Humanewatch, September 27, 2010
HSUS’s claim that it is “backed by” 11 million “members and constituents” continues to appear on just about everything the group sends out the door: fundraising materials, press releases, letters, you name it. We keep tripping over that word—“constituents.” What's a constituent? It's a nebulous catch-all term that could mean just about anything.
Hey—we can do that too! HumaneWatch spends all its money on “advocacy, website expenses, advertising, curing cancer, and fighting poverty.” Isn't that a neat little stunt?
As we've explained in the past, it's likely that HSUS has somewhere around 420,000 actual dues-paying members, which is less than 4% of what it reports to the media. Puffing up your grassroots numbers to an unreasonable level is an old Washington, DC parlor trick, one that has come back to bite advocacy groups before. Sometimes their sin is counting cumulatively instead of year-to-year. In other cases, it's a national group counting local affiliates' members as its own.
HSUS seems to be engaging in both dishonest strategies. FULL STORY