Perhaps Yogi Berra said it best: It’s like deja vu all over again.
On the heels of ugly, public dust-ups with both the Utah Attorney General and the President of the Utah State Senate, Jack Thompson is taking his pursuit of video game legislation to Louisiana.
On Friday Sen. A.G. Crowe (R, at left) will introduce SB 152. The bill, with the addition of a few bells and whistles, is essentially the same truth in advertising measure that passed the Utah legislature in March, only to be vetoed by Gov. Jon Huntsman.
Last week Thompson circulated a press release indicating that a bill "nearly identical" to his failed Utah legislation would be proposed in Louisiana. While he did not name the sponsor, GamePolitics has learned that it is Sen. Crowe. In the press release, Thompson said that he expects to testify before the Louisiana legislature along with "four experts."
Sen. Crowe is apparently untroubled by the acrimony that marked Thompson’s 2006 attempt to legislate video games in Louisiana. At that time a Thompson-authored bill unanimously passed both houses of the Louisiana legislature and was signed into law by then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco. The measure was eventually ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, but not before Thompson got into an ugly, public dispute with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office (see: Suddenly Thompson is Feuding With Former Louisiana Allies).
Since Thompson’s last chaotic go-round in Louisiana, he was permanently disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court for more than two dozen professional misconduct violations. Thompson has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
While the failed 2006 legislation ultimately cost Louisiana $91,000 in video game industry legal fees, it also provided some typically bombastic Thompson quotes, including: Nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.
For more background on Thompson’s earlier Louisiana experience, check out The Circus Comes to Louisiana, a piece I wrote for Joystiq in 2006.