Republican House majority leader Matt Dean publicly criticized Minnesota’s House Legacy Funding Division for paying Neil Gaiman (pictured, via) for a speaking engagement.  The legislator called the author  “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.”

According to the StarTribune, Republican representative Dean Urdahl proposed a new amendment that would make Minnesota-based cultural groups compete for funding.

Gaiman responded with this tweet: “Sad & funny. Minnesota Republicans have a ‘hate’ list. Like Nixon did. I’m on it. They also don’t like capitalism.” He also pointed to a blog entry about “political football” over the speaking engagement in question.