"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another Example Of Albany & Silver Gone Bad

This email was just forwarded to P IV and highlighted toward the bottom are parts of what is particularly disheartening about the process in Albany.

Subj: NYFB Agricultural Alliance Update on the "Canned Hunt" bill

Hi all,

I just wanted to update you all on what transpired last night in the Assembly. A bill that we have long fought against came up in the Assembly last night at around 10:00 pm – the deceptively entitled “canned hunt” bill.

As you know, we have fought against this bill for over five years and, if you recall, in 2003 it passed both houses and we were able to secure a veto from Governor Pataki. We have been working very closely with our Agricultural Alliance members, the Deer and Elk Farmers Association, this year and chose to focus our efforts on the Assembly to kill the bill.

The first time the bill came years ago, we won less than twenty votes in opposition, but we have been gradually winning votes to our side over the years. This year, we put on a full court press. Last night, the bill was debated for about and hour. Bill Magee spoke on our behalf and when the vote was tallied on the board, it was clear that we had killed the bill, as the vote was about 72-65 in our favor. It is very rare that this happens (maybe once every two years) and when it does the Speaker typically withdraws the bill from consideration in order to prevent a public loss. This is what I expected to happen last night.

This time it was bit different. Speaker Silver was clearly notified of what was happening, because he emerged from his office and spoke quietly with eight democratic members or so, who then switched their vote (It was found out later that a number of the members that switched did so after being threatened with losing member item money or campaign funding from the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee). We ended losing after this, 76-59. A very close vote still, but the deck was clearly stacked. A disappointing defeat.

We will now fight this bill in the Senate and work with the Governor’s office to set up a possible veto opportunity.

Just wanted to keep you all updated.


Jeff Williams
Deputy Director/Legislative Director
Division of Public Policy
New York Farm Bureau

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