Conspiracy Engulfs Rep. Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette
… to rejuvenate starving and neglected horses; as well as provide a comprehensive program of evaluation, training, and retraining of abandoned and donated horses with potential. For those horses that are past their useful life, unsound, dangerous, or otherwise unusable this program would ensure a quick, painless death while they are well cared for and in good condition. The Rescue, Rejuvenation, and Slaughter Program accepts horses from owners who fully understand that the horse may be humanely slaughtered. Horses are also accepted from livestock agencies or other jurisdictions that have become responsible for abandoned or abused horses. This program is also designed for those horse owners who desire a quick, relatively stress-free end to a horse’s useful life, and who are comforted by the idea that the meat will be put to valuable use. Depending on the contributor’s wishes the meat may be designated to be distributed to the hungry, or the proceeds may be used to further research or other nonprofit purposes…..
The United Horseman’s Front is listed at www.guidestar.org as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation under category “Animal related / (Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs))” established in 2009. Dave Duquette, owner of Duquette Quarter Horses in Hermiston, OR, is the president. The United Horsemen’s Front was registered as a nonprofit corporation in Oregon in November of 2008.
The US Internal Revenue Service defines a 501(c)(3) charitable organization as follows:
To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.…The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. …
However, despite exhaustive research, there apparently has been no reported or recorded evidence that the United Horsemen’s Front has participated in any equine rescues or rehabilitations to date.
During the course of the research, the activities of the group were in fact found to be exceedingly puzzling, especially when reviewed in light of the above mission statement.
In July 2009, during an interview with Michelle Brence of the Oregonian, Duquette said:
“… he (Duquette) used to average $300,000 in annual horse sales, with most fetching $10,000 to $15,000. “Now I’m lucky to sell two or three horses a year,” he said. “A horse I could get $20,000 out of in the last few years, I probably couldn’t get $5,000 out of now.”
Ms. Brence also reported that:
“…the Duquettes and others have formed advocacy groups to push a proposal they’re calling the H.O.R.S.E. Act of 2009 (short for Humane and Optimal Restoration and Sustainability of Equines) to reinstate USDA inspections. Horse meat could be exported to China, Mexico, France, Italy and other countries where it’s consumed by people. … But Dave Duquette, who lobbied for the proposal in Washington, D.C., last month, remains confident. “Everybody we talked to was very supportive of it,” he said. “There are a lot of Republicans that will be on board, but there are a lot of Democrats that will be on board, too.”
Absolutely no indication or discussion of how the United Horsemen’s Front is fulfilling its nonprofit mission of animal protection, humane treatment and welfare.
It seems that much of the energy of both the United Horsemen’s Front, and the United Organizations of the Horse is far more focused on other issues. In many press releases the United Horsemen’s Front and the UOH make the following statement:
“The UOH seeks to unify all like-minded equine associations and individuals in support of its mission-to promote the humane care and management of horses, and the continued viability of the equine community in the United States of America.”
As no clear definition is given of who and what exactly makes up “like-minded equine associations and individuals,” one must attempt to make deductions as to who these groups and individuals might be from some of Mr. Duquette’s (and Rep. Sue Wallis’) public statements.
For example, in an exchange on the United Horsemen’s Front Facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/United-Horsemens-Front/261616654545), Duquette made the following accusation:
“So from what I am hearing it is “OK” to go buy a horse out of a “Kill Pen” for $25 and then put it on the “Rescue” or “Bail” donation list. Then say if it doesn’t meet the set amount “They” will take it back to where it was rescued from in the first place. Hmmm. Doesn’t wash people. That is the “SCAM” that could end up…” having felony penalties.
When someone asked for clarification and facts on the incident in question, Duquette responded,
“<<name omitted>> who is on what side of which isle???? If you believe the dribble and rediculous rants of RT Fitch then maybe this page is not for you. There has been much posted and written about Sue(Wallis) and I that is simply A.R. bull that has no factual meaning. Instead of attacking this group maybe do the research on who these scammers are. Makes me wonder who your protecting, there is an obvious scam going on and doing the see no evil thing makes you look more suspicious than maybe you think. If you believe in climate change then great, Sue (Wallis) or anyone else that doesn’t should not be chastized by you or RT. I believe it’s a natural occurring change and Al Gore made alot of money SCAMMING the public.”
(R.T. Fitch is a blogger at http://rtfitch.wordpress.com who has been extremely critical of Mr. Duquette and Rep. Wallis. The A.R. abbreviation stands for animal rights.)
Mr. Duquette also spends much of his energies repeatedly criticizing Wayne Pacelle, CEO and President of the Human Society of the United States (HSUS), which seems odd, given Duquette himself is the president of a group dedicated to animal protection and welfare. However, the United Horsemen’s Front and the UOH have their own particular interpretation of what the HSUS and other animal welfare groups’ true mission is:
“The animal rights radical agenda (NOT to be confused with legitimate and responsible animal welfare proponents, which we all are) offers no solution except pushing for what is essentially a welfare entitlement program for animals-Medicaid and food stamps for horses so that every old, dangerous, unsound, unusable horse is maintained at public expense for the rest of their 25 to 30 year average life span. What they propose will create a mechanism to shovel taxpayer dollars directly into the pockets of animal rights organizations (HSUS/PETA) so they can continue to pay six figure salaries and put more of their budget into pension plans than to actually help any animals. Last year HSUS spent less than 1/2 of 1% of their almost $100 Million dollar budget on direct animal care www.humanewatch.org …” (from a UOH press release in April)
No sources are given as to how one can apply for Medicaid and food stamps for horses (unfortunately). And, the accusation in regards to the HSUS budget expenditures cannot be verified on any charity research website (Charity Navigator, Guidestar), nor the website listed in the press release.
So, in light of these statements, one can only gather that “like-minded equine associations and individuals” consist of those that do not challenge Mr. Duquette’s or Rep. Wallis’ “facts”, plans or behavior in any fashion whatsoever.
Rep. Wallis is up for re-election on November 11, (after winning the Republican primary in her district by only 177 votes).
It is beyond disturbing that on August 30, of this year, Mr. Duquette, president of a 501(c)(3) charitable organization specifically forbidden under Federal law in participating in any campaign activity for or against political candidates, was listed by the Wyoming Elections Commission as the Chairman of the United Organizations of the Horse Political Action Fund (http://soswy.state.wy.us/Elections/Docs/WY_PAC.pdf).
Rep. Wallis is, of course, the Executive Director of the UOH.
This series will conclude with a final article on the questionable relationship the UOH has with horse slaughter buyers and a recap and review of the facts.