March 11, 2005

Damn it! I know there's a bill in this somewhere

In a textbook case of a legislator chasing his own tail, Rep. Jerry Mitchell, R-Rock Falls Kennel Club, is said to be doggedly barking up any tree he can to squeeze some proposal out of the tragic case in which Lydia Chaplin of Erie, IL died of hypothermia after being attacked by three pit bulls and one mixed breed dog.

The alert Mitchell sprang into action and proposed a measure which would allow municipalities to enact breed specific bans, in which they could force owners of certain breeds considered to be dangerous to register their dogs and pay fees.

This proposal went down in flames in a hurry.

But Mitchell wasn't through hot-dogging. He's on the case like a dog on a bone, exploring the possibilities of proposing yet other measures. One would propose to allow municipalities to enact ordinances requiring dogs over a certain weight, say 30lbs, to register their dogs. This "fat doggie" proposal barely passed the laugh test, but Mitchell had a dog in this fight, and went back to the drawing board.

Believing that every dog has his day, Mitchell's now come up with the idea for requiring parolees who own paunchy pooches to register them. And this brilliant variant even carries with it an erstwhile practical benefit. Mitchell feels that this measure would be justified as it would allow law enforcement and parole officials to be able to check a database to see if the parolee owns a large dog before dealing with them.

These goofy ideas deserve to go to the dogs.

It's comforting though, since apparently there are no more important issues in Mitchell's district than registering fat dogs belonging to parolees to distract him.


At 3/12/2005 11:26 AM, Blogger Dissenter said...

I just love this story, not because of its importance (i.e., it is not important), but because it is just so damn humorous. The proposal for a "fat dog registry" is a clear indication that Jerry Mitchell is ready, willing and able to abandon all sense of legislative reason, in exchange for the public exploitation of a local tragedy.

However, I must say that I do look forward to someday having a "fat dog registry" on the internet, so that I can plug in my zip code and find out where all the fat dogs in my neighborhood are living. I will not feel truly safe, until that great day finally comes.

At 3/12/2005 1:06 PM, Anonymous Blue State said...

To Dissenter and Dope and others -

You should know that there is now a "Fat Tax" proposal making its way through the talk-show circuit.
The supporters are saying that those who indulge too much end up costing the US taxpayers something like $55 billion a year (diabetes, heart attacks, etc.). So, to regulate and encourage healthy eating they are considering a tax on those over a certain weight, or for those whose body fat exceeds a certain percentage.

So, Perhaps Rep. Mitchell would like to amend his magnificent legislation to include the "Flat Fat Tax Act of 2005".

Just trying to be helpful out here.

At 3/12/2005 7:14 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

HA! It's always good when one of our oh-so-earnest public servants gives us some comic relief.

The last time I recall was seeing a clip of Allan Keyes singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" shortly after he became a candidate to represent Illinois in the US senate.

I'll have to dig up a link to that. It'll bring a tear to your eye.


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