Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


GOP Advances Agenda to Barbeque the Easter Bunny

Deadlines sometimes force journalists to create rather than just report news and there were few newsworthy items in the first week of Montana’s 63rd legislative session. Since I am an empathetic public servant and understand writer’s block, I pitched idea-starved journalists a softball in the House Ag Committee on Thursday. Here is the story.

Representative Christy Clark (R-Choteau) sponsored two bills for the Montana Department of Agriculture. The first bill, HB114, was an “act revising the definition of garbage for use as animal feed,” and the second, HB115, allowed “alternative livestock ranch animals and rabbits to be slaughtered” in facilities simultaneously processing cattle. Both were simple, but necessary half-page bills. House Bill 114 altered a definition so Montana Code conformed with Federal Code regarding regulations instituted years ago requiring the cooking of garbage fed to swine so as to break the trichinosis life cycle.

House Bill 115 was a simple catch-up move granting regulatory permission for slaughter procedures already in practice. With its passage, all alternative livestock such as elk and rabbits can now be commercially harvested in the Treasure State. (Followers of the Montana Sportsman Alliance will read the previous sentence as an endorsement for the commercial harvest of our wild elk herds. Put down the Kool-Aid; the threat to our wild elk herds is from wolves, not HB115 or the GOP.)

Facing a terrifying news deadline, an un-named reporter spotted Rep. Clark’s HB114 and HB115 and thought he smelled a story. Adding the details of the two bills, he arrived at the hunch Montana was building a pork slaughter plant. Representative Clark told him he was wrong, but he made her promise not to spill his scoop to other reporters. She laughed, agreed and then told us this story while waiting for House Ag Committee to convene. During the live-audio question phase of the public hearing, a brilliant idea ricocheted inside my skull. “I’m going to give that poor reporter a storyline,” I thought deviously. With Chairman Randall’s permission I grabbed the microphone and asked, “Representative Clark, HB115 allows the slaughter of rabbits. Am I correct?”

“Yes,” she responded.

“Bunnies?” I emotionally offered as if I was getting a lump in my throat.

“Yes,” she fired back.

“The Easter Bunny?” I added making my voice quake as if I was near an emotional breakdown.

“It allows the harvest of commercially raised rabbits,” she said as she rolled her eyes in disgust at my questioning.

“Mr. Chairman, no further questions,” I stated matter-of-factly as laughter erupted around the committee room. “Because he was listening, I just wanted to give Representative Clark’s poor reporter a headline.”

With the rap of Chairman Randall’s gavel, the Ag Committee adjourned and this brings me to my point. During the session, when you see headlines such as the GOP barbequing the Easter Bunny, expect the story to be based on a fib. Unlike the state run media, in my column I tell you when I am stretching the truth. I purposely stretched this headline just to make a point.

Home     |     Products     |    Copyright (c) 2009 Krayton Kerns  All rights reserved.