TIDBITS AND FALLOUT FROM ROOM 253 , PAST ACT “MARK UP” BEFORE SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE – APRIL 9, 2014

ROOM 253, RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING,  WASHINGTON, DC – The sore Big Lickers were blitzkrieged yesterday in a rarely seen bipartisan display of conscientious public servants taking care of an animal cruelty issue that has been allowed  to fester for far too long.

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  • U. S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) approached Senate Commerce Committee Vice Chairman Senator John Thune (R-SD) to try and get Thune to postpone the PAST ACT “Mark Up” for the third time.   Thune said “No Dice”.
  • Senator Lamar Alexander has now entered the 2014 “BAGHDAD BOB” COMPETITION commenting on the PAST ACT approval by the Senate Commerce Committee:

“This is only a procedural step on one proposal,” Alexander said of the Ayotte bill. He said his and Blackburn’s bills “would do a better job of stopping the contemptible practice of soring, while preserving the century-old Tennessee Walking Horse tradition.”

Next thing you know,  Senator Alexander will want this Tennessee “Walking Horse Tradition” again exhibited at the 2014 University of Tennessee Homecoming Football game:

"I AM JOSE" - 2013 WORLD GRAND CHAMPION EXHIBITED AT 2014 NATIONAL TRAINERS SHOW

“I AM JOSE” – 2013 WORLD GRAND CHAMPION EXHIBITED AT 2014 NATIONAL TRAINERS SHOW

2013 WORLD GRAND CHAMPION - "I AM JOSE" - CASEY WRIGHT UP

2013 WORLD GRAND CHAMPION – “I AM JOSE” – CASEY WRIGHT UP

SENATOR LAMAR ALEXANDER (IN DISGUISE)

SENATOR LAMAR ALEXANDER (IN DISGUISE)

  • No Lickers or Trainer BOYZ were at “Mark Up” Hearing – the only one sighted was Public Relations flack Phil Osborne,  Lexington,  Kentucky.
Left to Right - Phil Osborne, Jeffrey Howard, Jeff Speaks

Left to Right – Phil Osborne, Jeffrey Howard, Jeff Speaks

  • A missing person report has been filed on PSHA Spokesperson/Walking Horse Report Editor Jeffrey Howard.   Howard became ill last week and had to be hospitalized when the video of Donna Benefield waving a “green ladies tennis” shoe in front of The Tennessean Editorial Board and impugning Mr. Howard’s reputation for telling the truth.  Howard has now disappeared from the local hospital and no one can find  him.
DONNA BENEFIELD AND THE GREEN LADIES TENNIS SHOE

DONNA BENEFIELD AND THE GREEN LADIES TENNIS SHOE

  • David L. Howard is alleged to be over in Augusta about to “Yuk Yuk” it up with some buddies at The Masters golf tournament, and his phone is off the hook with the Trainer BOYZ calling 24/7.  Other reliable sources say he is back out at Canyon Ranch Spa Resort where he spent the week of the National Trainers Show. More on this as things develop.
THE EXCLUSIVE CANYON RANCH HEALTH RESORT - TUSCON, ARIZONA

THE EXCLUSIVE CANYON RANCH HEALTH RESORT – TUSCON, ARIZONA

  • The Lickers at Pope’s were finger pointing at each other this morning.  Wallinda said she sent out over 1,000 “Act Now” requests, and posted things on the Licker Gazette  Report and was “highly upset” that only about 1/3 of the people even bothered to open the emails.   One lady  Sherelle said this PAST ACT was now a live bullet and could be acted upon at anytime.  Beezle couldn’t make it this morning. He was called up to Brentwood to visit a sick “UR” Smith who has a severe migraine headache.  WhattaJayroe was saying if everyone did as much as he did then everything would be fine.
  • Down in Lewisburg,  TWHBEA Executive Director Tracy Boyd is desperately trying to cover up all traces of the sore Big Lick which Walt Chism and Steve Smith so strongly support.   The TWHBEA apparel line has been redesigned to try and hide the sore Big Lick that Texas TWHBEA Director Everett “Butch” Allen does not want left behind.  Boyd has tried to explain to Smith and Chism that the sore Big Lick is toxic and can no longer be marketed.

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TWBHEASPONSORLOGO

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  • ShelbyvilleNOW publisher Dave Thomas has been taken prisoner.  Nothing much from the ShelbyvilleNOW outlet in the last few days.
  • The Shelbyville Times-Gazette dared report the PAST ACT being approved by the Senate Commerce Committee:

http://www.t-g.com/story/2068953.html

PAST Act bill moves through committee

Thursday, April 10, 2014

By JASON REYNOLDS ~ jreynolds@t-g.com

The PAST Act passed through a U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday.

The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved the bill with no discussion. The PAST Act, or Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013, was “marked up” and moved out of the committee as a package with other bills. No additional votes have been scheduled yet.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said at the end of the meeting that the act “will help more effectively enforce the law that is already in place that prohibits the cruel practice of soring horses.” The act is in response to the inspector general’s report citing deficiencies in enforcement to the Horse Protection Act, she said.

The PAST Act, S. 1406/H.R. 1518, calls for amendments to the Horse Protection Act by banning performance devices and ending industry enforcement, among other issues.

Mike Inman, CEO of The Celebration, said, “We have to see what the next thing is. It’s evidently bundled in with another bill.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Sen. Lamar Alexander have introduced competing legislation that the horse industry supports. Inman said that legislation is still in committee.”

  • The Tennessean news coverage improved yesterday after the newspaper previously dropped the ball by not covering the annual national Sound Horse Conference held in Brentwood, Tennessee on March 29.  The newspaper instead chose to send its Religion Editor out to cover a meeting on incoming Islamic electro magnetic rockets aimed at Tennessee Republican lawmakers.

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/09/gop-sponsored-horse-soring-bill-advances-senate/7527889/

The Tennessean

GOP-sponsored horse soring bill advances in Senate

The above headline was telling, and it is the most likely reason that “UR” Smith in Brentwood has the migraine. It is noteworthy that two potential Republican Presidential candidates,  John Thune (R-SD) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) are co-sponsors of the PAST ACT.

And so far,   Senator Bob Corker (R-TN),  who also has higher political aspirations,  is keeping his distance from 74 year old Senator Lamar “Out Of Touch” Alexander who does not seem to realize that one of the Traditions of the Tennessee Walking Horse is its sore Big Lick.

Here is the story in its entirety:

The Tennessean

GOP-sponsored horse soring bill advances in Senate

Paul C. Barton, Tennessean Washington Bureau;8:55 p.m. CDT April 9, 2014

(Unlike other less than thorough coverage of the Tennessee Walking Horse Story,  this Tennessean article has links to other stories and seems to be more than a “lick and a promise” approach to putting the news before its readers. – BGB)

GOP-sponsored horse soring bill advances in Senate

WASHINGTON – A Senate panel Wednesday passed Republican-sponsored legislation to strengthen protections against the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.

More: TN Walking Horse happenings include board resignation, soring paper

By voice vote, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation passed an amended form of legislation offered by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. The new version made the Senate bill identical to the Prevent All Soring Tactics bill offered by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., in the House, which many in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry bitterly oppose.

Soring, widely seen as a cruel practice, involves the use of caustic chemicals, chains and special pads and other devices on a horse’s legs and hooves to produce a higher step.

The Whitfield and Ayotte bills propose to strengthen the Horse Protection Act of 1970. They would eliminate self-policing by the industry and ban the various devices designed to rub on a horse’s leg or irritate its hoof to cause the higher step.

More: Whitfield’s walking horse legislation would end soring; Blackburn’s would enable it

Ayotte’s bill passed without debate, as Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., told members the issue had been “thoroughly worked out.” Numerous animal rights and veterinary groups back it.

“Horse soring is a disgrace, but growing momentum for the PAST Act means that reform is within reach,” said Keith Dane, who handles equine protection issues for the Humane Society of the United States.

Whitfield, in a statement, said he would work for passage in the House to “help save this industry from the abuse that has plagued it for more than half a century.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Brentwood Republican who is vice chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, opposes Whitfield’s bill and has introduced her own legislation. Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander has also offered a bill, one similar to but not identical to Blackburn’s.

“This is only a procedural step on one proposal,” Alexander said of the Ayotte bill. He said his and Blackburn’s bills “would do a better job of stopping the contemptible practice of soring, while preserving the century-old Tennessee Walking Horse tradition.”

More: Sen. Alexander introduces walking horse bill

Animal rights and veterinary groups say the bills offered by Blackburn and Alexander are not tough enough on the industry. But the two Republicans say their bills would eliminate soring without devastating the industry.

Many in the industry particularly fear the prohibition of special pads, chains and other “action devices” in the Whitfield-Ayotte bills.

Ayotte’s bill has 50 co-sponsors, half of the Senate, while Whitfield’s has 268 in the House, more than half the chamber. Meanwhile, Blackburn’s bill has just 11 co-sponsors and Alexander’s just three.

Among the Tennessee delegation, Republican Reps. Scott DesJarlais of Jasper, Diane Black of Gallatin, John Duncan of Knoxville and Phil Roe of Johnson City are behind Blackburn’s bill. Only Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, co-sponsored Whitfield’s legislation.

Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, said this: “If the Walking Horse industry is smart, it will clean itself up so that there are no more scandals. If not, there will be tougher legislation.”

Another who has yet to declare on the issue, Republican Sen. Bob Corker, said he looks forward to reviewing both major bills.

“I don’t want to see any animals mistreated and support efforts to deter horse abuse,” said the Tennessee Republican.

Contact Paul C. Barton at pbarton@gannett.com. Follow on Twitter @PaulCBarton

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BGBHEADSHOT01

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