Humane Society of the United States Rates Presidential Candidates
Columbus, OH –-(Ammoland.com)- The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance does not endorse candidates for office. It does, however, provide information about candidates that may be helpful as sportsmen and women make their own decisions during the election season.
For example, last week, USSA provided an interview with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. It is expected that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will also respond to the interview request. In the meantime, it may be helpful to American hunters, anglers and trappers to see how the nation’s most powerful anti-hunting organization views the candidates.
The Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) is the advocacy arm of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which is the largest animal rights organization in the world. HSUS is led by Wayne Pacelle, a former protégé of Cleveland Amory who founded the Fund for Animals, which focused primarily on outlawing hunting. After leaving the Fund for Animals for HSUS, Pacelle moved up to the top job and orchestrated the unification of the two organizations. When the Fund for Animals folded, its leadership was awarded key positions with HSUS. This ensures that their anti-hunting agenda continues.
Former Fund for Animals head, Michael Markarian, now runs the HSUS advocacy arm, which had the following to say (in print) about the Republican candidates back on December 30, 2011.
In Markarian’s words:
Newt Gingrich: Gingrich earned a 21 percent on the Humane Scorecard for the 103rd Congress, but did not have scores for subsequent sessions since the Speaker of the House typically does not vote. He did vote to allow sport hunting in the Mojave National Preserve, and to allow foreign aid dollars to be used to promote trophy hunting of elephants and other species. On the positive side, he cosponsored legislation to strengthen the Endangered Species Act, and when he was Speaker helped to prevent the weakening of endangered species protections. Gingrich is, so far, the only presidential candidate who has actively talked about the importance of the human-animal bond while on the campaign trail. He launched a web site called “Pets with Newt,” and he is widely known to be a fan of zoos. Gingrich wrote the foreword to the guidebook “America’s Best Zoos,” and often stops by to visit the local zoo when he’s in a new city.
Ron Paul: Like Bachmann, Ron Paul has consistently received low marks on animal issues in Congress: He earned a 10 percent on the Humane Scorecard for the 108th Congress, a 14 percent in the 109th Congress, a zero in the 110th Congress, a 7 percent in the 111th Congress, and he’s on track to get a 25 percent for 2011. He has voted to allow the slaughter of American horses for food exports, the killing of Yellowstone National Park bison, the trophy shooting of bears over piles of bait on federal lands, the commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses from public lands, the import of sport-hunted polar bear trophies, and the slaughter of downer livestock too sick or injured to walk on their own. He voted to block EPA from collecting data on factory farm emissions and voted against conservation legislation to protect rare cats and dogs, cranes, marine turtles, and sea otters. He was one of only a handful of lawmakers who opposed legislation to ban commerce in animal crush videos, to provide for pets in disaster planning, to ban the trade in dangerous primates as pets, to make dogfighting and cockfighting a felony, and to fund the enforcement of the federal animal fighting law. He has supported a handful of animal protection measures, to bar the trade in big cats as pets, to pair veterans with service dogs, and to cut funding for several government programs that harm animals, such as agriculture subsidies, lethal predator control, trapping on national wildlife refuges, and trophy hunting programs in foreign countries.
Mitt Romney: Romney attracted the ire of animal advocates when they learned that during a 1983 vacation, he put the family’s Irish setter, Seamus, in a carrier and strapped him to the roof rack of the station wagon. When the terrified dog urinated and defecated during the 12-hour drive, Romney pulled over, hosed down the dog, and continued the voyage from Boston to Ontario. As chief executive of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Romney also came under fire from animal protection groups for allowing a rodeo exhibition that included calf roping. His term as Massachusetts governor from 2003 to 2007 was mixed, and Romney did not distinguish himself on animal issues. He appointed a raft of animal-unfriendly people to the state Fisheries and Wildlife Board, even though Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure calling for more balanced wildlife policy. He vetoed a bill that would have given students the right to choose alternatives to animal dissection in the classroom. He did, however, sign a number of animal protection bills into law, including measures to strengthen the animal cruelty and animal fighting laws and prevent a convicted animal abuser from getting the animal back.
Rick Santorum: Of all the candidates who have served in Congress, Santorum was arguably the most active on animal protection issues. He earned a 60 percent on the Humane Scorecard for the 108th Congress and an 80 percent for the 109th Congress. But more importantly, he was the lead sponsor of the Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS) to crack down on large-scale commercial puppy mills, and held a hearing on the bill when he was the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Research, Nutrition and General Legislation. He was also a leader in the Senate urging adequate funding for the enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, the federal animal fighting law, and other animal welfare programs. He cosponsored legislation to establish federal felony penalties for dogfighting and cockfighting, cosponsored legislation to require the addition of a bittering agent to antifreeze and engine coolant to prevent the poisoning of pets, and voted to stop the slaughter of American horses for food exports.
It’s clear that Santorum, Perry, and Huntsman (also reviewed) have the strongest animal protection records. They showed leadership and active support for our issues, and HSLF commends them for their past performance. Bachmann and Paul have demonstrated a consistent hostility or indifference to these concerns. Romney has largely been indifferent and has not been an active supporter. Gingrich has been a bit enigmatic, but he understands the power of the human-animal bond and has taken action to protect some of the most charismatic species.”—Source: http://hslf.typepad.com/political_animal/2011/12.
The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen's organizations that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. Visit www.ussportsmen.org.