Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Biker rodeo may be too XXX for Hernando commission

Jimmy Batten has run three Biker Rodeos in the past on his property in eastern Hernando but has permit problems now.

RON THOMPSON | Times

Jimmy Batten has run three Biker Rodeos in the past on his property in eastern Hernando but has permit problems now.

BROOKSVILLE — Here's something you don't usually see printed with a County Commission agenda: a half-naked biker-babe conga line.

Keep reading the packet, and you'll see a suggestion from county staffers to visit a Web site that features XXX-rated photos and a 27-second video of a "screaming orgasm contest."

The issue: the "Brooksville Old School Biker Rodeo — Party in the Pasture 4." A magazine Web site describes it as "Beer, T--s & Biker Shenanigans."

If you think it sounds like the title of a pornographic movie, you're not alone. As Hernando County commissioners received the agenda Friday, they gasped and squirmed.

"Whoa!" said Commissioner Diane Rowden. "Um, I'm breathless. This is a first."

Commissioner Dave Russell said the gratuitous female nudity was too explicit to view on his county computer. "I'll have to wait until I get home to eyeball that one," he said.

Before you jump to conclusions, know that the photos and link were not a mistake. It's official county business.

On Tuesday, the commission will consider whether to grant a conditional use permit for the Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 event, which is expected to draw at least 1,500 bikers from across the state.

Host Jimmy Batten, a well-known Brooksville rancher and biker enthusiast, said the event is a charity fundraiser for disabled veterans.

Really.

"Hundreds of thousands of people fight in wars and died for the right to assembly and the right to do things like this," he said. "We promote a wet T-shirt contest, but not nudity."

The past three events raised about $25,000, with proceeds donated to a local VFW post and the Marine Corps League Detachment in Spring Hill.

Batten holds the biker rodeos on his 40-acre ranch in the rural eastern part of the county. They occur twice a year — once in the fall and once in the spring — and feature "biker games," live music and, of course, lots of beer. The games include standards like slowest rider and bike weave. The photos also show a contest where women riding on the back of a moving motorcycle try to bite a hotdog dangling from a string above.

The county gave Batten a permit for the 2007 fall event. But after discovering what the biker rodeo entailed, officials denied him a permit for the May event on the grounds that it is "contrary to the public interest."

Batten — who gained some fame in 2004 when he hosted celebrities Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie for an episode of their reality show, Simple Life 2 — held the spring event anyway. But he was soon threatened with $15,000 fines if he went forward with the fall rodeo.

In 2002, the county banned public nudity, and the county attorney's office believes Batten's event violates the ordinance because the public is invited and would pay a $10 entry fee.

But Batten is fighting back. He appealed to get an evidentiary hearing Tuesday before the five-member County Commission.

Which brings us back to the explicit photographs from previous pasture parties.

They appear on the Web site for Scootergoods, a regional motorcycle magazine. Owner Don Varrieur said the photos were submitted by those who attended, and he didn't seen why the nudity was a big deal.

"We are all adults, and we do adult things," he said. "Just let us be free to raise money and do the right thing. … Our hearts are in the right place."

Assistant County Attorney Kent Weissinger said he didn't intend to include some of photos in the agenda packet. But the material, particularly the graphic link, is evidence, he said.

County commissioners vowed to give Batten a fair hearing.

Commissioner Jeff Stabins put it this way: "I am going to go to the Web site and learn as much as I can about it."

John Frank can be reached at jfrank@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6114.

Biker rodeo may be too XXX for Hernando commission 09/19/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 25, 2008 3:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Car bomb kills 13, injures 24 in Baghdad; Islamic State claims responsibility

    World

    BAGHDAD — A car bomb exploded outside a popular ice cream shop in central Baghdad just after midnight today, killing 13 people and wounding 24, hospital and police officials said.

  2. Leaping shark floors angler in Australia

    World

    In The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway's protagonist battles for three days to pull in his prized catch. For Terry Selwood, it came a little more suddenly.

    A 9-foot shark lies on the deck of a fishing boat at Evans Head, Australia on Sunday. Fisherman Terry Selwood said he was left with a badly bruised and bleeding right arm where the shark struck him with a fin as it landed on him on the deck. [Lance Fountain via AP]
  3. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  4. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber

    World

    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  5. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]