Mother Jones has an article about Allen Quist, the guy who gave Michele Bachmann her start in politics by bringing her on as a spokesman for the Maple River Education Coalition (MREC), which he and his wife founded in the late 90s. That was what launched Bachmann into Minnesota politics. Quist may be nuttier than Bachmann is.
As a Minnesota state representative in the 1980s, Quist staked out a position on his party’s far-right wing. At the time, the state’s GOP was undergoing a rightward shift from a party known for its mild-mannered moderates to one populated by family values firebrands. Quist was the tip of the spear.
During his time as a state representative, Quist slammed a gay counseling clinic at Mankato State University by comparing it to the Ku Klux Klan (both would be breeding grounds for evil—AIDS, in this case) and went undercover at an adult bookstore and a gay bathhouse in an effort to prove to a local newspaper reporter that they had become a “haven for anal intercourse.” (A decade later, Bachmann would bring groups of supporters onto the Capitol floor to pray over the desk of a gay colleague.)
Quist’s almost singular focus on sexuality didn’t go unnoticed. “At one point,” the St. Petersburg Times reported in 1994, “a Senate leader suggested he had an unhealthy preoccupation with sex, having devoted 30 hours to it in a single session.” …
In 1993, after returning to his corn and soybeans farm outside the small town of Norseland, Quist bucked his party by challenging the incumbent Republican governor, Arne Carlson, for the gubernatorial nomination. Quist stayed true to his roots. He called for mandatory AIDS testing as a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license. And more than a decade before it emerged as a national issue, he campaigned against the advent of same-sex marriage in the Minnesota, running ads in which a priest marries two men, “Mike” and “Steve,” and pronounces them “man and man.”
In one memorable interview, Quist told a British reporter he believed women were “genetically predisposed” to be subservient to men, pointing to, among other things, the behavior of wild animals…
Quist went into semiretirement after the Profile was repealed, but he’s remained active in education circles, producing an online curriculum supplement for K-12 educators, designed to provide “accurate and exciting new information for teachers and other interested persons.”
One section asks this leading question: “Did dinosaurs and people live at the same time, and why do so many recently discovered ancient art works accurately picture dinosaurs?” The answer is a resounding “yes.” “The only reasonable explanation for the stegosaurus carved in stone on the wall of the Cambodian temple is that the artist had either seen a stegosaur or had seen other art works of a stegosaur,” Quist writes. “Either way, people and stegosaurs were living at the same time.”
Elsewhere, Quist provides scientific evidence for the existence of dragons, and suggests that the Book of Job be taught as a science lesson: “Today we know beyond a reasonable doubt—Job 41 is a picture-perfect description of SuperCroc.”
Bachmann is now helping Quist raise money for his campaign to join her in Congress.