SHELBYVILLE, TN – Nephew Eugene could hear the “ruckus” coming out of Pope’s Cafe from out on the sidewalk this morning. The whole gang was in there, and a new fellow named Bobby DeVito from Jersey had arrived.
Bobby is 3rd cousin twice removed to Tommy DeVito who stars in Jersey Boys.
Seems like the Celebration Chairman David L. Howard has hired a Nashville public relations firms, DVL, to “spin” the goings ons at the 2014 Celebration.
And Chairman Howard has borrowed Indiana attorney Big Licker Tom Blankenship from the Steve Smith/Walt Chism cabal to be the “Straw Boss”over the 2014 Celebration.
Tom Blankenship is Steve Smith/Walt Chism’s man from way back and was involved in all sorts of sore Big Lick shenanigans. Tom is thick with Vet Dr. Jerry Johnson who has apparently been whispering in one of U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander’s ears apparently “misinforming” the Senator about key issues on Horse Soring. Lamar Alexander’s Campaign Finance Chairman Steve Smith has been whispering in the other ear.
Senator Alexander’s hometown of Maryville, Tennessee was the scene this week of a legal matter involving a “TENNESSEE TRADTION OF HORSE SORING” that for some reason (Steve Smith’s $$$$ Campaign money) Alexander decided to champion in the U. S. Senate.
Tennessee’s enlightened, and not “Bought And Paid For” U. S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) has NOT sponsored the Lamar Alexander/Mitch McConnell bill to enable horse soring.
So it’s “Bye Bye” to the famous Purple Couch of Purple Strategies of Washington and Chicago, and it’s “Hello” to Ken Whitehead of DVL. A Nashville news reporter describes as the the DVL Public Relations firm as “influential”. Nephew Eugene kind of wonders why an objective news reporter, who is not supposed to be influenced by “spin doctors” in reporting the news, would describe a public relations firm as “influential”.
As of right now, no one has yet learned what color couch the DVL firm has.
DVL executive Ken Whitehouse is a “Crisis Management” guru.
Ken Whitehead’s job is to apply “lipstick” to David L. Howard’s 2014 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
The first thing Mr. Whitehead has done is announce the existence of “VAC” (yes another acronym to join TWSHO, PSHA, FAST, TWHGRO, ETC.)
“VAC” stands for Veterinary Advisory Committee. The Gauleiter of “VAC” is Indiana attorney Tom Blankenship who isn’t a Vet, but is going to use them as a “FRONT” for all sorts of creative things that Celebration Chairman David L. Howard and TWHBEA President Steve Smith would like to accomplish.
“VAC” is made up of some Vets who don’t know a whole lot about sore Tennessee Walking Horses, but the pay is good, and one of them is Dr. Jerry Johnson who has a rather interesting prior history and involvement in a high level extraordinarily expensive “POWER PLAY” to render impotent the USDA”SCAR RULE” regulation to stop soring. The “SCAR RULE” is used by the USDA to disqualify Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horses from showing when they have scars on both front feet. The scars result from abusive training practices such as attaching/stacking multiple pairs of chains to the horse’s foot and applying caustic chemicals to sore the horse. Then have the chains wham the sore areas.
Indiana lawyer, Tom Blankenship, will speak for “VAC” and have complete say so over it. And, of course, Celebration Chairman David L. Howard will have complete say over everything and everybody …. as usual.
Once upon a time, Mr. Blankenship was paid by TWHBEA President Steve Smith‘s gang
to assist in easing through the U. S. Senate an amendment to the Horse Protection Act which would “neuter” the “SCAR RULE”. The plan was for Smith’s personal friend, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), to put in a “FIX” and change the definition of the “SCAR RULE” where it could no longer be used to catch persons who were creating lesions on horses feet which left scars.
This all occurred in 2006, and the scheme almost succeeded. The general public didn’t realize that Steve Smith – Tom Blankenship bunch was trying to pull off. The devilish scheme was thwarted at the last minute when The Tennessean newspaper reporter Brad Shrade, who later went on to win a Putlizer Prize, obtained a copy of the “Smith/Blankenship” Amendment to the Horse Protection Act. Senate Majority Leader Frist as a reward to his loyal supporter Steve Smith was going to “attach” the HPA amendment on some other piece of legislation, and no one would learn about it until it was a “fait accompli”.
Steve Smith and Tom Blankenship raised several hundred thousand dollars to “buy and pay for whoever or whatever was needed”. Some say that Bobby DeVito put up a couple of hundred thousand himself to fund this exercise in American democracy. William B. Johnson put up a couple of hundred thousand. And Steve Smith had the Friends Of Show Horses throw in another couple of hundred thousand.
All total, about $700,000.00+/- was raised.
To this day, no one knows to who or for what or where all the money was spent.
You can figure Tom Blankenship was handsomely compensated along with “VAC” Committee lead Vet Dr. Jerry Johnson.
But I digress. The details of this tawdy Steve Smith/Tom Blankenship affair are a story for another day.
Suffice it to say in 2014, the ineffably pompous and arrogant Steve Smith has “loaned” Indiana attorney Tom Blankenship (a former Big Lick exhibitor) to the even more ineffably pompous and arrogant Celebration Chairman David L. Howard.
One thing for Blankenship is to be the mouthpiece by which David Howard can tell the WALKING HORSE TRIANER BOYZ what they are going to have to do.
On June 5, 2014, David Howard had a Press Conference set up in Shelbyville to announce that Horses were going to be required to be stabled on the Celebration grounds for the 2014 horse show. The Trainer BOYZ revolted on that one, saying not No, but
The Press Conference was abruptly cancelled.
So now, attorney Tom Blankenship has the newly anointed “VAC” announce:
- Horses must be stabled on the grounds of the TWHNC for 48 hours before championships,
- Registration papers, as well as a current (within 30 days) health certificate and negative Coggins test for each horse to gain admittance into the show grounds,
- Digital x-rays and blood draws on-site conducted and supervised by VAC appointed licensed equine veterinarian specialists.
- Dr. John L. O’Brien, DVM, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, has been appointed Show Veterinarian by the VAC.
- CHAIRMAN DAVID L. HOWARD – STEVE SMITH (LAMAR ALEXANDER $$ MAN)
- TOM BLANKENSHIP – STRAW BOSS
- “VAC” VET – DR. JERRY JOHNSON (KEY OPERATIVE IN THE 2006 STEVE SMITH PLOT TO “SNEAK” IN A “SECRET” AMENDMENT TO THE HORSE PROTECTION ACT (1970) TO REWRITE AND RENDER IMPOTENT THE “SCAR RULE” REGULATION. THE OTHER TWO VETS WHICH ARE PART OF “VAC” ARE JUST WINDOW DRESSING.
- SHOW VETERINARIAN – Dr. John L. O’Brien, DVM
- CELEBRATION CEO MIKE INMAN
- S.H.O.W. HIO DQP COORDINATOR MITCHELL BUTLER ( THE CELEBRATION OWNED S.H.O.W. HIO (HORSE INSPECTION PROGRAM) IS PRESENTLY BEING DECERTIFED BY THE USDA FOR REPEATED VIOLATIONS OF THE HORSE PROTECTION ACT.
|Josco Morrison:Someone should have at least ran this by the trainers and/or owners before announcing it to the world. I hope I’m wrong, but I hear many top trainers don’t plan to show under such conditions. That might look worse than anything we have done so far. Also, I have never heard of our vets being implicated in any wrong doing. The press release seems to imply just that. I would be very upset if I were the local vets. While I don’t know how this will turn out, I hope it works because we are running out of chances to make a turn for the better.————————————–Nephew Eugene says he doesn’t believe Bobby DeVito likes the idea at all of Steve Smith/Walt Chism man Tom Blankenship being in charge of the Celebration that Bobby has supported for the last 30 years.Radar says Ken Whitehead from the “influential” DVL Public Relations firm is going to earn whatever he is getting paid.Harold says he plans to be in Destin from August 19 until August 31.|