Florida state Representative Nancy Argenziano recently poo-pooed a nursing home bill she did not like. Literally.
It seems Argenziano was miffed that supporters of the bill ran ads in her district that were critical of her. She also felt that lobbyist Jodi Chase was "rubbing it in my face" by watching floor proceedings on the measure on a TV in her legislative office. Although the bill passed overwhelmingly, Argenziano got her revenge by having an aide deliver a gift-wrapped box containing 25 pounds of cow manure to Chase in a capitol hallway.
Chase did not open the package. Included with the manure was a note from Argenziano that read, "I believe you deposited this in your uninvited visit to my office."
Tom Feeney, Speaker of the House, sent Argenziano a letter of admonition but offered no further punishment, despite early speculation that she would be stripped of her committee chairmanship. "Representative Argenziano is a unique and passionate individual when it comes to her legislative interests," says a Feeney spokeswoman. "As for yanking away her committee assignment, that will not be a result of the cow manure incident."
Argenziano's "gift" was clearly a stunt--she alerted the press corps ahead of time--but she notes that it got her point "that the special interest groups and lobbyists have taken over" across more loudly than if she had simply called a news conference. Aside from garnering national publicity, she says she has touched a populist nerve and has received numerous messages of support. "When all lobbyists get from all legislators 25 pounds of cow manure, then we'll be getting somewhere," wrote W.L. Head of Clearwater.