residence, but it’s not explained why the Bosts were housing a girl they didn’t trust. Maybe she beguiled them with her opposition to unions or taxes or something.)
HuffPo also dug up some other charming stories about Bost, like the fact that even though he had participated in gun-on-dog activities when a loose dog attacked his daughter, he also was a fan of letting his own dog run loose, resulting in at least four reports to police from neighbors and a nearby school. But let’s just point out that Bost’s dog didn’t bite anyone, much less shoot them, so let’s not get too overwrought, OK?
And then there’s this, which has just enough information to make you wonder what the hell the backstory is:
Several people who encountered the lawmaker seem to have responded especially poorly to him, though the records do not indicate why. According to one report, in 1999 someone kicked in Bost’s front door looking for him, but left when they encountered only his wife. Bost reported the incident to police.
Did the visitor find Bost later? Were they trying to deliver a singing telegram? After kicking down the door, did the stranger throw paper around? These details are lost to time.
Still, we can’t say for certain that just shooting a dog — it was the ’80s, lots of people were shooting things then — or losing track of a beloved revolver are enough to disqualify a man from Congress. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running ads suggesting that Bost is a bit too volatile for Congress, but we would just like to point out that ranty fucksticks make good copy for Wonkette, so let’s not be too hasty to write off Mike Bost.
[HuffPo via the tipline]