Politics Preys on Pennsylvania Pigeons
“Pennsylvania, in 2014, almost became the 50th state to ban live pigeon shoots. For the geographically challenged, that would be all of them, finally, pitching the anachronistic nonsport onto the trash heap.
“The votes looked good. The Senate passed the bill in mid-October on a 36-12 vote. It had to go to the House. It needed a vote in that chamber to reach the governor’s desk.
“But first, it had to get through the House Rules Committee, and that is where the bill that had taken flight better than it ever had in the decades that it’s been sought, hit with a splat and died.
“What killed it was a barrage of political donations from the Flyers Victory Fund, a political action committee that supports the shoots. The fund kicked out $20,000 for members of the House Rules Committee — a grand apiece plus $3,000 to its boss, Rep. Mike Turzai. So for $1,000 each, and a little extra gravy for the chief, the Flyers assured that those who still wish to take part in the practice will be able to legally do so in Pennsylvania for at least a while longer. Politics is worse to watch than even a live pigeon shoot.
“One positive: Four members of the Rules Committee returned the money. They were Reps. Bill Adolph Jr., Mark Mustio, Robert Godshell and Thomas Killion — all Republicans. It appears the other 14 Republicans and all 15 Democrats tucked the cash into their war chests and moved on. If I’m wrong, I’m sure I’ll hear it. My information came from campaign finance reports dated through late November” (read more).