Like Adjourning, Clever Headlines Are Always in Order…

Public relations experts suggest various strategies for announcing bad news. In the legislative world “bad” news could definitely be the failure of a bill. One technique is to minimize the bad news by stressing something positive. “While this piece of legislation might be toast, dozens of other far-reaching, much-needed public policy reforms by Sen. Tom Berryhill have been signed into law,” for example.

More commonly, lawmakers tend toward the “spin” technique — attempting to recast as a boon what would appear to be a bust. Perhaps: “Despite the loss, the action is a victory because Berryhill’s measure focused attention on the plight of the harried and forgetful California angler.”

A third option is to simply have a chuckle and move on. Generally, audiences seem most receptive to this approach. The make-light-of-loss strategy has the added benefit of potentially  increasing the odds media outlets,  particularly those in the senator’s largely rural district, will take the bait and be hooked. Hopefully, they’ll then report that despite a gallant effort, the GOP lawmaker ultimately proved to be swimming upstream when his bill got and snagged on the Assembly Appropriations suspense file. Then again, the media might have more newsworthy fish to fry  and simply say “Go fish.”

Berryhill fishing license bill goes belly up 

Sacramento – Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte) announces the demise of Senate Bill 583 (SB 583), legislation that would create a fishing license good for 12 consecutive months, regardless of purchase date. 

“Once again Sacramento ignores the chance to make government work for the people of California. The current system of obtaining a fishing license can be impractical for those of us that enjoy fishing in California’s streams, rivers and lakes,” said Berryhill.

SB 583 would have added a 12 consecutive month option to the menu of fishing licenses available in California. Often people don’t consider buying a fishing license until late spring, summer or even fall and that license expires at the end of the calendar year. This legislation would make it easier for people to fully utilize their license. 

“Fishing is big business in California.  This bill would have encouraged more people to participate in the sport and, I believe, ultimately generated more income for the state and certainly the communities surrounding popular fishing holes,” continued Berryhill. “I don’t think I am alone in wanting to get my money’s worth out of a license.”





Filed under: Overheard

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for this story, Greg. Your tongue-in-cheek observations are apt.

    It strikes me that your example points out in stark relief the ludicrous crap that so many of our “public servants,” the esteemed members of the California Legislature, believe to be important enough for their fellow legislators to waste time on, not to mention the finite resources of the Legislature that are required for the production of a bill for consideration.

    This is yet another example of a frivolous little piece of self-serving nonsense that so many are famous for – makes it appear to their constituents that they have been busy little beavers.

    Yet another demonstration of the need to limit – severely – the number of bills that each legislator is allowed to introduce each year. Perhaps then they will come up with a more measures of merit and less junk .

    Comment by Sandy Carey — 1.25.2014 @ 11:46 am

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