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From Beyond the Grave!

Has anyone ever come across a case of a politician championing the expansion of state regulation from beyond the grave? Is this a first for cemetery regulation?

The Florida Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services Bill has just been passed by the state’s House of Representatives in response to the Menorah Gardens scandal, where fees were pocketed by the funeral home and corpses went unburied. This bill is known as the “Howard Futch” Bill since his untimely demise was marred by his internment and relocation, after the plot designated for his widow was filled by someone else. Futch was, by all accounts, a decent man, a Second World War veteran, and like all representatives, inclined to act in order to right perceived wrongs through government action. Now he has a highway and a funeral regulation bill named after him. Still, people will sleep easier in the ground for this:

The bill will require cemetery operators to survey and plot new grounds, establish minimum grave sizes, and put names on vaults. It also will establish a monument dealer inspection program, allow monument companies to join funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoriums in the pre-need funeral services industry and consolidate the regulation of the industry under the Department of Financial Services….

Why the scandal of unburied bodies requires the monument dealer inspection service or other regulatory actions is beyond me? At the moment, the European Union has only turned its attentions to pet cemeteries as the ever vigilant Euromyths website under David Delaney details here and here.

Once this furore has died down, let us hope other deceased politicians rest more quietly than Howard Futch.

8 comments to From Beyond the Grave!

  • Well, some politicians have remarkable staying power after their demise. You may remember that in the US John Ashcroft was defeated in his last election by Mel Carnahan, even though Mr. Carnahan tragically died in a plane crash some weeks before the election.

  • D Anghelone

    “internment and relocation”

    That’s what FDR did to Axis-soundin’ folk.


  • Doug Collins

    In a tongue-in-cheek comment on vote fraud, one of the Longs (Earl? Russell?), is supposed to have left instructions to be buried in Louisiana – because: “I want to stay active in politics!”

  • Verity

    Oh Doug – that’s funny! And if he’d wanted to hang onto his franchise, he could have got buried in Chicago.

  • Guy Herbert

    Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, which not only provided immortality for the late representative but showed the shade of Walt Disney is still an active lobbyist.

  • S. Weasel

    Not only that, Petronius, but Carnahan was widely expected to lose until he died. Death positively revived his career.

  • Howard Futch was indeed a decent man. He was my state congressman for many years and I voted for him on several occasions. The highway that is being named for Futch is US Hwy 192 formerly known as the “Purple Heart Highway” in honor of those who have received that medal. However, it was a somewhat unfortunate, yet humourously appropriate name for the 2 lane highway that is rutted and potholed enough to warrant the award of a purple heart after one completes driving it. 192 is also one of two east-west hurricane evacuation routes for Brevard county from Kennedy Space center down to the Melbourne-Palm Bay area. In the event of an evacuation 500,000 Brevard residents would have to evacuate down this inadequate road. Futch was instrumental in getting funding for this road. Libertarians might not like the idea of Government maintaining and upgrading roads but as a pragmatic conservative I think its fine to name the road after ol’ Howard.

  • Incidentally there is a park named after him too…