Sunday, February 27, 2011

FL Teabag Lawmaker: Photographing farm will be a 1st degree felony!

From the MY STUPID STATE series:

You read the title of this post right. I am not exaggerating in the least. Just more wingnuttery from my state legislature. This time from new freshman teabagger Sen. Jim Norman.

Jim Norman of FL District 12 is one of those newbies pushed by teabaggers in the last election. Like many of his kind, he has a history of ethics problems. But in a state where a criminal can be elected governor, a state senator with a mountain of ethics complaints and an FBI probe gets a chairmanship.

And like the other new FL teabag (FLeabag?) legislators, like Jason "Fine Doctors $5 Million for Asking Mental Patients Anything about Guns" Brodeur, Jim Norman is making a name for himself.

Sen. Norman introduced SB 1246 last Friday, which would make it a 1st degree felony to photgraph any part of a farm (even from public property) without written permission of the farm owner first.

Lest you think I am prone to hyperbole, read the text of the bill yourself.

WHY is he doing this? Is he insane? No, the voters here are... but that's another post.

The intent of this stupid bill is to prevent someone from an animal rights group to pretend to be a farm worker and secretly film torturing or abusing of farm animals on private property. Now, this is already illegal here, mind you. The infiltration, that is: not the farm animal abuse. Animal rights here are looked down upon almost as much as worker rights. (When voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2002 to stop the practice of putting pregnant pigs in ultra-confining cages, the legislature went ballistic--long story short, the requirements for citizen intiatives now demand a super-majority.)

Yet, somehow, these videos are still getting made. Logically, the next step is to arrest someone with a wide angle lens who happens to snap a picture that includes an open pasture.


Last January, I took a picture of a church near Geneva. There is a cow behind a fence in the background. If this bill becomes law, I can look forward to being charged with a first degree felony on par with murderers and bank robbers.

Oh, here is one I found of a nearby farm with some horses I thought were adorable:

GUESS it will be jail for me!

I wonder if someone forgot to tell these FLeabaggers that the Constitution they profess to love includes a first amendment as well.


  1. I was surprised until I read it was Jim Norman. We had to live with this guy in Hillsborough County for years. I stopped giving to the Salvation Army after it was revealed that they were paying him 95k a year plus a car to be some kind of part-time "liaison". His dream - too kooky even to get passed in this county - was a giant sports complex in the middle of nowhere funded by taxpayers even as they were cutting services left and right

  2. So sorry to hear that Florida... it's makes the rest of us feel better about our local politics though. ;)

  3. Max penalty for 1st degree felony is 30 years in prison in Florida.