Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Dear SAOVA Friends,
Sportsmen’s concerns were overshadowed again by pressing national issues, with the state of the economy ranked at the top of every exit poll. Voters basically kept the same government in place, although there will be 12 new Senators and 70 some new members of the House.
From the list of races that SAOVA highlighted previously, our endorsed candidates won 13 of 20 contests or 65%. Two of these races were among the most expensive in this election cycle for the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS). Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) spent $752,000 in campaign advertising against Incumbent Congressman Steve King (R-IA), throwing their money and muscle to support Christie Vilsack, wife of Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. HSLF also spent $100,201 against Congressman Jeff Flake (AZ) running for senate and an additional $48,256 in support of his challenger Richard Carmona.
Other SAOVA endorsees who defeated HSUS endorsed and funded candidates were: Dean Heller (NV Senate), Jim Renacci (OH-16), and Sean Duffy (WI-7). SAOVA endorsed Congressman Dan Benishek (R-MI), co-sponsor of HR 2834 Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act, won re-election in a very tight race.
The 2011 edition of “PUPS” (HR 835/S 707) reached an all-time high number of cosponsors in the 112th Congress, including a handful of conservatives on both sides of the isle. A total of 40 PUPS cosponsors retired or were defeated either in primaries or the general election. Another 5 left office to run for Senate with 4 wins and 1 loss. Those 4 wins offset 4 PUPS cosponsor losses in the Senate: Scott Brown (MA) (defeated); John Ensign (NV) (resigned); Joe Lieberman (CT) and Herb Kohl (WI) retired.
Sportsmen and animal owners scored 100% in ballot initiatives. Four states, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Wyoming passed Right to Hunt and Fish amendments. Voters in North Dakota defeated Measure 5 an HSUS backed initiative to change animal cruelty penalties.
Perhaps the best kept secret during this election was Measure 3 — the “right to farm” constitutional amendment measure spearheaded by the North Dakota Farm Bureau. The measure was a proactive effort to defend against outside groups, especially HSUS, attempts to undermine livestock and agricultural practices. The amendment, approved by the state’s voters, guarantees farmers the right to "modern” agriculture and prohibits laws limiting their right to “employ agricultural technology, modern livestock production, and ranching practices."
Another bit of good news - HSUS/HSLF could not find any congressional candidates to endorse in Arkansas, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Utah, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, or Wyoming.
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