Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Michael Markarian: Animals & Politics

Michael Markarian: Animals & Politics

Link to Michael Markarian: Animals & Politics

The Rural Vote on Prop 2

Posted: 05 Nov 2008 03:46 AM CST

The factory farm corporations that spent $9 million to oppose Proposition 2 in California would have us all believe that urban city slickers just don't know what it's really like on the farm. They tried to romanticize agriculture and use farmers as spokespersons, even though these are the very corporations that have polluted rural communities and pushed family farms out of business.

The vote on Prop 2 demonstrates that urban and rural citizens alike saw through it all. With 79% of the precincts reporting so far, the map shows that we didn't just win wide margins in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, but we also won solid majorities in rural counties with a heavy agricultural presence like Kern, Imperial, Riverside, and San Bernardino.

The fact is, no matter where people live, they know that cruelty is just wrong. And the people who live in the closest proximity to industrial farm animal production know just what kind of impact these factory farms have not only on animal welfare but also on the environment, public health, and poverty.

Californians from every demographic and every corner of the state sent a simple message tonight: All animals deserve humane treatment, including animals raised for food. And that's a message that will be heard in the Midwest, the South, and all across the country.

Update on Congressional Races

Posted: 05 Nov 2008 02:26 AM CST

The returns continue to come in, and HSLF-endorsed candidates in the House and Senate races now stand at 279 wins and 13 losses. We've lost some great friends of animals in Congress, such as Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) and Reps. Nancy Boyda (D-Kan.), Don Cazayoux (D-La.), Phil English (R-Pa.), Ric Keller (R-Fla.), Jon Porter (R-Nev.), and Chris Shays (R-Conn.). We were not against their opponents so much as we were for these incumbents who had been strong supporters and leaders for animal welfare. We will be sad to see these lawmakers leave Washington, but we will congratulate the victors in these races and hope to work with them, too, on humane legislation in the 111th Congress.

We helped to reelect some of our greatest champions in Congress who were facing competitive contests, such as Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). Many of our other champions cruised to reelection without much of a threat, like Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and Carl Levin, and they will continue fighting for animals. We defeated some of the worst enemies of animal welfare in Congress, such as Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) and Reps. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.), and Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.), and we look forward to having animal protection champions Jeanne Shaheen, Suzanne Kosmas, and Gary Peters replace them in Washington.

We are watching about 20 competitive races that are still too close to call, including the Senate races in Minnesota and Oregon. HSLF is backing Republican incumbent Norm Coleman over Democratic challenger Al Franken, and Democratic challenger Jeff Merkley over Republican incumbent Gordon Smith. In the House, we are waiting to see if animal-friendly lawmakers like Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) will hold onto their seats, and if challengers like Mark Schauer and Walt Minnick can defeat anti-animal legislators like Reps. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and Bill Sali (R-Idaho).

In the open seats not yet called in the House, we are backing Democrat Frank Kratovil over Republican Andy Harris in Maryland's 1st District, and Democrat Charlie Brown over Republican Tom McClintock in California's 4th District. Harris and McClintock are two of the most extreme anti-animal state legislators in the entire country, and they share the distinction of being two of the only lawmakers who have voted against bills to ban the shooting of live animals over the Internet.

We will be sure to keep you posted as we learn more. Expect a full wrap up from "Animals & Politics" after we get some sleep.

Post a Comment
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts