A notorious Republican official who has led quixotic crusades against pornography, unregulated stripping and medical marijuana has been appointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Pennsylvania State Rep. Matt Baker told a local politics blog that he was about to run for re-election when Trump tapped him to a bureaucratic position.
“I was two days away from mailing my petitions to seek a 14th term in office when the White House liaison office called me and I had to make a quick decision,” Baker said.
Baker said this likely means the death of a controversial bill he introduced to brand pornography as “a public health crisis.”
“Due to advances in technology, young children are now exposed to hardcore pornography at alarming rates,” Baker said in support of that legislation. “The adverse public health effects of this are real and need to be confronted with education, prevention and research and policy change at the community and social levels to address this epidemic.”
In 2015, Baker made headlines when he proposed a registry for strippers. The small-government Republican from rural Tioga wanted to require strippers to register their name, stage name, address, phone number, date of birth, place of birth, height, weight, hair color, eye color, criminal background information and their photo ID.
(At the time, Baker pointedly refused to answer questions about whether he’d ever been to a strip club despite prodding from reporters.)
Baker has also opposed medical marijuana. In 2015, he sparred with the Pittsburgh alt-weekly over the dangers of weed, providing a “research” file with “more than 150 scientific studies showing the dangers of marijuana.”
Most of the information Baker provided was, of course, bunk.
Now, Baker, who says he has “long felt a call to service,” will have a role in the federal government.
Strippers, porn addicts and people stricken with terminal cancer beware.