Florida Jobs Plan: Let’s Revive Dwarf-Tossing

<a href="http://www.seniorliving.org/">teegardin/SeniorLiving.org</a>

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


In his fight for smaller government, Florida Rep. Ritch Workman wants to do something for the little people: He wants to let ’em fly. The Melbourne Republican has decided that the state’s 22-year-old ban on dwarf-tossing in bars is keeping height-challenged residents from realizing their full career potential in a recession. “To me it’s an archaic kind of Big Brother law that says, ‘We don’t like that activity,'” Workman told Florida Current reporter Bruce Ritchie. “Well, there is nothing immoral or illegal about that activity. All we really did by passing that law was take away some employment from some little people.”

Once a staple of spring-break barrooms from Key West to Pensacola, dwarf-tossing (once incorrectly and more offensively referred to as midget-tossing) involves seeing which PBR-pickled frat brother can throw a Velcro-encased dwarf higher up a fabric-lined wall. State lawmakers banned the practice in 1989, finding it not only demeaning but physically taxing on the small subjects. But Workman’s introduced legislation that would repeal the ban, taking his lead from such high-minded libertarian thinkers as TV newsman John Stossel. (That pundit’s reaction to a dwarf-toss ban: “Give me a break!”)

It’s unclear whether the legislator realized that October was Dwarfism Awareness Month when he introduced the bill, but its text is pure Workman. Chopping government regulations is kind of his thing; the St. Pete Times has described him as possessing “a zeal for repeal.” However, it may be that he’s just got the pleasure-seeking heart of a frat boy: In addition to opening the dwarf-tossing floodgates, he’s crafted legislation to loosen restrictions on minors getting tattoos and restaurant patrons getting snoggered, and he’s fought for Floridians’ right to not control or report “dangerous fires.” And though he identifies as Christian and conservative, the legislator’s got no problem sponsoring a bill that would absolve unmarried adults for “lewdly and lasciviously” living together. Live and let live, as Workman might say.

Well, not entirely: He’s also co-sponsored restrictions on abortion, and he advocates an Arizona-style law to roll back immigration. “Our legislators cannot allow political correctness and misinformation to obstruct Florida’s right to do the job the federal government refuses to do,” Workman has said. Translation: Workman will make sure unborn dwarves grow up with the option of being hurled by drunks to pay the rent…assuming, of course, the dwarves are born in America.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate