|Preceded by Cheryl Madden|
Political party Republican
Spouse Peggy Napoli
Succeeded by Jeffrey Haverly
Role Political figure
|Preceded by Mark Hollenbeck|
Name William Napoli
Succeeded by Jeffrey Haverly
Religion Roman Catholicism
Party Republican Party
|Born June 17, 1948 (age 67) Rapid City, South Dakota, U.S. (1948-06-17)|
William M. "Bill" Napoli (born June 17, 1948) is a former Republican state Senator in the South Dakota State Legislature, representing the 35th State Senate district. He retired in 2008.
On March 20, 2008, Napoli announced he will not seek reelection and instead will retire from politics. In the Rapid City Journal Senator Napoli has stated that he will run for governor "if his supporters ask him to."
Comments on abortion
Napoli entered the spotlight by virtue of several public statements he made regarding the legislation H.B. 1215, enacted in 2006, to limit abortion access in South Dakota to those cases in which the woman's life would be in danger, possibly anticipating or inviting a repudiation of Roe v. Wade by the Roberts Court.
Among his statements were:"When I was growing up here in the wild west, if a young man got a girl pregnant out of wedlock, they got married, and the whole darned neighborhood was involved in that wedding. I mean, you just didn't allow that sort of thing to happen, you know? I mean, they wanted that child to be brought up in a home with two parents, you know, that whole story. And so I happen to believe that can happen again."
Asked about a possible exception to that rule, Napoli replied:"A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life."
Reactions to Napoli's comments
A strip commenting on Napoli's vote appeared in the webcomic Minimum Security on March 22, 2006. It included his office and home telephone numbers, thus prompting calls, some of which were abusive. In Napoli's words, "99% percent of the calls I got were just filth. I bet I didn’t talk to 20 or 25 people I could talk to. The rest were screaming obscenities before I could hang up." The cartoonist, Stephanie McMillan, auctioned the original cartoon on eBay for US$2,201.00 and donated all of the money to pro-choice causes. One half was given to Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, and the other half to the Oglala Sioux tribe, because former tribal president Cecilia Fire Thunder had planned on opening an abortion clinic on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
In early March 2006, a Google bomb was started by the romance blog Smart Bitches Trashy Books ("Bill Napoli"), in an attempt to popularize a neologism of his last name as something undesirable, much like Dan Savage's reaction in his column Savage Love to Rick Santorum's remarks about homosexuality. In early April 2006, his Senate webpage was also the subject of a Google bomb for the term "sexist asshat".