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New Mexico Telegram » Featured, Roundhouse » Dog the Bounty Hunter not first celebrity to travel to Roundhouse (updated)

Dog the Bounty Hunter not first celebrity to travel to Roundhouse (updated)

The Roundhouse isn’t a place where you see many celebrities, despite the film industry increasingly making New Mexico a destination for TV and movies to film.

Duane Chapman, better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, is in the state capitol today to back a bill related to, of course, bounty hunters.

The bill is HB 313 sponsored by Rep. Jim Smith, R-Sandia Park. The bill would outline the process for a bail bondsman “to retain in writing the services of a fugitive recovery agent to investigate, locate, arrest, and hold a fugitive after notifying local law enforcement.”

It would require minimum qualifications for bounty hunters, including being 21 years of age and having a high school degree or GED.

The Public Regulations Commission says that if this bill is not enacted, bounty hunters (or fugitive recovery agents) would remain completely unregulated in New Mexico.

Chapman isn’t the only famous person, relatively speaking, to lend his celebrity to a cause he believes in.

Actress Ali MacGraw, a New Mexico resident, stood next to former Gov. Bill Richardson when he signed a bill banning cockfighting in New Mexico.

Actor Robert Redford also made a Roundhouse appearance next to Richardson, announcing “a new center for training Hispanic and Native American filmmakers will open this April at Los Luceros, an historic hacienda along the Rio Grande north of EspaƱola.”

Actor Val Kilmer appeared at the Roundhouse in 2009 to support film tax incentives. At the time, Kilmer was reportedly looking into running for governor as a Democrat in 2010. Kilmer ultimately did not run.

It isn’t only actors. Athletes also make their way to Santa Fe.

Former NFL quarterback Jim Kelly appeared on the final day of the 2010 session to advocate a bill to add screening for more diseases for newborns. This included Krabbe Disease, a disease which his son Hunter died from in 2005.

Another football player was at the Roundhouse; Russ Francis was at the legislature as well. Francis tries to bring awareness to kidney disease and renal failure.

Actor Steven Seagal was scheduled to appear earlier this session, but the B-movie action star and his bulletproof kimono never appeared to support lifting the annual cap on film subsidies.

Update 11:54 am:

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Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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