Outrage Infinite! Infamy Unspeakable!
Rereading the political classic, Fairplay for Frogs, co-authored by former Congressman and Assemblyman Jerry Waldie and Nestle J. Frobish, chairman of the Worldwide Fairplay for Frogs Committee, always engenders deeper appreciation of the wit of both writers.
In this instance, California’s Capitol showcases a brief snippet from the hand of the late Jerry Waldie.
(Editor’s Note: In the interest of fairplay, the headline above, however, is Frobish’s memorable rallying cry from his 14-year crusade to thwart the man he dubs the “Mad Butcher of the Swamps.”)
In this excerpt, Waldie is describing AB 2301, a 20-word measure he introduced on March 21, 1961, (the occasion of the second birthday of the chief correspondent of California’s Capitol).
Of the 20 words only eight are meaningful: “Frogs may be taken by using a slingshot.”
A sports writer a local newspaper and his son were cited by a game warden for attempting to kill frogs using a slingshot. Waldie strove to correct the injustice.
Waldie describes the measure’s brevity as “exquisite simplicity devoid of the usual superfluous rhetoric most politicians use.”
(Editor’s Note: Listen up, all 120 of you.)
Rather than saying the legislation was summarily rejected without comment in its first committee hearing, Waldie writes:
“There was little discernible reaction to this forward-looking piece of legislation – in part, I suspect, because of its direct approach to problem-solving, a disconcerting change from the usual legislative efforts.”
(Editor’s Note: The more things change…As to the author, what a wonderful gift to posterity!)
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