Roy Exum: Rep. Holt’s Crummy Trick

Saturday, March 23, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

On the surface it appears that House Bill 1191 heading for a vote in the Tennessee Legislature next week appears pretty stupid. It requires anyone gathering evidence of animal abuse to call the authorities within 24 to 48 hours and turn over any video or pictures within such a time frame. Nothing wrong with that – seems to be common sense and it seems frivolous to even have such a law on the books to demand that of the state’s citizenry.

But, no, that’s not what the bill is about. It is a thinly-veiled effort by evil people who would hurt animals for cheap blue ribbons and who don’t want to get caught. The state’s leading newspaper, The Nashville Tennessean, calls the bill “a subterfuge.” And while other critics can’t believe the state’s Agriculture Committee even dared send it to the full House, the great majority of honest horsemen and horsewomen across our state now have a far cruder term for the pending legislation.

Let’s face it -- the state of Tennessee leads the nation in horse abuse. It can also be said it leads the world – no other nation purposely hobbles horses for an unnatural gait.  But with the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration now nationally-recognized as the cradle of an industry that awards the sadistic torture and soring of magnificent animals, there is now a scathing bill before our nation’s Congress that could rein in over 40 years of wanton – and flagrant – abuse of the federal Horse Protection Act.

The Congressional bill is because of festering evil still rooted in the town of Shelbyville (Pop. 2,536) but as we wait to see what a dysfunctional Congress will do, the Shelbyville hierarchy has sprung a new little trick. It reflects exactly the type of people who today control a beautiful pastime and a magnificent breed that has become infested with cheating owners, trainers who are now felons, and more animals dying early of “colic” than you can believe.

This coming week we will learn if the legislature can be tricked by deception. The “magicians” are two darlings well known to animal rights advocates for the wrong reasons. The clever ploy that Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) and Senator Delores Gresham (R-Somerville) want you to fall for is that it would require urgency. What these two want you to see is the urgency up front – not the backside where after 48 hours the undercover evidence could not be used, according to the proposed state law.

Obviously the nauseating ABC News tape of the sadistic horse trainer Jackie McConnell did irrefutable damage to those who relish “The Big Lick” when it was shown to the public last spring. The tape itself, made by an undercover officer of the Humane Society of the United States, was actually taken some months before in order to build a case. As any fool knows, it often takes longer than 24 to 48 hours to stop evil.

And you know what the wretches behind the scenes call those who bravely catch louts like Jackie McConnell and his ilk? “Video terrorists.” Don’t you love that?

The disgusting “Big Lick” crowd, ready to “re-brand” themselves this spring as the Performance Show Horse Association (I am not making this up … laugh all you want but it’s true!) has fought and defied the U.S. Department of Agriculture, every animal rights organization in the country and the leading equine veterinary groups in every way imaginable to keep their most unsavory money machine alive. Desperate people will do anything.

So now they get their “aces” in the legislature (Holt and Gresham) to create an urgency – that’s the kicker -- if any tape or photos are over 48 hours old they’re illegal! Name a thug that wouldn’t like a deal where evidence obtained undercover is tossed out because of a new state law! It is totally disgusting but Rep. Holt, you’ll recall, is the guy who wants slaughter houses for horses in Tennessee, claiming we can make money sending horse meat to Europe and other savage lands.

Last year the Legislature made horse abuse a felony, punishable with up to five years in prison, effective July 1. While there were numerous violations of the federal Horse Protection Act found in August at the National Walking Horse Celebration, no one arrest was made by the Shelbyville police or the Bedford County sheriff’s office, which mystified horse advocates across the country but suited the Big Lickers just fine.

Now the “Big Lick” boys are winking at the legislature. Don’t pay attention to crafty little crummy people. They are the real terrorists.

royexum@aol.com


Collegedale's Wreck Problem

Re: Speed Limits Being Lowered On Main Collegedale Thoroughfare  I just read your story on Collegedale lowers speed limit for main thoroughfare.  It's funny the city claims they will have TDOT put up dangerous intersection signs, because last summer when it was stated in a story (possibly not by your company) that they were dropping the speed limit from 55 to 50 on ... (click for more)

A New Beginning For A Healthier Life

The advent of Spring brings a time of fresh starts and new beginnings, and what better time to make the decision to quit smoking?  Smoking is a serious problem in Chattanooga and across our state. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention report that nearly 17 percent of adult Americans smoke or use tobacco products regularly. In Tennessee, that number increases significantly ... (click for more)

County Commission Told To Fully Fund County Schools Improvement Request Would Take 28 1/2-Cent Property Tax Increase; 78 School Personnel Would Be Added

County Mayor Jim Coppinger told members of the County Commission at a budget workshop on Tuesday that it would take a 28 1/2-cent property tax increase to fully fund the county school budget request. The county schools are asking for $24,218,919 in new money for a focus on workforce readiness, literacy and low-performing schools. County Mayor Coppinger did not say whether ... (click for more)

Judge Poole Rules In Favor Of State On Billy Hawk Murder Cold Case Motions

Criminal Court Judge Don Poole has ruled that the state can introduce at the murder trial of Billy Hawk testimony about his alleged drug involvement with the victim in the case, Johnny Mack Salyer. Hawk is charged in the 1981 murder of Salyer, whose body was found in a 55-gallon drum in the Tennessee River. The witnesses indicated that Salyer was cooperating in the drug case ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Hosts Inter-Squad Scrimmage Saturday

Chattanooga FC will hold an Inter-squad match Saturday, May 7th, 7:00pm at Finley Stadium. The event is open to the public and free for all who attend.  The 2016 roster is set! The Inter-squad match will be the first chance for fans to see their CFC team in action. After the game, everyone will have the opportunity to get autographs, take photos, and talk with players, ... (click for more)

Baylor's Kayla Hughes Named FCA Christian Athlete Of The Year

Baylor School softball star, Kayla Hughes, was named the Greater Chattanooga FCA’s Christian Athlete of the Year at the ministry’s annual Day of Champions Sunday afternoon at Ridgedale Baptist Church.  Hughes, who will continue her softball career at Tennessee Tech, was chosen from among twelve high school FCA senior leaders nominated by area schools.  This is the 53rd ... (click for more)