Elected official puts special interests first
To the editor:
The fifth and final bill submitted this session by Rep. Tim Theriault, L.D. 868 – “An Act Regarding Game That Is Confiscated in Connection with an Alleged Violation of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Laws” – was heard by the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on April 20. Rep. Theriault is a member of that committee. The bill would allow those who kill a deer or moose and are found not guilty in court, regardless of their actual guilt or innocence, to shoot another deer or moose if the meat from that animal has been confiscated and not returned.
The bill was opposed by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife which argued that they already have in place a process to provide a license to shoot another deer or moose in cases where they wrongfully confiscated the animal and failed to return the meat. In other words, there is no need to create a new statute and no need for this bill. Had Rep. Theriault adequately researched the matter, he would have known that. During the work session, all of the committee members except for Rep. Theriault and one other voted the bill Ought Not To Pass. This is the fourth of Rep. Theriault’s five bills that was voted Ought Not To Pass by either a large majority or by a unanimous vote.
Not a single bill sponsored by Rep. Theriault this session does anything to promote jobs, taxes, seniors, veterans and the Second Amendment, all of which are the priorities he cited during his re-election campaign. While on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife committee he voted in favor of all six pro-Sunday hunting bills regardless of the consequences to our wildlife resources or the fact that landowners have threatened to close their land to hunting if any Sunday hunting is allowed. After those final votes, he said aloud “We did our job” about himself and the one other committee member who also voted for all six bills. He was also the only committee member to vote against a bill to increase penalties for baiting deer, one of the most common and unsporting poaching violations.
Far too often elected officials put special interests before the public interest. They either forget why they were voted in or they run for office for the wrong reasons. As citizens, taxpayers and voters it is our responsibility to hold our elected officials accountable. That’s the only way our democracy will work.
John M. Glowa, Sr.