Monday, January 12, 2015

HSUS Marches into the New Year; News Briefs January 12, 2015

Dear SAOVA Friends,

Welcoming in the New Year, HSUS posted their continuing list of legislative goals.  In Pacelle’s words, this will make 2015 even bigger and better than the year before.   The list includes:  Securing breeding standards in all fifty states to “crack down” on puppy mills; securing legislation against use of gestation crates and what HSUS determines are inhumane factory farming practices; ending horse slaughter.

In 2014 bills attempting to define commercial breeders and/or the departments responsible for regulation were defeated in AZ, MI, NC, PA, and TN.  Whether or not your state has an existing law is immaterial to HSUS; additional regulation can still be introduced.  In states where HSUS plans to introduce new legislation, kennel raids and illegal seizures will increase as HSUS lays the propaganda groundwork to “justify” passage of their bill. 

SAOVA posted a report on the HSUS Taking Action for Animals (TAFA) conference from summer 2014 in which we noted the formation of the HSUS District and County Leader Programs.    This program is designed to engage people in all 435 Congressional Districts and have those District Leaders lead political efforts to advance federal legislation by concentrating on influencing members of Congress.   Under the guidance of HSUS staff, the Leader is to develop an action plan for successful completion of one goal related to Legislative Advocacy.  In addition to lobbying Congress, Leaders will work with school districts to establish Meatless Mondays; connect with small farmers to unite them against "factory farms;" and work with animal shelters on spay/neuter initiatives in the community.   This program is forging ahead.  You can look up your state and congressional districts on the HSUS site to see if these positions have been filled:
Within this framework, HSUS also plans to include County Leaders in all 3,100 counties across the U.S.

The world not only belongs to those who show up, it's controlled by the best informed and most motivated.  It is time to sharpen your writing skills, contact your legislators, and take back the conversation.  Silence HSUS in 2015!

Cross Posting is encouraged.

Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
Working to identify and elect supportive legislators

SALT LAKE CITY – Four animal activists who took pictures of a large southwestern Utah hog farm have pleaded not guilty to charges filed under a controversial law that criminalizes undercover investigations of slaughterhouses and factory farms. The four from California and Maryland entered the pleas Wednesday and Thursday to charges of trespass and agricultural operation interference. The activists from the Farm Animal Rights Movement are accused of driving onto private property at Circle Four Farms in Milford and taking pictures Sept. 24. The second count against them comes under a law that makes it a crime to conduct undercover investigations of slaughterhouses and factory farms. It’s being challenged by activists who say it’s designed to prevent exposure of unsafe practices.  Six other states have similar measures, but the only person to be charged was also from Utah, said Matthew Liebman, an attorney from the Animal Legal Defense Fund challenging the law. Full story at the Washington Times:

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf begins to make good on his animal welfare campaign promises.  HSUS PA State Director Sarah Speed was named to his transition team on agriculture issues.  According to a prepared release, the transition review teams work with the outgoing administration to better understand the issues and challenges that face the executive branch.  Wolf was endorsed by Humane PA PAC and by HSUS.

Recapping 2014, Mississippi became the 18th state with a constitutional right to hunt and fish provision with 88 percent of voters in favor of the amendment. Alabama voters, nearly 80 percent of them, refined already existing language, adding that hunting and fishing are the “preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.”   States protecting the right to hunt and fish are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

Moving forward, Texas Senator Brandon Creighton (R, Conroe) and Representative Trent Ashby (R, Lufkin) recently introduced resolutions SJR22 and HJR21 proposing amendments to the Texas constitution that will protect the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife and preserve Texas' hunting heritage for generations to come.

1 comment:

  1. The most effective response to Wayne Pacelle and his MASSIVE expansion of HSUS's legislative lobbying is to point out that it is ILLEGAL under the IRS rules for lobbying by tax-exempt CHARITIES. HSUS already vastly exceeds those limits in both lobbying expenses and legislative advocacy. While Pacelle and company have attempted to conceal the true degree of it's political work through spin and cooking the books, HSUS will not be able to do that after adding all these new activists to the payroll. Even volunteers are counted in the tally of time spent lobbying. And note that it is HSUS - not it's tiny Legislative Fund - that is turning into the most bloated tax-exempt 501(c)(3) political lobby I can think of.

    There are certainly many other arguments to be made about the poor quality and ulterior motives behind HSUS-crafted laws. Many respected animal advocates (Nathan Winograd and Brad Miller of the Humane Farming Association are two) also view Pacelle's legislative agenda as a corrupt betrayer of the animals he professes to care about. But the elephant in the room is that Pacelle is running an action organization and special interest lobby group - not a charity. At all. And now he is essentially stating that that HSUS is above the law and that the IRS will never do it's job by revoking their tax exempt status (and fining the group for tens of millions in back taxes.)

    Pacelle also continues to claim that HSUS has 11 million members, that his critics are all jealous of him, that HSUS's insurance companies paid for the RICO settlement, and that HSUS provides direct care to more animals than any other organization. All 100% false. I think Pacelle is gifting his critics and opponents a massive and easily documented case against HSUS. It is up to us to present that case to as many state and federal charity regulators, media outlets and watchdogs - and POLITICIANS as possible.

    Despite Pacelle's bizarre and increasingly delusional statements, HSUS has been weakened by scandal after scandal. The legislative losses are adding up. Plus, the 2014 RICO settlement and revocation of their Charity Navigator rating by, the continuing Ed Whitfield-Connie Whitfield lobbying investigation, HSUS funneling over $50 million to the Cayman Islands in 2012 and 2013, and so much more. If a legislator knows about this and still chooses to publicly align with HSUS, fine. But many will not want such an association. Some may not want to believe it, but it's all been proven. Now is the time to expose the entire HSUS organization, focusing on it's extremely serious IRS violations. In 2015, that is doable.