255. Protecting the Public

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The California state assembly recently approved the so-called Paris Hilton bill, which bars dogs from occupying the driver's seat in a moving vehicle. The bill passed because Democrats wanted to make an example of Miss Hilton. They think she is a "little rich girl" who always gets her way; plus, her daddy is a big contributor to the Republican party. "The judge should have put her in jail for four months," said one Democrat when Paris got only a four-day jail sentence for driving while intoxicated.

Driving around town with her little dog Lovey hanging out the driver's window, Paris is a familiar sight throughout Los Angeles. Pictures of her and Lovey are common in newspapers and magazines.

"That dog is a deadly menace to everyone on the streets and the sidewalks," said assembly leader Fabian Nunez. "We wrote this bill to protect the public. There's no telling when the dog might cause her to drive into a crowd of pedestrians. If Paris wants to be with her dog, let her chauffeur do the driving. The state assembly is responsible for protecting people, and we take that responsibility seriously."

The assembly bill passed by a vote of 44 to 11. The state senate is expected to approve the bill, and Governor Schwarzenegger has promised to sign it. "I love dogs," he said, "but when it comes to protecting the people of California, dogs will have to take a back seat."

The eleven assembly members who objected to the bill were all Republicans. "While Californians," said Republican Tom Ridge, "are being attacked daily by murderers, rapists, and muggers, who do the Democrats protect citizens from—a spoiled little girl and her dog!"


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