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Who Said That

Florida state Rep. Jason Shoaf, a Republican whose bill loosening regulations on the killing of wildlife has passed both houses of the Legislature. Shoaf made his remark at a January committee hearing on the legislation, though the British newspaper that first reported his remarks was “unable to find a documented incident of any of Florida’s estimated population of 4,050 black bears having ingested crack.” (News from the States — June 13, 2024)
Yukari Kane, CEO of the Prison Journalism Project, regarding the more than two dozen prison newspapers across the nation. The Prison Mirror, made by and for the people held at the Minnesota Correctional Facility - Stillwater, is one of the oldest prison newspapers in the country, publishing since 1887. (NPR — June 12, 2024)
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, upon the full reopening of the Port of Baltimore’s main shipping channel, which was closed by the destruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge when it was struck by a container ship in March. (Washington Post — June 10, 2024)
California state Rep. Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, who has introduced some of the roughly 30 measures to regulate artificial intelligence that have been introduced this session. (New York Times — June 10, 2024)
Retiring Wyoming state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, endorsing attorney Darin Smith as his replacement. Bouchard has been a lightning rod for controversy, often sparring with his own caucus’ leadership. (WyoFile — May 30, 2024)
John Mayer, a research scientist at Savannah River National Laboratory. Thirty-five states report that wild hogs have shown up within their borders since their introduction into the country by the Spanish centuries ago. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
Doug Heller, director of insurance with the Consumer Federation of America, a research and advocacy nonprofit. He was referring to the decisions by insurance companies to pull out of some states due to increased risk from natural disasters, pointing to increased risks due to climate change. (Stateline — June 5, 2024)
Dean Phillips, a member of Congress from Minnesota, referring to the conviction of former President Donald Trump. Phillips is a Democrat, but he has joined a number of Republicans who are calling for New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul to pardon Trump. (The Center Square — June 3, 2024)
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, in her announcement that she has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is undergoing treatment. The 74-year-old Texas Democrat first took office in 1995 and is seeking her 16th term. (Associated Press — June 3, 2024)
Amanda Zurawski, regarding the lawsuit that she and more than 20 other women filed against Texas for its restrictive abortion ban. Zurawski was told that she had a condition which meant that her baby would not survive, but she was forced to wait until she was diagnosed with a life-threatening case of sepsis before an abortion was provided. The lawsuit didn’t aim to repeal the abortion ban, but gain more clarity on when exceptions are allowed. The Texas Supreme Court rejected the challenge unanimously. (Associated Press — May 31, 2024)
McDonald’s U.S. President Joe Erlinger, responding to viral tweets and media reports that have, according to Erlinger, exaggerated the fast food chain’s price increases. Erlinger acknowledged that he and many franchises were frustrated by a post on X last summer about a Big Mac meal in Connecticut that cost $18. The average price for a Big Mac in the U.S. is $5.29, or $9.29 for the meal, a 20.5 percent increase compared to 2019. (Associated Press — May 29, 2024)
A resident of Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, writing to a city councilmember. Seattle officials have received hundreds of complaints about the noise raised at night by the driver of a modified Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, which is disturbingly loud even by urban standards. The driver has told police officers that he can’t slow down as he derives benefit from thousands of Instagram followers who applaud his posted videos of racing 100 mph through the city streets. (New York Times — May 29, 2024)
Nashville Council Member Delishia Porterfield, regarding the 30-3 council vote against the proposed sign for country singer Morgan Wallen’s This Bar & Tennessee Kitchen. The singer caused controversy in 2021 for his use of a racial slur and recently faced criminal charges after he was accused of throwing a chair off a rooftop near two police officers. The sign would hang over a public sidewalk, similar to those at many neighboring bars, and requires local government approval. (Associated Press — May 22, 2024)
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, on new Census Bureau data estimating that the city added more than 1,800 residents between 2022 and 2023, the first such increase since 1957. Duggan’s administration has publicly fought the Census Bureau’s count of city residents and sued the agency multiple times, seeking what local officials consider accurate figures, and Duggan has described the agency as a “national clown show” for previously reporting a decrease in the city’s population estimates. (Detroit Free Press — May 20, 2024)
New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, regarding the state’s three-year program to allow some news organizations to tap into refundable tax credits each year, with a single outlet able to receive tax credits of up to $320,000 annually. The program will offer up to $90 million in tax credits to hire and retain journalists in an effort to support the shrinking local news industry. (Associated Press — May 23, 2024)
Jerome Block, a New York attorney, regarding four new lawsuits against juvenile detention centers and similar facilities in Pennsylvania alleging physical and sexual abuse of 66 people, now adults, while under the facilities’ care. The lawsuits claim the people were victimized by guards, nurses, supervisors and others. (Associated Press — May 22, 2024)
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, explaining his veto of a bill that would severely restrict the use of neonicotinoids, a type of pesticide that’s toxic to bees and other pollinators. Scott, a Republican, is expected to veto a number of bills, saying there’s a lack of balance in the Democrat-controlled Legislature that causes opposing perspectives and data to not be considered. Lawmakers may attempt to override the governor’s neonicotinoids veto during a special session next month. (Associated Press — May 21, 2024)
University of Wisconsin-Madison botanist Shelby Ellison, regarding the dozens of cannabis plants that were removed from the state Capitol grounds last week, after someone planted them intentionally in a tulip garden outside the Capitol. It was unclear if the plants were marijuana or hemp. Marijuana remains illegal in all forms in Wisconsin. (Associated Press — May 17, 2024)
Missouri Sen. Rick Brattin, who leads the Freedom Caucus in the state Senate, regarding proposed legislation to make it harder to amend the state’s constitution, an effort partly aimed at thwarting an upcoming ballot measure on abortion rights. The GOP-led Senate adjourned Friday morning without passing the top-priority legislation. (Associated Press — May 17, 2024)
Wisconsin Elections Commission attorney Brandon Hunzicker, regarding a ballot that will have both a special and regular election for a vacant congressional seat. Due to the timing of former U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher’s surprise resignation, on April 24, requiring Gov. Tony Evers to call for a special election on the same dates as the Aug. 13 primary and Nov. 5 general election. (Associated Press — May 16, 2024)
Billboard placed by the Laramie County, Wyo., sheriff’s department in Denver. Sheriff Brian Kozak paid $2,500 to put up the message during National Police Week, seeking to recruit deputies and chiding Denver’s supposedly soft-on-crime prosecutor. (Fox News — May 14, 2024)
Allen County, Ind., Superior Court Judge Craig Bobay, regarding his ruling as to what type of establishment can be built in an 11,000-square-foot strip mall in Fort Wayne. The Allen County Plan Commission had denied a Famous Taco restaurant from being located in the strip mall partially based on a “written commitment” that restauranteur Martin Quintana, owner of Famous Taco, had accepted to limit any restaurant not to serve alcohol, allow outdoor seating and would only sell “made-to-order or Subway-style sandwiches.” Bobay ruled that the original commitment did not restrict restaurants solely to American-style sandwiches, and would also permit made-to-order Greek gyros, Indian naan wraps or Vietnamese Banh mi. (The Hill — May 14, 2024)
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Jill Karofsky, regarding an earlier absentee ballot ruling that said that nothing in state law allowed for absentee drop boxes to be placed anywhere other than in election clerk offices. The state’s highest court flipped to liberal control last year and now is showing signs of overturning its previous ruling. (Associated Press — May 13, 2024)
Clinton, Maine, Fire Chief Travis Leary, regarding bee stings that his team of firefighters received after responding to the crash of a tractor-trailer on Interstate 95 that was hauling about 15 million honey bees. (Associated Press — May 10, 2024)
Midland, Mich., Police Department Officer Brennon Warren, regarding the fact that a 34-year-old woman was living inside the business sign of grocery store The Family Fare. The triangle-shaped sign at the top of the building is approximately 5 feet wide and 8 feet high; the sign has a door and is accessible from the roof. (Associated Press — May 9, 2024)
Elizabeth Suever, of the Bally’s Corporation, regarding the future of casino games as an online activity. However, the industry has had difficulty expanding the legalization of online casino games. They are legal in only seven states while sports betting, most of which is done online, is legal in 38 states and Washington, D.C. (Associated Press — May 8, 2024)
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, at a business conference in California on Monday, May 6, regarding expanding economic opportunities in artificial intelligence for low-income communities.. Hochul has since apologized for the comment, clarifying that she wanted to highlight the inequities in technology access that some communities, particularly low-income or communities of color, struggle with. (Associated Press — May 7, 2024)
Harris County, Texas, Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county’s top elected official, on Monday, May 6, regarding the heavy rainfall that pummeled the area over the past week. Harris County had a range of between 6 and 17 inches of rain during that time, leading to 233 people and 186 pet rescues. (Associated Press — May 6, 2024)
Washington state House Majority Leader Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, said during the session. (Washington State Press — May 1, 2024)
Joie Henney, a Pennsylvania man, regarding the loss of his emotional support alligator named Wally who has gone missing during a vacation to the coast of Georgia. Henney credits the animal for helping relieve his depression for nearly a decade and has amassed thousands of social media followers. Pennsylvania has no state law against owning alligators as pets, but it is illegal in Georgia to keep alligators without a special license or permit. (Associated Press — May 1, 2024)