HARTFORD, CT— The Republican Party’s attempt to use a humorous Democratic amendment that was never called as a fundraising pitch may have fallen a little flat since it actually was proposed last year by a Republican lawmaker.

Connecticut Republican Party Chairman JR Romano used an amendment by Sen. Mae Flexer, D-Killingly, in his latest fundraising pitch.

Flexer proposed an amendment that prevents bear hunting “if such bear is (1) smarter than the average bear, (2) fed from a picnic basket, (3) merely nibbling or noshing, (4) featured in or associated with any film production of The Walt Disney Company, or (5) fed from a honey pot provided such pot is of sufficient size, as determined by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, such that the tongue, snout and head of such bear has sufficient space to extend, lick, sniff and explore, as applicable, without becoming stuck in such pot. “

Romano wrote “Our state faces a VERY SERIOUS $5 BILLION DEFICIT and Mae is filing amendments (with the help of state-paid staff) referencing Yogi Bear, Winnie the Pooh, and other cartoons.”

The problem is the language is almost identical to the language used last year in the House by then Rep. Craig Miner, R-Litchfield. Miner’s amendment was to a bill that would have prohibited the feeding of bears and coyotes on property not owned by the state. Flexer’s was to a bill on bear hunting, which later became a bill banning the importation of five big African game species.

The other difference is that Miner, who is now in the state Senate, actually got his amendment called and debated briefly before withdrawing it. Flexer never called her amendment last week during three separate debates on the bill.

But Romano defended his fundraising pitch Tuesday.

“We are facing billions of dollars in deficit there’s no time for games right now,” Romano said in a phone interview Tuesday. “The state of Connecticut is heading off a cliff and people want to be cute.”

He said what’s not cute is “people losing their jobs and leaving the state.”

The bill that initially would have allowed bear hunting and later became a bill to ban the importation of African game died Tuesday in the Judiciary Committee.

“There wasn’t support for the bill with the committee or leadership,” Sen. Paul Doyle, D-Wetherfield, said.