National Rifle Association board member and conservative columnist Ted Nugent has accepted the role of co-chairman and treasurer in former Texas State Rep. Sid Miller's campaign for agriculture commissioner, The Texas Tribune reports.
Nugent described his role in the campaign to the Tribune by stating, “I do media every day, and I'll raise as much hell as I can.” Miller will face other Republicans in a primary before a general election is held.
Miller is best known as the sponsor of legislation to require women seeking an abortion to undergo a sonogram, including a transvaginal sonogram in some cases. Liberal newsmagazine The Texas Observer explained he has become “a kind of national shorthand for folksy intrusion into women's health decisions.”
The legislation, which was signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Perry and survived a legal challenge, requires a sonogram to be performed by a doctor at least 24 hours in advance of the abortion procedure with the intention of having the woman see and hear the results. According to The New York Times, “Though the woman can choose not to view the images and hear the heartbeat, the doctor must describe what the sonogram shows, including the existence of legs, arms and internal organs.” PolitiFact noted that medical experts say a transvaginal sonogram would be the only option up to week seven of pregnancy and may be needed to create an observable image as late as week 10. The Sunlight Foundation found that Texas' pre-abortion sonogram legislation served as the most popular model for legislative efforts in other states to enact similar laws.
Miller is also responsible for legislation that legalized the hunting of feral hogs from a helicopter in Texas. Nugent is an avid helicopter hog hunter and has produced a number of specials under the “Aporkalypse” name, including a 2013 special where he killed 455 hogs.
Nugent's support for Miller is not his first foray into campaign-related work. In addition to being a high profile supporter of Perry, Nugent acted as a surrogate for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, where he caused controversy for claiming at the 2012 NRA annual meeting that he would be “dead or in jail” if Obama were to be reelected.
This outburst followed a lengthy history of inflammatory rhetoric from Nugent on a variety of topics including race, gender, Islam, and immigration. Since Nugent's “dead or in jail” comment in April 2012, he has continued to offer outrageous commentary on President Obama and his administration and make incendiary commentary on race. Following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in July, Nugent claimed that Trayvon Martin was a “dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe” and later endorsed racial profiling of African-Americans and suggested that African-Americans could fix “the black problem” if they just put their “heart and soul into being honest, law-abiding, [and] delivering excellence at every move in your life.”
Nugent has also made inflammatory attacks on Obama and his administration, including endorsing the conspiracy theory that Obama was not born in the United States. During a July 20 concert in Tacoma, Washington, Nugent told the crowd, “When the British came to take our guns we met them at Concord Bridge and we blew their fucking brains out ... 2013, happening all over again, we got to be ready” before referencing his lyrics from “Stormtroopin'” -- a song about a Nazi-like attack on the United States where he urges, “keep a gun in your hand.” He also recently suggested that veterans are “committing suicide at record numbers because their commander-in-chief is the enemy of the country.”