Politics and Policy:

    More good news on this glorious fall morning. NewsOK.com says that Senator Frank Shurden of Henryetta will be introducing a bill to lower the penalty for cockfighting from a felony to a misdemeanor. Here’s the full story:

      Senator announces plan to lower cockfighting penalty


      By The Associated Press

      A state senator who opposed a ban on cockfighting said Wednesday he will propose legislation to lower penalties for violating the new law.

      Voters approved State Question 687 in Tuesday’s general election with 56 percent voting yes and 44 percent no.

      Sen. Frank Shurden, D-Henryetta, said the measure makes it a felony to merely raise game fowl.

      “That means honest, hardworking Oklahomans would be lumped in with murderers, rapists and drug dealers,” Shurden said. “They would also lose basic rights like voting and the right to own firearms to protect their families.”

      He said about 2.8 million game chickens in the state may have to be slaughtered because their owners don’t want to face felony charges for owning them.

      Shurden said a bill he plans to file next year will make violations misdemeanors and eliminate the possibility of jail time for those convicted of crimes related to cockfighting. The law goes into effect on Friday.

      Gov.-elect Brad Henry has said he believes the penalties are too severe. Henry said Wednesday he does not know if he will support Shurden’s measure.

    What I find especially ironic is that according to this story, 2.8 million game chickens will likely be slaughtered because of the ban. Yeah, the anti-cockfighting folks sure care about those poor birds… not.