Roy Exum: Fleischmann In A Pinch

Friday, March 21, 2014 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Chuck Fleischmann, who is precariously running for a third term as one of Tennessee's nine representatives in Congress, appears to have gotten himself in a not-so-delicate pinch with horse lovers and animal rights advocates in the state’s Third District.

In a recent letter to a constituent concerned about the sadistic torture and abuse of Tennessee Walking Horses, the incumbent from Ooltewah wrote over his signature that the “safety and proper treatment of animals is an issue that is quite close to my heart” and pledged he would “keep your views in mind should (bill HR1518) arrive on the House floor for a vote.”

But it is widely known Fleischmann is one of nine co-sponsors of a competing bill that was introduced in Congress by his colleague, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Franklin), and the difference between the two bills is so distinct that an editorial in the Nashville Tennessee carried the headline, “Rep. Ed Whitfield's walking horse legislation would end soring; Rep. Marsha Blackburn's would enable it.”

According to the Tennessean editorial, the editors wrote, “We can see there is a special brand of inhumanity that thrives among us in Tennessee. By pitting its own alternative legislation, courtesy of Rep. Marsha Blackburn, against the popular “Prevent All Soring Tactics” (PAST) bill, this group demonstrates how determined it is to continue secretly torturing animals. Stronger than a desire for mere show-ring glory, this appears to be about deriving pleasure from causing pain. That it is defenseless animals, and not people, only increases their ability to get away with it.”

Rep. Blackburn, it has been widely reported, was feted by the embattled “Big Lick” crowd in August of 2013 at the National Celebration and allegedly $70,000 was contributed to her campaign. In contrast, 267 members of Congress (a majority) have now endorsed the popular HR1518 bill, sponsored by Kentucky’s Ed Whitfield, and called the PAST Act, while 50 senators have co-sponsored a companion bill.

Blackburn’s bill has nine co-sponsors, including six other Republican members of Congress from Tennessee. It is hardly lost on such groups as the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the Humane Society of America that in the one state that is considered the epicenter for horse abuse in the nation, the Republican delegation has mounted a cartel-like effort to stave off reform efforts.

The PAST Act hopes to eliminate the stacks under the front hooves, the chains and the gruesome torture devices that have plagued the walking horse industry for half of a century while Blackburn’s bill, endorsed by the Big Lick faction, would allow the devices that are believed to contribute to the high-stepping, unnatural gait. The PAST Act would heighten inspections by the USDA while Blackburn’s bill would, in essence, allow the Big Lick to police itself.

Fleischmann, currently rated as the lowest-performing Congressional representative from Tennessee by the website govtrack.us, is facing opposition from both Republican and Democratic challengers in the 2014 election. Another Congressman who co-sponsored Blackburn’s bill, Scott DesJarlais (R-Jasper), was named among the “most corrupt” members on Congress by CREW.com after receiving a reception in 2012 similar to Blackburn’s fundraiser. DesJarlais is also facing strong opposition this summer.

Senator Lamar Alexander, up for re-election this year, and Bob Corker are not among those who have co-sponsored the Senate bill (S1408) of the PAST Act. Alexander’s state campaign chairman is Steven B. Smith, who heads the Big Lick’s breed registry, while Corker insists he has not had sufficient time to study the merits of either of the Congressional bills.

A Gallup Poll in December gave the 113th Congress the lowest rating ever for honesty and ethics, a single digit of eight percent, the lowest in the 39 years the pollsters have been conducting measures of public satisfaction.

royexum@aol.com



Wearing Masks And The Lone Ranger

Vaccine Site Open But Chattanooga Minds Are Closed

Blackburn Contributions


I used to watch the Lone Ranger television series with L.R on his trusted white horse and ever-present side kick, Tonto. The two represented as crime fighters ever present to find the guilty ... (click for more)

As photo shows, Riverpark vaccine site is open, but Chattanooga minds are closed. Michael Mallen (click for more)

Re: "COVID Hysteria" comments by Senator Blackburn: Marsha Blackburn is not a doctor nor scientist. She supposed to care for all of the people in Tennessee, not just her boss Donald Trump. ... (click for more)



Opinion

Wearing Masks And The Lone Ranger

I used to watch the Lone Ranger television series with L.R on his trusted white horse and ever-present side kick, Tonto. The two represented as crime fighters ever present to find the guilty and punish. The duo clearly represented law and order and yes LR wore a mask. I never questioned why he did. After all I was only 10 years old. Now the adults are asking why should ... (click for more)

Vaccine Site Open But Chattanooga Minds Are Closed

As photo shows, Riverpark vaccine site is open, but Chattanooga minds are closed. Michael Mallen (click for more)

Breaking News

Protest Leader Marie Mott Arrested On Charge Of Harassment Of Boyfriend

Marie Mott, who led protests in Chattanooga following the death of George Floyd while in police custody, has been arrested on charges of harassing her boyfriend. The boyfriend said she has been threatening him with violence, saying she would call the police on him as "payback" and threatening to send gang members to his house. He said the former City Council candidate ... (click for more)

City To Require Masks In City-Owned Buildings Amid Rising COVID-19 Infections

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly on Friday issued an executive order mandating that employees and visitors who are moving within city buildings wear facial coverings, effective Monday. Mayor Kelly’s executive order also requires that community centers remain closed indefinitely following summer camp, which ended today. The order allows temporary exceptions for vaccine drives held ... (click for more)

Sports

Chattanooga Red Wolves Hold On For 1-1 Tie At Home

The Red Wolves welcomed Forward Madison FC to CHI Memorial Stadium Saturday night in a match that had huge early season implications for both sides. Carl Craig and Forward Madison looked to vault themselves into fifth place with a rare road victory. On the other bench, Manager Jimmy Obleda and the Red Wolves looked to remain unbeaten at home, with a win vaulting themselves to the ... (click for more)

Lee University Adds Dalton Chuba To Golf Roster

Lee University Director of Golf John Maupin has announced the signing of transfer Dalton Chuba to the 2021 class. “Dalton is a great add for our program,” said Maupin. His commitment to golf is evident, and it’s his own hard work that has brought this opportunity about. In Dalton, we have someone that is improving at a rapid rate and who’s game is very much trending in the right ... (click for more)