Planning for the worst

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Planning for the worst

Post  gatsu7 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:36 am

Alright guys. The state ban proposals have already started. HSUS is sending out pre-written, radical, very broad bills to many, if not all 50 state senates. RI, VA, and IL already have proposals.

If and when a bill is introduced in OK, we need to kill it swiftly with facts and logic.

First, we need to have some people standing by who are willing to go on the news and/or be in the paper to get the facts out there. Both experts and hobbyists should be represented. I am willing to speak on behalf of OCHIS, unless another officer would like to do it instead.

A couple of tips I have, from listening to these types of debates.

1. Stick to facts, and keep emotions to a minimum.
2. Compare injuries and deaths related to snakes to those of other pets, but not to cars, bathtubs, etc. Drastic comparisons to non-living things make our argument sound a bit desperate.
3. Use statistics from a verified source.
4. Most importantly, be respectful and calm at all times. Most people think of reptile keepers as weirdos who are uneducated and reckless. We must prove this stereotype wrong.
5. Talk about the needless job and revenue loss the bill will cause, while having zero effect on public safety or the environment.


Last edited by gatsu7 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:49 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Planning for the worst

Post  gatsu7 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:45 am

We have it a bit easier right now, because our state government is mostly Republican. No matter your political affiliation, this bodes well for us in OK. Most radical HSUS bills have been introduced and supported by democrats and rejected by Republicans, so far.
Again, whatever party you support is your business, but on this single issue, I can't imagine a reptile keeper supporting the politicians who try to pass this, regardless of party.


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Re: Planning for the worst

Post  Sylvias on Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:54 am

In addition to staying sharp within our own state we definitely need to do anything and everything we can to help the other states as well, if ever there was a time to be as politically active as possible, it's now. Don't just sit back and think you're safe cause it's not you're state... this effects all of us and we NEED to stand up for each other....
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Re: Planning for the worst

Post  Snakeman on Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:58 am

Reply to the above posts.

* Ohio also has a proposal and it's authored by a Republican (Balderson).

* The "Python Ban" bill in Florida was authored by a Republican (Rooney).

* However, IMO to bring political preferences into this issue is ridiculous and as I have

stated before, voters today who support only one political party (partisan politics)

are one of the biggest problems in this country.

* I'm a reptile keeper and I have been for a LONG time and I can't imagine supporting

either party, based solely on this issue.

* I agree that if a negative herp bill is introduced in Oklahoma, it may be necessary to

go to the news media and/or we may be sought out by them.

However, speaking from personal experience, that can be a double-edged sword

because that does not insure we will be getting the facts out there.

(There's no guarantee that what we say will be deliverd correctly by the media.)

I am willing to speak for OCHIS as well, but IMO, Russ needs to be the contact

person for this and he should be the one to speak for us.

ALL requests for interviews should be directed to him.

* I agree with the tips.

* No one who has never been interviwed by the news media should speak for OCHIS.


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Re: Planning for the worst

Post  gatsu7 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:46 am

Larry,

Sorry if I sounded patrisan. I was actaully trying not to. I forgot about Rooney, and didn't know about Balsderson. They are the first exceptions, but I'm sure they won't be the last. Over 90% of these crazy animal rights bills are proposed and backed by democrats, including almost allto federal bills, S373, HR2811, HR669, HR3359, etc. but as intoducing these stupid laws becomes more and more popular with poloticians, I have no doubt that more republicans will join in.

Also, I agree that supporting a party based on 1 issue is ridiculous. I don't really like either party anymore. We need some Libertarians in there to even things out, IMO.

Normally, the President of an organization would be the one to speak to the media, but Russ may be an exception. Well over half of our membership have never even met him, so having him speak for them may be inappropriate. Maybe not...

More than 1 person should talk, IMO, and they should include people with degrees in the proper fields, hobbyists, and people whose jobs and quality of life would be affected by passage of bad legislation.

As for the media being a double edged sword. Absolutely! The point is to make our edge sharper.

All of this is speculative at this point, because no law has been introduced here, but it is something to think about.

Also, Rooney and Balderson were under a LOT of political pressure to join in because of the ridiculous sensationalism spewing out of both of those states, not that it excuses their ignorance and bad choices.

Sylvias is also right. There are some limited things we can do to help the other states. Supporting USARK is the easiest.


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Re: Planning for the worst

Post  gatsu7 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:50 am

Forgive spelling and grammar. I have to post from my phone because the forum is blocked at work.

Oh, and OCHIS can't spend a "significant" portion of funds on political activity, but we can do a lot without spending a dime.

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Re: Planning for the worst

Post  Snakeman on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:05 am

"Normally, the President of an organization would be the one to speak to the media, but Russ may be an exception. Well over half of our membership have never even met him, so having him speak for them may be inappropriate. Maybe not...

More than 1 person should talk, IMO, and they should include people with degrees in the proper fields, hobbyists, and people whose jobs and quality of life would be affected by passage of bad legislation."

Michael,

I hear what you're saying.

My points are these:

IMO even though many of our members have never met Russ....

* As president it's his job.

* He has the experience necessary in dealing with the media.

* He has name recognition in the herp world.

* There's a reason for the term "spokesperson".

The news media hears one position / version and there's little room for

contradiction.

If you have too many "spokespeople" you run the risk of contradictory and even

incorrect information being given to the media which they in turn could use against

us either in subsequent interviews or when they report to the public.

* IMO the number of members who have met Russ is irrelevant when accessing his

ability to deal with the media.

* He has many more influential contacts, both here and abroad, if he did wish to bring

in other herp people to be interviewed.

(People with degrees in the proper fields, people in the hobby and herp business

people are not necessairly qualified to give a good interview and you run the risk

of them doing more harm than good.)

* Having said all of the above, will Russ be willing to do this if the need arises ?....

I don't know, but he needs to.

I'm also keeping in mind that we are officers in title only and we have no more

authority/right to talk with the media than any other member of our society.









Last edited by Snakeman on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:42 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Planning for the worst

Post  gatsu7 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:28 am

Good points.

If, in this imaginary scenario that may or may not happen, Russ, or any other single member speaks for the society/all OK herpers, they should stick to some sort of guideline that most of us agree on.

As for Russ's qualifications to speak for us that you listed,
1. Yes, it is his job as president, but if he is unable or unwilling to do it, it falls to you and me. The thing I would worry most about is the distinct possibility that he may forget or be too busy to show up for an interview.
2. He has experience with the media. Okay.
3. His name recognition in the herp world amounts to nothing in the rest of the world/state, which would be the primary audience.

If there was more than 1 person, they would have to be in complete agreement on the issue and would need to meet before the interview to go through the questions that may be asked. I do agree that a single person would be easier, but either way can work.

Also, please, nobody think I have anything against Russ. He is legitimately busy a lot, and he does a lot for herps, turtles in particular, that keeps him from being able to attend meetings and events. I just want all bases covered, if we do have a legislative crisis here in OK.



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Re: Planning for the worst

Post  Snakeman on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:17 pm

On a somewhat related note, IMO the best way to combat this problem is to educate

the public about herps.

Having display tables at herp shows is good, contributing to USARK is good, but again

IMO, the very best way to do this is with educational programs.

You can reach a lot more people, a lot more effectively, in a much shorter period of

time.

I really wish that every member of our society, who had the knowledge, expertise

and resources would give educational herp programs in their respective communities.

IMO if a big majority of the public had the correct information about herps, we

probably would not have to worry about most of these issues in Oklahoma.

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Re: Planning for the worst

Post  gatsu7 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:22 pm

cheers cheers cheers
1000% agree! I'm starting this year, and I can't wait.

Snakeman wrote:On a somewhat related note, IMO the best way to combat this problem is to educate

the public about herps.

Having display tables at herp shows is good, contributing to USARK is good, but again

IMO, the very best way to do this is with educational programs.

You can reach a lot more people, a lot more effectively, in a much shorter period of

time.

I really wish that every member of our society, who had the knowledge, expertise

and resources would give educational herp programs in their respective communities.

IMO if a big majority of the public had the correct information about herps, we

probably would not have to worry about most of these issues in Oklahoma.

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Re: Planning for the worst

Post  Snakeman on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:24 pm

That's great.

I thought you were.

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Re: Planning for the worst

Post  Paul White on Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:19 pm

If I can chime in with my dayjob mode here:
For disaster response coordination, one of the key things drilled into us is that there is one spokesperson to speak to the media in an official capacity for a given event/incident. We call them the Public Information Officer (PIO for short). Having one spokesperson is critical to maintaining a clear, consistent message and avoiding giving contradictory information. In a large scale even with multiple physical locations, you can have a regional PIO in each region along with a head PIO, or you can have the main PIO send out press releases with FAQs for regional people to deliver. But in most disasters/events it is ONE person. This avoids peope hearing different things from one another and makes sure everyone's getting the same information (as much as possible).

I second Larry's comment about educational talks--I wish I knew where to start as far as coordinating with local Y's, library's, etc for doing that (and I of all people should--but I have to be very careful to avoid the appearance of improperly pressuring them given my day job, so it's like walking in a <expletive> minefield).

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Re: Planning for the worst

Post  Snakeman on Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:02 pm

"....educational talks--I wish I knew where to start as far as coordinating with local

Y's, library's, etc for doing that ...."


Paul,

For what it's worth here's my 2 cents.

If you want to start doing educational programs I would begin by going to one or

more of your local libraries.

Ask for the person(s) in charge of programs.

Some libraries have more than one and it's usually divided up by age groups (children,

teens, adults).

I would tell them you just wanted to introduce yourself and let them know that you

give FREE educational programs on snakes or whatever herp you prefer.

FREE usually gets their attention.

From time to time, some places will insist on paying you and that's not a bad

thing. Laughing

I would also tell them that you're a member of OCHIS and name any other herp groups

you're a member of at present.

There's no need to discuss where you work or what you do.

It's pretty much downhill from there.

Be sure to check out the room where you'll be giving your program to make sure you'll

have enough space and request they provide plenty of hand sanitizer if you plan to

allow any touching or holding of your herps.

I do snake programs so I also try to make sure the room is cool.

One other thing and this is just something I like to do.

Before they have a chance to bring it up, IMO is a good idea for you to request that

one or more of the library staff be present during your program to evaluate you.

I think you know where I'm going with this.

(In all likelihood you're going to know more about herps than anyone there and it's

good to nonverbally communicate self-confidence in yourself and your ability to do a

good job for the library.)

Then I'd go to some of the nearby schools and do the same things.

When you go into the school building, go directly to the office and ask for the principle.

I hope this helps.






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Re: Planning for the worst

Post  Evilwezal on Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:17 pm

IF need be, I can contact a high school friend who is a reporter for KFOR in OKC. She loves doing stories like this. We keep in touch regularly.

kyle

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