Bob Haase’s Another Can Of Worms

Rules Should Apply To Everyone

This is not new, but I see it happening more and more.  Our legislature is drafting and enacting rules and regulations that do not apply to everyone equally.  I think part of the problem is payback to individuals, corporations, and organizations that contribute financially to a candidate’s campaign and they are rewarded with legislation that give certain citizens more rights than others.  I will provide a few examples.

A couple years ago big money bass tournaments wanted to be exempt from Wisconsin fishing regulations that did not allow culling of fish.  Wisconsin fishing regulations do not allow culling which allows  an angler to replace a smaller fish from their livewell with a bigger fish.  The problems with this is that a fish kept in a livewell may become stressed and later die.  For this reason once you put any fish into a livewell it becomes part of your daily bag limit.  Bass Masters and big money bass tournaments got one of our legislators to write a bill allow big money bass tournaments to cull fish, but for you and I it would still be illegal. 

There is another Wisconsin fishing regulation that does not allow live fish to be transported away from a lake or river such as in a livewell.  The reason for this is to help prevent the spread of a disease called VHS.  If we were to transport live fish we would be fined and could lose our fishing privileges.   The Walleye Federation’s Cabela’s National Team Championship was just held on the Bay of Green Bay and they wanted a special waiver to transport the fish in the boats livewell to Packer Stadium for the weight in.  They were granted this special privilege which put additional stress on the fish and 918 of the 1,969 caught died.  I know of no other person or organization that was granted this kind of exemption and I think it sets precedent and should be granted to everyone.

Another thing just being considered by the Natural Resources Board is allowing private land owners that participate in the Deer Management Assistance Program the right to sell antlerless deer permits to be used to hunt on their property.  They would not be able to sell these permits for a profit, but they could require you to pay a fee to hunt on their property in order to receive the antlerless permit.  People with larger tracts of land would have a special privilege that others would not receive.  The deer belong to everybody in Wisconsin, not the person that owns the property.

I used these examples related to hunting and fishing because I familiar with them, but there are other similar examples that happen every day to people that can afford to buy these privileges.  You might remember the person in this area a few years ago that received a flying an airplane while intoxicated citation even though they were driving a car… not a plane so it would not go on their driving record. Do you think you could be awarded the same consideration in court?

Maybe you don’t mind the fact that if you have enough money you don’t have to play by the same rules everyone else does, but I do.  Everyone should be treated equally under the law regardless of how much money they have or who they know.  I am not naive and I know this kind of thing has been going on for a long time, but it does not make it right, and it is happening more often because we apparently don’t care.  Only you can change this by voicing your concern when it happens.  They know they can do whatever they want because you aren’t going to care enough to take the time to voice your concern.

Bob Haase is the host of “Outdoors Thursday” heard Thursday mornings at 9:10 a.m. on News-Talk 1450 KFIZ.