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Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

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HB 277: Deer Hunting Over Bait – Inhumane on So Many Levels, Part 1

by PV

Rule? What House Rule? We Don’t Care About No Stinkin’ Rules!…

Rumors have it that 4 members of the Georgia House recently violated House Rule 171.1 regarding the prohibition of using their elected position for personal financial gain.

PV Sez: WHAT? You guys got rules? No way! And, you really expect people to follow them? Oh, c’mon! Let the frat boys play where the deer and the antelope are sucked-in to bait boxes where “hunters” (sic) can shoot them like the classless Mike Vick wannabes they are.

PV Examines the Evidence in A More Serious Light: HB 277 is a bill designed to allow the “hunting” (sic) of deer over bait. What does “over bait” mean?

It means putting-out delicious food that a deer wouldn’t normally come across in vast quantities in the wild to attract them to a “bait box” whereupon the “hunter” (sic) would be able to blow the deer away while the deer is preoccupied with eating whatever is in the bait box.

House Rule 171.1 – No member or employee of the House shall unlawfully use his or her office or official position for personal financial gain.

The following members have personal financial interest in wildlife feed/bait as either retail sales, growing agricultural crops used in manufacture of such feeds/bait, or production of by-products for use in manufacture of such feeds/baits:

James “Jay” Roberts, Terry England, Jon G. Burns, Ellis Black

What Are Their Interests?

James “Jay” Roberts

* Director, Irwin County Farm Bureau
* Director & Stockholder of NHF, Inc. a Farming Operation
* Partner, Roberts & Sons Farm a Farming Operation
* Ownership interest in 982 acres of agricultural lands

Terry England

* Board Member, Barrow County Farm Bureau
* CEO, Owner; Homeport Farm Mart – a farm/ag supply retailer
* Retail sales of deer feed/bait products (www.thehomeportfarmmart.com/newanimal_feeds.htm)
* Specifically carried Flint River Mills – FRM products (Alec Poitevint, II is an officer of FRM and also owns Southeastern Minerals which produces mineral feed/bait blocks for deer)

Jon G. Burns

* President, B&S Feed & Farm Supply, Inc.
* Purina Mills Dealer, retail sales of deer feed/bait (www.bsfeed.com/animalfeed.htm)
* Ownership interest in 550 acres of agricultural lands

Ellis Black

* Board Member, Lowndes County Farm Bureau
* Direct ownership interest in BCT Gin – cottonseed is used in the manufacture of deer feeds/baits
* Ownership interest in 500+ acres of agricultural lands

What was their involvement in HB 277?

Jay Roberts & Ellis Black co-sponsored HB 277

All the above voted in favor of this bill, despite that they are likely to receive direct financial benefit from its passage. In the best interest of transparent and open governance these Representatives should have abstained from the vote on HB 277 pursuant to Rule 171.1

Jon G. Burns serves as Chairman of the Game, Fish & Parks Committee, which handled HB 277. Jon G. Burns receives his income from the retail sales of deer feed/bait. He clearly should have recused himself from deliberations and oversight of HB 277 and most definitely should have abstained from voting pursuant to Rule 171.1. Instead he facilitated HB 277 move through subcommittee (stacked committee with 3 proponents of HB 277 and only 2 opponents of HB 277) and passage by the whole Committee with a “Do Pass” recommendation.

The connection between Jay Roberts, Terry England and Ellis Black, Farm Bureau & HB 277 should concern everyone. What other House members have the privilege and benefit of serving on County Farm Bureau Boards while casting votes on Bills that serve to benefit Farm Bureau?

One Response to “HB 277: Deer Hunting Over Bait – Inhumane on So Many Levels, Part 1”

  1. Joe Says:

    Please explain how this bill benefits Farm Bureau. I believe you’re reaching to call this a conflict of interest on the part of these state reps, but I don’t understand how Farm Bureau benefits from this legislation.

    I don’t ask for nebulous speculation or innuendo, but actual facts and figures on just how Farm Bureau (the organization itself) could possibly benefit from this bill.

Today's Deep Thought

If I was the head of a country that lost a war, and I had to sign a peace treaty, just as I was signing, I'd glance over the treaty and then suddenly act surprised. 'Wait a minute! I thought we won!'



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