Omaha State Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh claims he was joking when, as Rules Committee chairman, he proposed a legislative version of the fashion police. In an email to committee colleagues, he declared that decorum is very important in the Legislature. He went on to say he was proposing a rules change, in light of the last election.
That was, of course, the election that brought back Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers, whose trademark short-sleeved sweatshirts and jeans contrast with the suits and ties worn by other male lawmakers. But Lautenbaugh’s proposal took aim at another colleague’s fashion statement. “No bow ties, ever,” it read. The joke was on Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, who has made bow ties his daily wear.
Several lawmakers responded by sporting their own bow ties on the day this week that lawmakers adopted the permanent rules – without any fashion guidance – for the session. At least nine senators joined the all-in-fun resistance. Six gathered for a group photo at the end of the morning, from left, Sens. Brad Ashford, Colby Coash, Scott Price, McCoy, Mike Gloor and Bill Kintner, along with a legislative page who happened to be wearing a bow tie that day.
Maybe next year someone will take on the (male) senator spotted wearing pink socks with large blue polka dots.