By Mark Memmott
Lance Baxter, who has a voice you may have heard because he's done a lot of voice-over work for GEICO, won't be doing those commercials anymore. Baxter acknowledges that GEICO has fired him after it became known that he left a voice mail for the "tea party" organization Freedom Works that asked "what (are) the percentages of people that are mentally retarded who work for the organization and are members of it?" He also asked how Freedom Works will "spin it when one of your members does actually kill somebody?"
Baxter has an acting career under the name D.C. Douglas. He's written a long blog post about what happened (fair warning, there's profanity and obscenity in the post and it includes audio of the voice mail; though the blog seems to be crashing so you may not be able to get to it anyway). In it, Baxter admits that what he said was stupid. But he also continues to make the case that Freedom Works and other organizations in the loosely connected tea party movement have been guilty of encouraging hate speech.
It wasn't hard for Freedom Works to figure out who Baxter was, by the way. He included his phone number in the voice mail. Soon after, Freedom Works President Matt Kibbe wrote about it on BigGovernment.com, and encouraged anyone who was offended to contact GEICO.
Update at 2:45 p.m. ET: Earlier, we linked Baxter to the line in the GEICO commercials about "15 minutes saves you 15%." The website Whose Voice Is That?, though, says Baxter's GEICO work was highlighted by his introductions of "real people" who would have their stories told by famous celebrities, and then the line at the end about "GEICO, real service, real savings."