Live from Music Row, Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed State Representative Brian Richey (R-Maryville) in studio to discuss his background and what prompted him to run for office.
Leahy: We are delighted to welcome to our microphones State Representative Brian Ritchey from Tennessee’s 20th Congressional District, that’s mostly Blount County in east Tennessee. Welcome, Brian. Thanks for joining us this morning.
Richey: Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Leahy: I made you my very strongest coffee. Is it waking you up a little bit?
Richey: It’s got the cowboy kick to it, that’s for certain.
Leahy: (Laughs) Very good. This is your first term.
Richey: This is the first time I’ve ever been elected for anything I’ve never ran for one, one seat.
Leahy: Why did you decide to run for the Tennessee State House of Representatives?
Richey: What prompted me was in 2019 the General Assembly passed a law essentially making my company illegal in the state of Tennessee when they outlawed natural deer urine and took a lot of money out of the company and out of my family’s pocket.
Leahy: Now you’ve told me something that I had never heard of before. I did not know that there were companies that used natural deer urine, nor did I know that it had been outlawed by the Tennessee General Assembly. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
Richey: Yes. Hunters across the country and all over North America, we shipped into all through Canada as well utilize deer urine as either a cover sent or an attractant scent to trick the deer into thinking that another deer is in the location. And in 2019 there was a big national movement going across the whole country to outlaw natural deer urine because they wanted folks using synthetic urine out of the scare of CWD.
And I share it as a lot of Faucism. They would take partial truths, and they would only share that, but they wouldn’t share the rest of the story. And that’s where they went in to scare all these legislators who have no clue A, about CWD.
Leahy: What is CWD?
Richey: Chronic waste disease. So it impacts this neurological disease protein, preon protein that ends up basically causing the deer to just pass away. They just wither away. There are zero cases ever transmitted to humans. There are no natural transmissions out in the wild that’s been shown at a severe enough rate to where it impacts deer populations.
But it was something that they decided to push. And out of the seven companies in the state of Tennessee, not one legislator decided to contact me and ask me what my opinion was.
Leahy: I’m tempted to say the passing of the law, well, I’m not gonna say it. But it caused a reaction in terms of you that you were irritated by it.
Richey: I had steam coming out of my ears.
Leahy: There are other phrases that we could use.
Richey: Yep. So then I started looking at who were these knuckleheads that decided to do that. I had no clue who it was. When I say I’ve never run for anything, I didn’t even have a desire. It wasn’t on the radar. And when I found out that it was actually my state senator that introduced it, I was aggravated and frustrated with my state senator.
But then as I started digging into it and looked at the voting record of the individual that was representing me in the House, I looked at my wife, and I went, Lord, I can’t do any worse than what this guy’s doing right now. I can promise you that. So here we are.
Leahy: Is that law still on the books?
Richey: Yes, it’s still on the books now. It’s almost more of an antitrust situation because they passed it to where it’s illegal unless you’re a part of this association, and the specific association that they want everybody to join has lower regulations than the USDA.
So we were already along the line of the USDA’s guidelines and standards. And there’s this other association that wanted to be able to see what the revenue was for each particular company.
Leahy: So what was your business, and how did this law affect your business? This law prohibits, wait for it folks…natural deer urine.
Richey: Deer pee. All deer urine is created equally. It comes out of the bladder of a deer. There’s an Amish fella up in Pennsylvania that supplies about 80 to 85 percent of all the deer urine in the entire industry, so if you go to Walmart or Bass Pro Shops and purchase anything online.
There’s an 80 to 85 percent chance that it’s all coming from this Amish guy in Pennsylvania. And even though he’s testing and looking at all whether his deer have any, the CWD or anything, and we’re purchasing that urine from him.
Leahy: And what did your company do with that natural?
Richey: So we took that urine and we put it in a bottle and then we shipped it out to hunters and then they went and put it out on the ground.
Leahy: And so with that was the business you had?
Leahy: Did you make a living on that business?
Richey: We were, yes.
Leahy: And is that about out of business?
Richey: It’s not out of business, but it put a big enough strangle on it to where it might as well not be in business right now.
Leahy: Wow! You’re from Blount County originally?
Richey: No. I was born and raised in central Florida, and I’ve been in Tennessee, July will be six years.
Leahy: Wow. I’m never taken by surprise by a story except for this morning. That story has taken me by surprise.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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