- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A best-selling author is reacting with amusement to a Minnesota GOP leader who called him “a pencil-necked little weasel.”

In comments published Wednesday in the Star Tribune, House Majority Leader Matt Dean also said he hated Neil Gaiman and that he “stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.”

Dean tells The Associated Press it was legal for the horror, sci-fi and fantasy writer to take $45,000 in state arts money for speaking at a library last year. But he calls the payment “infuriating” and says Gaiman should give it back.

Gaiman, who lives in Wisconsin, says he gave the money to charity. He says about half his readers are Republicans and that it’s unfortunate they’re represented by someone who resorts to “lunatic schoolyard rhetoric.”

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Online:

Neil Gaiman: http://www.neilgaiman.com