Iowa Republican state senator Mark Chelgren has become a laughingstock over the past couple of days thanks to a lie he told on his official biography. It turns out the business degree Chelgren’s bio says he has is actually a management training certificate from Sizzler steakhouses.
Chelgren, who should be the poster boy for GOP stupidity, put the spotlight on himself by proposing a bill that would require colleges to ask potential professors if they were Democrats or Republicans. Chelgren’s notion was that schools seek diversity in other areas, so why not in politics?
Of course it never seemed to dawn on Chelgren that his proposal for hiring professors based on political ideology would cause some people to become interested in his education background. When NBC News took a look they discovered that Chelgren’s biography on the state Republicans’ website listed a business degree from “Forbco Management” school in southern California. A quick check revealed that no school by that name is listed as an accredited college or university. A deeper investigation found that the only “Forbco” found in California is a business that used to operate a Sizzler steakhouse in Torrance.
Chelgren’s bio has been changed since the controversy erupted, but here is how it appeared on the Iowa Republicans website until a couple of days ago.
Iowa tv station WHO caught up with Chelgren on Thursday. He told them that he guessed he should have said he had received a “certificate” not a degree, and that he thought the matter was “relatively trivial.”
There was no word from Chelgren about whether he would want Iowa steakhouses to hire an even balance of Democrats and Republicans.
Here is what Chelgren told WHO about the controversy: