Minnesota House majority leader Matt Dean has issued a halfhearted apology to fantasy author Neil Gaiman for calling him a “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.”

Earlier this week, Dean criticized Minnesota’s House Legacy Funding Division for paying Gaiman to appear at a speaking engagement.

Dean told Minnesota Public Radio: “[My mom] was very angry this morning and always taught me to not be a name caller. And I shouldn’t have done it, and I apologize.”  Dean still insisted that the author should have “donated his time” to the patrons of the Stillwater Library.

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