In high stakes poker, there’s an old saying: “Money talks and bulls**t walks.” It’s the same with politicians. Given that metric, do you think that a “bipartisan group of 39 senators and 142 representatives” that played “key roles in various animal rights legislation or regulatory efforts during the first half of the 114th Congress” support the North American Model of Conservation, or hunting and fishing?
Doubtful. Those aforementioned “key roles” earned these men and women high marks in the “Humane Scorecard: Midterm Report for the 114th Congress” issued by the Humane Society Legislative Fund, the lobbying arm of the Humane Society of the United States.
I’ve written about HSUS here before, but for those who missed it, the group is the Big Gorilla of anti-hunting groups. Calling itself “the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization,” the HSUS describes its mission as conducting campaigns to stop “inhumane and unsporting hunting practices such as ‘canned hunts’ of captive exotic animals.” In truth, HSUS raises money for a variety of anti-hunting and anti-trapping campaigns nationally. Did you also know that HSUS gives less than 1 percent of its annual revenues to local pet shelters? Its 2014 budget was a whopping $135,499,050. You can learn all about them on the Humane Society’s website.
And as my friend Jim Shepherd recently pointed out on The Outdoor Wire, there’s a definite connection between disregard for the Second Amendment and support for programs endorsed by HSUS.
Prominent senators scoring a perfect 100 on the HSUS scoreboard include Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Susan Collins (R-ME); Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.); Benjamin Cardin (D-MD); Barbara Mikulsky (D-MD); Elizabeth Warren (D-MA); Kelly Ayotte (R-NH); Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH); Patrick Leahy (D-VT); Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).
In the House of Representatives, among the prominent members scoring a perfect 100 are Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ); Sam Farr (D-CA); Susan Davis (D-CA); Jared Huffman (D-CA); Barbara Lee (D-CA); Rosa DaLauro (D-CT); Alan Grayson (D-FL); Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL); John Lewis (D-GA); Tammy Duckworth (D-IL); Elijah Cummings (D-MD); John Sarbanes (D-MD); John Conyers (D-MI); Peter King (R-NY); Nita Lowey (D-NY); Charles Rangel (D-NY); Peter DeFazio (D-OR); Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) and Denny Heck (D-WA).
In my mind, an endorsement of any kind by HSUS is a black eye. There are no better stewards of the land or wildlife than America’s hunters and anglers. The ARWs (Animal Rights Wackos) conveniently ignore the fact that, since 1937 via the Pittman-Robertson Act (which sportsman called for and supported), an 11 percent excise tax has been placed on the sale of all firearms and ammunition, with the money earmarked specifically for wildlife habitat enhancement.
As of 2010, that has resulted in over $2 billion — that’s billion, with a “b” — being shared with the states specifically for this purpose. In 1950, the Dingell-Johnson Act levied a similar sportsman-supported tax on the sale of boating fuel and fishing gear for the restoration and management of fish and wetlands restoration, among other related things. It collects somewhere in the neighborhood of $600 million annually for this purpose.
When’s the last time an ARW supported taxing himself in the name of wildlife and wildlife habitat protection?
I urge all of you to check out the Humane Society lawmaker scorecard yourself. You can then see where your own congressional representatives stand. If they score highly, you might want to ask them why.
Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your thoughts on the topic.