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Oh give me a home where the lobbyists roam

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We’ve learned a lot of influential law makers have journeyed to the famous King Ranch in Texas where ‘big sugar’ owns a hunting lodge for ‘Republican Party Fundraisers’. Why can’t they just stay here and leave their animals alone? Florida is a tourism state and we have plenty of cool places for lawmakers to go and discuss business.

Why couldn’t they hunt right here in Florida? We have abundant fishing, birding and the occasional loose cow. After some thought, I realized that they could actually be seen with their lobbyists right out in public and that wouldn’t look good. Better to leave the state in a private plane and go to a private hunting preserve where they could relish their privacy.

Since the lawmakers couldn’t accept these trips without declaring them, the ‘sponsor’ had to donate the money to a third party, in this case the Republican Party of Florida.

During the 2014 election cycle, U.S. Sugar has directly and indirectly contributed $2.2 million to Republican state candidates and $132,000 to Democrats which is a 16 to 1 ratio.

The sweetness of a majority vote in the Florida Legislature was hard to turn down.

In the public interest I’ve decided to reveal that I too, want to hang with the movers and shakers. I hope they believe it’s a good PR move to invite ordinary members of the public so we can see what all the fuss is about and report back.

The common denominator was a desire to conduct public business in private and obtain a Texas Hunting license. This might be the application.

Why are you applying for a Texas non-resident hunting license?

A, I love hunting

B, Drink beer and hang out in a manly setting

C, Bragging rights when the Legislature comes back into session

I want to bring home:

A, A stuffed and mounted deer head

B, A stuffed and mounted Democrat

C, Do you really think I’m there for the animals?

I plan to hunt with:

A, single shot rifle

B, Bow and arrow

C, Stand my ground with any animal….in season of course.

Do you currently possess:

A, Hunter orange clothing

B, Business casual for the after hunt party

C, It doesn’t matter, no one will see me

Reason(s) why you wish to hunt in the State of Texas:

A, Male bonding

B, Female bonding

C, Big sugar bonding

Have you completely filled out a:

A, Non-resident hunting license form

B, Non-resident lobbying application

C, Freedom of mis-information form

If a legislator, when you arrive home, do you plan to propose a bill that will:

A, Harm your state

B, Help your state

C, Help your pocketbook

Disclaimer: anything that happens at King Ranch:

A, Is paid for by lobbyists

B, Stays at King Ranch

C, Only if there’s no subpoena

Maybe they thought I was a bigger ‘shaper of public opinion’ than I actually am, but my application to attend was turned down.

(Legislation to block Federal oversight of waterways and wetlands is now being touted by a number of Republican law makers who feel the state can do a much better job.)

Generally, the public didn’t know there was a hunting lodge leased by U.S. Sugar Corp. at King Ranch until that pesky ‘Freedom of Information Act’ spilled the beans. Them varmints!

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