by Max Brantley
The legislator — who has lived variously in condos downtown and Chenal Valley and perhaps other points — has hit early with a headline grabber. It is legislation to require drug testing of all unemployment compensation applicants and random drug testing thereafter of beneficiaries.
Only if there's a tradeoff, I say.
Let's let this philandering, ethics law-breaking, high-living, Bible-beating Republican also require drug testing and alcohol testing of legislators before they set a state-money-wasting new bar for people who really work for a living. (As opposed to being, say, a high-priced legislative insider/counselor for a big swinging politically wired class action law firm.)
And let's have legislators undergo lie detector tests, too. Like, say, on their campaign reports. Like, were those two campaign checks written for Hutchinson's mistress' personal expenses really the ONLY money ever dug up from smelly sources to keep her in a fancy downtown condo? (He claims SHE wrote the checks without his knowledge.) She says not. She says she'd like the Ethics Commission to look, too, at his credit card use and to talk to her about his campaign activities. She also says he once promised her a paycheck from a state grant program, among other dubious promises in their tumultuous relationship.
MORE CHICKENBLEEP FROM HUTCHINSON: Another sure out for scoundrels is to bed down with corporate lobbyists to keep the money flowing, particularly since Hutchinson already has a solid Republican opponent, Rep. Ann Clemmer, if he seeks Senate re-election in 2014.
He's filed two bills to help the poultry and other livestock interests. One bill would make it a crime for animal rights workers to work undercover in livestock operations to gather footage of animal mistreatment. Another bill is aimed at preventing groups like the Humane Society from initiating investigations of animal mistreatment, leaving this duty only to law enforcement agencies (home-grown folks who might be more understanding of local animal husbandry).
(UPDATE: Hutchinson insists his animal legislation was offered in behalf of a Saline County humane worker who disapproves of Humane Society and PETA interventions in animal rights issues, not from any corporate interest. He said he was unaware of similar legislation offered elsewhere as a reaction to those undercover investigations and that he was only working in behalf of a local constituent. He said the Farm Bureau had reservations. Hutchinson also disputes his former friend Julie McGee's various allegations, while confirming he'd been with her recently in response to a request from her for assistance.)
UPDATE II: The day after this blog item appeared and Hutchinson told me he wasn't familiar with all the issues related to this legislation, he tabled the bills in committee and said he'd hand them off to someone else who knew more about agriculture. Good move. Now if he'd just do that with the drug testing bill.
Only a lowlife would use dumb animals and the unemployed to salvage a political career.