Horse News

Where do the GOP Candidates Stand on Animal Issues?

Story by Michael Markarian of Animals & Politics

Interesting Facts that may Surprise You

The Humane Society Legislative Fund has not yet made any recommendation in the 2012 presidential race, but over the coming months we will be evaluating President Obama’s animal welfare record during his first term and looking at where the major Republican candidates stand on animal issues. Three of the major candidates remaining are current or ex-governors, one is a former U.S. Senator and House member, two serve in the U.S. House, and one served in the House and was Speaker of the House.

In short, each one has a record on animal welfare issues, and it’s an especially good time to examine the issues with the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday evening, and primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina later in January. Animal advocates should factor animal issues when they evaluate the candidates and make a final decision.

Michelle Bachmann: Bachmann has generally gotten low marks on animal issues in Congress, earning an 8 percent (out of 100) on the Humane Scorecard for the 110th Congress, a 13 percent for the 111th Congress, and she’s on track to get 13 percent again for 2011. She has supported only a handful of animal protection bills during her congressional career, voting for measures to make animal fighting a federal felony, to ban commerce in animal crush videos, and to pair veterans with service dogs for therapy. She also supported an amendment in the House this year to limit agriculture subsidy payments to factory farms. She has, however, opposed most animal welfare measures, including modest reforms to ban the trade in dangerous primates as pets, to stop the commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses from public lands, to prohibit the import of sport-hunted polar bear trophies from Canada, and to assist conservation programs that protect rare cats and dogs, cranes, marine turtles, and sea otters. She also voted to use tax dollars to kill wildlife as a subsidy to private livestock ranchers, and to block the Environmental Protection Agency from collecting data on greenhouse gases from factory farms.

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.

Jon Huntsman: During his time as governor of Utah from 2005 to 2009, Huntsman signed a number of animal protection bills into law, including measures to create a dog and cat spay and neuter fund, to allow out-of-state veterinarians to assist during emergencies, and to ban the remote-controlled shooting of live animals over the Internet. He did more than sign bills, and actively used his leadership position to move an important policy toward enactment: At a time when Utah was one of a handful of states that did not have felony-level penalties for animal cruelty, Huntsman called a special session of the legislature in 2007 to address, among other issues, a felony animal cruelty bill known as Henry’s Law, named after a tortured dog. His spokeswoman said the governor supported the bill and that “Gov. Huntsman believes this legislation is very important and a progressive step in the right direction in how we can all better treat animals.” When he signed a bill in 2008 creating a first-offense felony penalty for abusing dogs or cats, he praised the animal advocates for their persistence in advocating for the new law, and stated, “As we treat our animals, so do we treat our fellow human beings. There is a connection there that I think is undeniable.”

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.

Rick Perry: During his time as governor of Texas over the last decade, Perry has amassed a very strong record on animal protection, signing a number of animal protection bills into law, including measures to strengthen the animal cruelty and animal fighting laws multiple times, to regulate the private ownership of dangerous captive wildlife, to require the inclusion of animals in disaster plans, to protect bats, to allow the establishment of pet trusts, and to restrict the tethering of dogs, among others. The most recent legislative session was a banner year for animal protection lawmaking in Texas, and Perry signed bills in 2011 to regulate large-scale commercial dog and cat breeders, to ban attendance at cockfights and possession of cockfighting weapons, to require people convicted of cruelty to reimburse shelters for the costs of holding animals, and to allow pets and companion animals to be included in protective orders. The cockfighting industry and large-scale dog breeders urged him to veto these bills, and he tossed aside their concerns. He did veto a bill that would have allowed counties with populations greater than 450,000 to adopt ordinances regulating the roadside sale of animals. Perry famously paused while on a morning jog last year to shoot a coyote, and the state recently authorized the shooting of feral hogs from helicopters as well as the shooting of feral burros in Big Bend State Park. His staff members, however, are working with HSUS staff on the burro issue, and they have indicated that they are open to non-lethal approaches.

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 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.

86 replies »

      • thanks for telling it like it is about Perry who is totally self absorbed and therefore not sympathetic to animals or the poor or disabled

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    • I think he has done some not so good things, but a lot more good things. I think he listens to the public. Hence the pondering on the burro situation. And I’m in Texas, too.

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    • I called three times, wrote, mailed and faxed letters fuming about the “culling” (killing) of the Texas Prison Horses. Expedient, I guess, but those horses are the BEST for riding for the handicapped programs, as well, invaluable for starting young riding students. I never got a call back. Also, those of us in Texas that paid extra for “animal friendly” on our license tags were told that the extra money would go into a state funded measure to spay and neuter shelter animals to make them more adoptable and help clinics spay and neuter pets for those that could not afford it. worth the money! Sure, but it was taken into the general fund by Perry to grant tax breaks for yacht owners and tobacco chewers.. Disgusting.. and pretty much upset our SPCA board to no end. This Texan must know Perry the governor, a little too well.

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  1. During one of my trips to DC to discuss horse slaughter legislation I attempted to talk with Ron Paul. He was not interested in hearing any of my statements and responded that any legislation opposing horse slaughter for human consumption is wrong based on his belief that horses are property and the government has no business regulating the use of personal property. In terms of equine welfare, Paul is not even on the map.

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  2. Well there saying that CA could be the deciding GOP vote. But I’m democrat and I know my BIL is republican…not sure where his vote is going. Santorum looks like a possibility. But then I said that about Obama. And I know the demo’s are going for round two with Obama no matter how I feel about it.

    In my book Obama doesn’t even get on the richter scale. He’s worse than bad. He’s worse than Doink.

    I want my vote to mean something. And it can’t with the stinkies we have in Office right now.

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    • If my memory serves me correctly, I thought Obama rated well by HSLF standards, hence, my voting for him. But I have been profoundly disappointed in his lack of action. I agree, he has done many good things…but I am now watching our Public lands, wildlife and wild horses be drained from U.S. landscape for corporate greed. He could replace Salazar and he chooses not to. It will be his loss.

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      • While a Senator, I think his Animal Friendly voting was in the 90’s..easy to look up. I believe that we can get him to issue the Horse Anti-slaughter executive order in the 2nd term. Maybe at the end of this year, but I think politically it will have to be in the next term. I’m glad that Santorium has a 60% rating on Animals, but couldn’t vote for him because of his far,far right ideas. I like Huntsman better. And Romney..don’t think he has a heart..and his wife is a dedicated, and rich, dressage rider. You’d thought that she would have clued him in on animal issues..

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  3. I seriously disagree with giving high marks on animal issues to Perry, and I’m disappointed and surprized that you don’t seem to know that under Perry, park rangers in one Texas state park are busy shooting wild burros. There’s been a lot of information about this on wild equine websites. Perry’s continuing role in allowing the shooting of wild burros, who are being exterminated in their traditional home makes him one of my big villains. How can you not know and acknowledge his role here?

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    • Excuse me RT for jumping to your defense.

      RT has been VERY informative about the wild burros in Texas. Please look above at his response–he was surprised to see those numbers.

      RT is FAR MORE aware of the wild burros than just about anyone here. His wife just went on a weeks sojourn to speak about this issue. And RT has a close friend that rescues wild donks.

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  4. You also have to factor in who would preserve wilderness and the environment for animals/wildlife or who would sell it out to corporate interests. It sure wouldn’t be a republican who favor very limited regulations against pollution and development. If you care about the environment, you just can’t vote republican. And don’t forget that pesky global warming, which most republicans except Huntsman say is a hoax.

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    • I agree. I hope that we see some stand up and fight from Obama in the 2nd term. On the environment, on animals, on women’s rights, and fairness in taxes!!! I love his executive appointments.. He knows how to do that now.. Still hoping that one comes the way of the horses! That would just make Sue melt in a puddle..

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  5. Sorry, but records don’t matter…..to a point.

    When people get in the White House, they are held hostage by Congress and special interest. Some Presidents have the smarts to slap ’em down and win. That has not happened recently.

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  6. I agree Denise, I want somebody in there that’s going to get rid of the ones with thier hands out. The major problem with our horse situation is that their is too many with self interests….they need to go, and no more than two 4 year terms. Obama went with the flow, and appointing Ken Salazar for our wild horses…did him in as far as I’m concerned.

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  7. With all the publicity on Newt’s love for zoos, I am shocked he would endorse elephant hunting. Africa’s elephants need all the help they can get…being shot is not one of them.

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  8. I have to say that I find it very hard to pull the lever for a Republican, any Republican. The GOP by and large has an abysmal record on environmental matters. You’d be hard pressed to find a federal Republican legislator outside of Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) who shows any kind of leadership or concern on global warming, conservation, emissions regulations, expansion of wilderness areas and so on.

    While I too am frustrated by the Obama administration and am not pleased with either the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture in this administration, I am still inclined to support President Obama. Huntsman is the only one of the GOP candidates who I think would be less than a disaster on numerous environmental fronts and frankly he will not be the nominee.

    Thank you for this posting, I was glad to read it.

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    • JNM: Bottom line is you are right. We will not have a chance with the corporate money before anything Republicans. It has to be Obama.. or no chance with Anti-slaughter or the environment.

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  9. BLM roundup of Cloud’s Herd
    We urge you to write, email or fax (currently broken according to Billings BLM).
    FAX IS CURRENTLY BROKEN?
    • In 2011, mortality equaled births which is exactly what BLM states as their goal for the herd.
    • The PEA includes an alternative (which was considered but not analyzed – why?): “This alternative consists of initially removing ten wild horses and re-assessing every year until the recruitment rate is equal to the natural mortality.” This is already the case! In 2011 mortality equaled recruitment (surviving foals).
    Bottom line, it is dead wrong to remove any horses of any age before knowing how many foals are born in 2012, how many horses survive the winter, how many foals survive going into the fall, and the level of predation.

    We urge you to write, email or fax (currently broken according to Billings BLM). Please encourage BLM to select the No Action Alternative.

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  10. When they are intending to conduct a roundup and issue an Environmental Assessment. the FAX had better be FIXED. Faxes are considered legal records, and as such, there needs to be access to them. Emails can be erased or ignored.

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  11. Wow, thanks for posting this RT. I have been waiting for this info. Newt will not be my choice as on SW wall, I noticed she liked his page. Just not strong enough factors. All presidents are just puppets. Congress has the control. We need someone who has demonstrated action and has John Wayne guts. Please keep us informed.

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  12. 10 o’clock news says Santorum is ahead of Mitt Romney by 5 votes. Gov Perry is suppose to go home tomorrow and reassess.

    RT I know he’s your Gov but I’m glad he lost so badly cause I just can’t support a trophy hunter. His record on the wild burros scares me about what he’d do in Office. And what we have right now is more than bad enough.

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    • That’s okay, Margaret…I vote on the issues not on the party, anyway. Was just hoping for a crowded field of forward thinkers and few career politicians and to date I, like many, am sorely disappointed.

      ________________________________

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  13. I think the mentality of picking the least worst candidate is not correct but supporting the best one and I do beleive that it does not have to be a Democrat nor Repuplican,promote an Independant,and advise the 2 main parties of your intention. Even if the you r candidate does not get in,he will be taking Votes from the others.
    Obamas only interest at the moment is getting Re-elected,and each time they write to me to beg for $3 and also telling me that they have to beat the Awful Republicans I respond that the Democrats are going to lose the Animal Welfare Vote particularly on their attitude to this issue and my issue BSL(Breed Specific
    Legislation.
    If enough Voters write telling them so,they will eventually have to take action.

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    • I totally agree with you. Evey time I get request for funding I remind them of Obama’s promise to protect our equines. I worked for Obama on all his campaigns, but I have been disappointed that more has not been done on the critical issue of slaughter.

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  14. I appreciate the comments about Rick Samtorum’s record since I have not had time to do this. I believe he is deeply principled, and has a hard time concealing his true feelings, though he has self-restraint.

    I have favored Romney due to his family’s connections with animals. I thought the infamous family vacation was from Boston to the Romney family home in New Hampshire. I continue to see the story about Seamus as a positive because itmshows that the children and parents wanted the dog along on the family trip. They could have easily afforded to have boardedmhim or hire a dog sitter. I hate leaving my dog when I travel although she does fine, so I admire the Romney’s for making it work even if it did not work perfectly.

    Dogs ride in the of pick-up trucks, and are currently being shown in ads for cars with their heads hanging out of car windows as the car moves down the road.

    The Romney’s are the only family in the Presidential race who have horses, and I believe that they would support the humane treatment of horses. In fact, horses have played an important role in Ann Romney’s battles with life threatening illnesses.

    On the other hand, Rick Santorum is Catholic. The Catholic Faith is the only Christian Faith I am aware of that actually has a special day for the blessing of animals in honor of St. Francis. Parishioners bring their pets to the priests for a special prayer and blessing, so his votes for the humane treatment of animals are consistent with his faith.

    Our country cannot afford four more years of Obama. If you think he has been a disappointment up to now, you do not want to see what will happen if he is re-elected. What is happening to our wild horses and burros and with horse slaughter is not happening in spite of Obama being in the White House. These things are happening because he is in the White House.

    He does not want to be President of the United States. He wants to be President of the World. He plans to use the resources of the U.S., including our land, water, minerals, elements, and horses to provide for the need of food and energy around the world.
    He has no intention of banning horse slaughter. It is part of his plan. Vote for whom you must, but a vote for Obama looks like a sure way to ensure an end to America and to the freedoms we hold dear. Obama is not going to fire Ken Salazar because Ken Salazar is doing what he wants him to.

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    • Christie, I have to agree with you. As much as I hate what is happening to our horses I would hate not having the option of speaking up to our government. I too feel another 4 years with Obama would be far worst for our freedoms then what we face with our horses now. At least now we still have some options to try to save them. He has shown that he is not the Great Savior of the Middle Class that we thought he was when he was elected. He has turned into just another corrupt politician from Illinois. We can not give him 4 more years on the hope that he will change his more government, less freedoms stance. Its too bad, we all had so much hope he was going to finally be the one for the “People.”

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      • Please point out which areas Congress has backed the President on helping the middle class. Thank you.

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      • swh:

        Health care and the extension of the middle class tax break (granted only 2 months).

        You could throw in the auto industry bailout and saving the banks (yeah, helps the fat cats more) because they didn’t close.

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    • We have several bloggers who are the 1%.. Unfortunately, they have to look at other factors than animals or the middle class. Bush appointed Ken Salazar, and Obama left him in there, to show how he would work with Republicans.. according to “insider books”.. but he should have fired him after the GULF. I just don’t think we have had the “fire power” to overcome the urgency of the great problems of the day. And I have been asking for a year for someone to show me the video or the press release, or something where it is documented that Obama guaranteed that he would stop horse slaughter. I have someone with a connection that I need to prove this to.. then perhaps i can get him on our side.

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    • There are a few other faiths that have the “Blessing of the Animals”; Episcopalian, Anglicans, maybe Methodists??? and Lutherans???

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  15. I was an enthusiastic supporter of Obama’s last time but like many of you, I’ve been deeply disappointed by his presidency and especially by his appointments. I am always raving mad at Ken Salazar. i think that every single Republican candidate would be even worse than Obama, but I also agree strongly with Selwyn that it’s wrong just to vote for the lesser of the evils because there’s just not much difference. So I am planning to write in a person of my choice. I’ve been wondering if anyone knows of a “green” 3rd party candidate or a 3rd party conservationist candidate? There are some Senators and Representatives that i really like, including Berne Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Grijalvo of New Mexico, a great spokesman for wild equines. If anyone knows of a 3rd party candidate running on a green or conservation ticket, would you please let us know?

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  16. Obama has been a huge let down. But the alternatives are scary. The two party system sucks and we have few choices as usual. The system in place is not working for us. We are supposed to have a voice and choice regardless of who is elected. Depending upon a president alone is not enough. The process to change which the public was using from the 70s to the 90s has been crippled and ignored and seen as a threat to corporate plans and energy demands. The public’s right to be involved has been circumvented. Without this process we are unable to create change and without the science to justify change we are left to prove BLM used no science. Yet someone needs to start to use science in order to make meaningful change in management. And nothing works without money and support.

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  17. Thanks so much RT!! Great info. I sure wish there was someone who was fiscally conservative but more animal/social issue friendly….I have never been a fan of Obama – never have liked him & was really shocked when he got elected but was hoping he would different than I was expecting – unfortunately my hope didn’t come true! He’s as bad as I had originally thought! Your summary of the GOP candidates really helped me thank you! I have never been a Romney fan AT all – if it comes down to him & Obama – WOW that is going to be a really bad day!

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    • Not a bad day at all,VOTE for neither,there are Decent Human Beings around,not necessarily Democrats nor Republicans,Look for one,you have one on this site amongst many others that are here.

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  18. I hear so many comments stating that Obama has been a HUGE let down, but the alternatives are scary. Scarier than 4 more years of what we are experiencing now? How so? There are more issues than animal welfare and while it is one of the biggest issues in my life, I have made the mistake before of voting for a candidate just because of one issue. I believe Mitt Romney has the best chance of beating Obama and that his background on economic issues is superior to the others. I also think he is still in the reachable/teachable stage as far as animal welfare issues. Obama has already proven that he is not a man of his word. He also could give a fly what any of us think about Ken Salazar. His ineptitude during the oil spill alone should have had him gone. And what about Eric Holder? This country has sunk to a new low as far as holding anyone accountable in this administration. Plan on things not changing one bit if the self proclaimed King of Change is re-elected.

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  19. Thank you for this very very valuable information. With knowledge comes responsibility. So now that we all have the knowledge of who to promote and who’s demise to fight for, lets go and do it! Spread the word!!

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  20. Im so darned dissappointed in Ron Paul. Ive wanted him to be President for a long time but I just cant abide by his lack of concern and disregard for the animal kingdom. If you cant find compassion in your heart for the animals rights than you probably dont believe that the animals have any rights. Im gonna have to take a look at Santorum and Huntsman now and where they stand on issues. I would have been ok with OBAMA but since his New Years Eve signing of the the Act which will now make it within his power to raid , arrest , detain indefinitely and execute any US citizen who the congress decides is a terrorist under the combatitive enemy checklist which includes any person who speaks out against US government or governmental issue, via circulation of flyers, posting or blogging of opposition. The right to assemble peacefully and call for change will be now be regarded as combatant behavior and will be dealt with under the provisions of this Act. Im not sure if we will even get a chance to elect another president. There is talk of Obama calling the nation an economic disaster in order to invoke the order which will allow him to stay in power until economic order is restored. God help the American people and the animals.

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  21. Thanks for this info, RT. I wish there would be a sign from above on who to vote for–but that’s not going to happen. Obama said he would fix the energy crisis–and if he is re-elected, he and Salazar/DOI/BP/XL pipeline(on hold) will reconfigure the west–and anything that stands in the way will be removed-horses,Joshua trees–what ever. Federally Protected means nothing to any of them. The GOP line-up is way too scary. (Romney should have been cited for animal cruelty–imo.) Guess I’ll vote for Q.Elizabeth–she went out riding the other day–good horsewoman.

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  22. As a Pennsylvanian since 1979, Rick Santorum has been my Senator. I’ve contacted his office and visited in DC also. He was considering cosponsoring the bill to stop horse slaughter when he was voted out of office in favor of Bob Casey. I visited Casey’s office a couple of times and only got canned responses and was told that he’s considering the wishes of the farmers in PA. Santorum said that he would vote for the legislation to stop horse slaughter if it came up for a vote. It didn’t and he was gone, and I don’t know where Casey stands. I support Santorum for president, he’s been my pick all along but I thought he had no chance to win. Now I have hope.

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  23. Obama could give a s..t for our horses. First Salazar and not doing an executive order to save our American horses from getting butchered. At least Romney is a horse owner and we might get to him. As far as the dog, Vick is playing football, I will forgive Romney for being a dope 28 years ago.

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    • Lin: Have you seen the pictures of money falling out of Romney’s pockets, and him in great spirits. His wife has horses..the ones that cost well over the $100,000.00. I don’t see him stepping up anytime soon after inauguration and defying the “corporations” that he says create jobs and fix the economy ( and hugely fund his Super Pacs, and his election campaign) by going out on a limb and issuing an executive order to stop horse slaughter. Really, if you support him, fine. But don’t try to prove that his election will help this cause.. WEAK.

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      • Devil and the deep blue sea, Paula…devil and the deep blue sea.

        Politics as usual is one thing; go after via litigation is another. I still think the ongoing contractor behavior, the ridiculous annual extermination schedules and the PEER “grazing” issue will be damning for USDA/BLM….eventually.

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      • No, not “divorce”…but that was funny; it begins with a “d” and ends with an “amning”. I’m sure it was the filter. Fairly tame by my standards, but it is Mr Fitch’s sandbox (I mean that in the kindest way…seriously).

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  24. Everyone notice how President Obama when around the Senate today (actually yesterday)? He made 4 executive appointments 3 for the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer guy (previous appointment was Elizabeth Warren). Senate has been blocking these appoints FOREVER.

    President can do this when Senate is not is session and there seems to be some technicality about whether they are or aren’t. These are called “Presidential Recess Appointments”.

    Any way you look at it, where there is the will in the Executive Branch, there is a way.

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    • I just heard on CNN that Reagan made 236 such appointments and Obama has made 34. I hope that eventually while the Congress is in a recess, President Obama will defy them and make the ultimate gift to us. an Executive Order that stops horse slaughter for American Horses here and abroad. It is a big step that will cause him great disfavor with big corporations such as Pfizer. Remember he had to get them to agree to work with the administration on health care…something that has and will help many people who had no way to get regular health care and medicine. Politics is very complicated… The American Dream depends on your view.

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  25. Polopaula – Dream on. You are letting your admiration or should I say infatuation cloud your judgment. You can hope all you want. That’s how Obama got elected in the first place. Your arguments against Romney are WEAK. It is already proven that Obama’s election has done nothing to help horses. Mrs. Romney could be a real asset no matter what kind of horses she owns. She has been kind enough to respond personally on health issues. Obama is a man of broken promises.

    As for Pfizer – (ABC News Oct 28, 2011)
    “Pfizer executive Sally Susman, for example, chairs the company’s political action committee and leads its “public affairs activities, including relations with governments,” according the Pfizer website. She has bundled more than $500,000 in donations for Obama so far.”

    So much for his pledge to remain free from the influence of lobbyists and their cash. I think Pfizer falls into that big corporation category. I think you will find a lot of big corporations funding Obama’s campaign as well.

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    • I follow Politics very closely, and if you read what I said, I said it would be very difficult to go against Pfizer for one, because of their help on the healthcare bill. BUT, don’t think that the Republican nominee won’t get that or more from them. It is easy to follow the money. Just dig it up yourself on line. Of course, if you didn’t need healthcare, it is ok if others don’t have it… and if you buy 100K horses, it will be hard to speak up for the $100.00 ones, over the corporations. Just saying. If the Republicans win the Whitehouse and Congress, we have no chance. they have and will continue to block the anti-slaughter bills coming out of committee, so it doesn’t matter if Romney or whomever would sign it… It will never get that far. As long as the Republicans control the congress, the bill will never see the light of day. Check and see the number of Democrats vs Republicans who have signed on as co-sponsors. that will give you a very good idea of where our chances lie. i know that you want to believe that there is a good heart somewhere there, but when they boo an American Soldier just back from Iraq because he is gay, and cheer when the answer is “let him die” when asked what would happen to a young man with cancer and no insurance.. Sorry cannot support those type of politicians.. My sympathy extends to people as well as animals.

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      • Polopaula, your comments were very persuasive. I didn’t know anything about about anyone booing an American soldier. Who did this? Congress? I’m disturbed and perplexed, though I like what you said.

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      • Who is booing a gay soldier? Does “they” mean anyone that doesn’t agree with you? I do think you need to back up your claims with facts when you make such outlandish statements and predictions. Voting for Romney does not mean that every Republican or person who does is going to boo gay soldiers or not care about other humans. I also do not understand why one can’t love a $100,000 horse as well as a $100 horse and vice versa. Is there something you know about Mrs. Romney that would indicate she only cares about expensive horses? Also, who said “Let him die”? The entire Republican party? Your statements are ridiculous. As for Obama Care, the latest poll I saw had 53% of all voters wanting to repeal it. That figure includes Democrats.
        I believe Obama has had his chance and he blew it. My democratic senators are both pro slaughter by the way.

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      • Barbara, thank you for reminding us that some issues cross party and ideological lines and it goes both ways.

        Like

      • I’m sorry.. but each thing happened. It will take me a bit to find them, but I’m sure that I can post the videos. And yes, I have a very good friend that lives in upstate New York, and works with the New England Dressage Association who says that Ms. R is an elitist, and won’t even share with other dressage riders who don’t have the same resources. So the fact that she spends a great deal of time caring for her horse, doesn’t really indicate to me that she cares about other horses, animals or people. I’m certain that your friend who boards at the same barn isn’t working as a waitress, or teacher, or policewoman.. they would not be able to afford the barn. I bred Warm Blood Horses for 27 years.. I have a lot of connections in the Dressage world, Dressage Queens and all. and I can say that I certainly appreciate Ms. R’s riding ability and her horses. I watched her ride at the New England Dressage Championships a few years ago.

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      • Gay Soldier on Duty is booed, and not one of the Republican Candidates speak up to correct them.. But thousands of citizens did by their comments.

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  26. I don’t know many people who like Obama care, not me but it was shoved down our throats during the 2 years that the Democrats had FULL control of our government. Now if they had those 2 years to do as they pleased and they passed an unpopular bill or 2 then why didn’t they at least bring the horse protection bills to the floor for a vote??? It didn’t even come close to being offered for a vote. This administration will never, ever pass a bill to protect horses unless they think it will save their jobs in the next election. It won’t happen. I don’t think Santorum or Romney will champion the bill but I think both will sign it into law. I know someone who used to board her horse with Anne Romney’s horses and she thinks the world of her. She said she is a very kind and compassionate woman who took great and loving care of her horses and was out to the barn often. I’m sure they were expensive, doesn’t surprise me but that doesn’t mean that she’s not compassionate. It would have been nice to know that she rescued but I don’t know where she stood on rescues. When McCain ran he also had horses, dogs, cats and an adopted child that his wife brought home from India sent with his wife by Mother Teresa and yet he was not elected over Obama who had not owned a pet and when he got one it was a purebred. He called it a rescue but it was actually a returned dog to the breeder through Ted Kennedy’s connections. It sure wasn’t a death row dog.

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  27. What I want to do is figure out how to get animals and their rights and who will support them a real campaign issue this time around. With all the disappointment Obama has provided those of us who voted for him, there simply has to be a way to do this. Otherwise, I am afraid we are going to be right back where we started from. Obama needs to realize he has alienated his base to suck up to the likes of the Cattlemens Association, the NRA and the Safari Crowd.

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  28. They all have big money Paula, Foreign trade is ruining our country. . Another 4 years of the mouth that did nothing…, I’d hate to see what happens. Check out who owns the Smokey Mountains National Park not us any more…it’s either China or India…I won’t be surprised if our wild horse land is sold to them or another, what do you think the real reason is for getting rid of them….ranchers ? No bigger than that….I don’t care if Mrs. Romney has million dollar horses, they are horses and she loves them….in that we might have a prayer stopping slaughter and saving our wild and their homes.

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    • The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is part of the U.S. National Park Service. Here is the link: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm
      The park (And the part of the Smokey Mountains that are federally owned) is part of a International Biosphere Project that seeks to maintain certain areas as natural as possible. And it is part of a preservation project.
      This park was designated an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976, was certified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, and became a part of the Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve in 1988.[6]
      People are posting rumors and conspiracy theories as fact. It is very easy to dispel these rumors.

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  29. Lin, you are exactly right. If the American public only knew how our country is being sold to foreign investors. Like I said before, the deficits won’t matter in the long run if we all don’t wake up and stop our country from being sold to the highest bidder and that includes our wild horses and burros. I continue to monitor the cosponsors of the horse slaughter and transportation bill. I totally agree if things do not get done before the election its quite possible it could be done after the elections. In my experience with the issue on the state level (Illinois), there must be enought sponsors in the committee to bring the vote to the floor for a vote. If the sponsors do not have a majority vote, they will not bring it out of committee until they have more than enough votes to pass. If we are waiting for the bill to become law, it is our Legislators who are going to support the bill by bringing it onto the floor. Once it is passed by both houses, it is then sent on to the President for signature and passage or it can be vetoed. I call the White House about every 3 days asking that Obama sign an Executive Order. But all must be aware of the make up of the House of Reps and the Senate and support those who have supported animal issues. It doesn’t matter what the President’s view on this is if you do not have total Congressional support. So it is critical that all those up for National election are contacted about this issue regardless of their political afflliation. Bring the documentation regarding roundups and slaughter to community forum meetings. Attend their fund raisers and bring the documentation with you. Most candidates are interested in issues and concerns and may take the time to talk to you at the fund raiser or may set up a separate date to cover your issue. It will take all of us to challenge our Legislators on this issue and push for its passage whether it is done now or after the election. I can only say if there are Legislators who want to continue to see roundups and slaughter, they must be replaced.

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  30. Thanks for the important info.! Not even sure if we’ll be voting this time. I think we need a non-politician, a normal, everyday, down to earth, intelligent, educated & informed individual, a truly concerned citizen, to run for & be elected as our next president, maybe, someone like R. T.?? We need someone who cares about our country, ALL our people, our environment, our animals & wildlife, our economy, jobs, health, & on & on the list goes. Someone with compassion, brains, integrity, & not swayed or brainwashed by politics. Republican, Democrat or Independent, Liberal or Conservative, these are nothing more than names, labels. Actions speak far louder than words!

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    • Undoubtably the most Intelligent comment I have read on this topic.
      And the pictures above “Satans Little Helpers” should be made to go out and get real jobs.

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  31. LET HIM DIE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yva0VSN1_T4

    I understand the 53% of the persons asked do not like Healthcare Bill. those are the people who still have health insurance through their employer. The other 47% are those who cannot buy insurance through a group, or are afraid that their employer will soon quit providing insurance, or even the opportunity to buy it through a group. Real Estate agents are not allowed to form a group… Congress goes along with insurance companies that do not want it. Same with many professions who work through associations, bars (lawyers), or community groups.

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    • The Gay Soldier on Duty link does not work Polopaula. The link about Let Him Die is not something that the Republican party embraces whatsoever. I am not a supporter of Ron Paul, but I don’t believe from the clip that he is advocating that the hypothetical young man should be left to die either. Reading some of your previous posts, you made it sound as if you had verifiable, factual information indicating that Republicans want people without health insurance to die and that gay soldiers were being booed by them. You now state that the 53% of people who would like Obama care to be repealed are those that still have health insurance through their employer. Where on earth do you get this kind of information? I cannot buy health insurance through a group. I am not provided insurance through an employer. Obama Care has already led to my premiums going up and my benefits being reduced. I am in the 53% that want it repealed. If it is such a great plan, why is Obama allowing selected companies and unions to opt out and why aren’t the President and Congress going to be forced to be on the plan? What is the purpose of Medicaid if it isn’t to help those less fortunate?
      I just don’t understand the point of fabricating stories about others who don’t agree with your point of view.

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  32. I’m tired of arguing with you. You have an attitude that has no compassion for people who are less well off than you. So be it. But both of the instances that I sited happened in public at Republican debates. Just look on youtube as the link says. The main problem when the gay soldier spoke and some booed was that not one candidate told them they were wrong.. and many of the candidates running for the nomination are openly hostile towards anyone who is gay.. Unbelievable in my way of thinking. And same thing happened when Paul said the government should not pay to save the young man’s life.. I certainly didn’t make either up.. it is documented on youtube from the debates. so please don;t say again that I fabricate things because you can’t open a link. I don’t fabricate anything. But I do watch… did you watch every debate.. I did. And back to the question of Animal Welfare: Particularly the bills in committee to out-law slaughter of US horses here and abroad, the current count of house members counted in HORSE ADVOCATES as co-signers of HOuse Bill 2966 is 77… 59 Democrats and 18 Republicans. I’ve heard that 101 members have now signed on as co-sponsors, but their details have not been posted on our official list yet.
    So if I had influence with Republicans, I would start there, encouraging them to sign. all of my Representatives in Congress are Republicans. John Cornyn, Kay B Hutcheson, and Joe Barton. Despite pleas and letters and calls…all of them favor horse slaughter, and vote to allow it.

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  33. I don’t know how you know who is less well off than me, but that is neither here nor there. I did find out that Mrs. Romney has been successful in keeping the progression of her MS at bay by using a combination of mainstream medicine, alternative medicine and equine therapy. She has been very kind in responding personally to many of us who have terminal and progressive diseases. I do not have anything negative to say about her and I do not envy her social or financial position. I believe she holds horses in the highest regard and that she would be someone who would be quite approachable as far as equine welfare is concerned. You honestly do seem to ignore the facts. Maybe, you just don’t realize it. I simply did not see any evidence on the links you posted to support your claims. If you want to call that a lack of compassion on my part, that is your prerogative.

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  34. Ron paul seems like a monster concerning animal issues and I guess. Mit isn’t much better. It looks like Santorum is the best candidate for the animals!! Too bad animals can not vote.

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    • Darlene the part I do not understand is this principle of choosing the least worst,why not pick the best,it is not important whether they are republican or democrat.
      Obama nor Romney read these blogs on Animal Welfare,why should they,as you correctly point out Animals do not have a Vote.
      Find a Decent Human Being and promote him to stand up for the Animals.
      On this Horse Blog as on the Anti-BSL sites there are many decent humans.
      Then the Horses and the Dogs would have a Vote and Obama and Romney would become Animal-Lovers.

      Like

  35. Since the topic of this thread is to compare Republicans to Republicans for the primaries, please tell me why anyone would just come here to bash all Republicans in general? My guess is so that they could promote Obama, not compare Republican candidates which is the topic.

    I believe no matter what you think of Obama, it would be wise to search for the best that the Republican menu has to offer and put them up against Obama and see who fairs better. Shouldn’t we want the best leader despite partisan titles?

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    • I agree with you barring ,when it comes to Animal Welfare Issues it just does not appear that the Republicans or the Democrats are able to cut it apart from paying lip-service which will not stop the Genocidal attacks on the Wild Mustangs nor rid USA of BSL(Breed Specific Legislation).
      A new entity needs to be created to handle real issues while these 2 parties slug it out for the Presidency,very little else matters to the Democrats or the Republicans.

      Like

      • To share with your politicians & friends in mass-alter at will

        Taking a Stand for Animal Welfare in 2012

        It has finally become apparent to many animal lovers that government plays a role in the welfare of animals either by law or the absence of law. This election more than any other we are taking seriously. The outcome of the election and the effect it will have on the welfare of animals is at stake. We urge anyone who cares about all animals whether it’s your pet dog, cat or horse, the animals in the wild or the farm animals, some who are producing food or becoming food, that all of these creatures are treated fairly and that we require that they all have reasonably comfortable lives through gestation to death and that they do not receive undue misery at the hands of humans.

        Americans now do realize that we have an impact on their lives by virtue of our votes and who we support with our time for campaigning and our financial donations. We can have an impact on the outcome of this election and every election. Politicians, prepare to see our power, and we will speak for the voiceless and the voteless and for those with no money who are dependant on us to speak for them. If you’ve stood silently and watched the horrors at puppy and kitten mills living in their own urine soaked feces and underfed, the clubbing and skinning alive of baby seals, cats and dogs for fur, an unnecessarily cruel slaughterhouse speeding through each animal for higher profits after living on factory farms since birth and horses who still have manes braided from a show that they lost being repeatedly hit in the head with stun guns ineffectively and hung by one leg alive, battery cages for egg laying chickens, downed cows picked up by chains and forklifts alive so they can still be slaughtered, dogs tied on a short chain every single day or abandoned, pregnant cats thrown out because the owner who wasn’t responsible now decides that they don’t want more cats and seeing strays hanging outside of the home where they were once wanted kittens, now wandering the streets, shelter animals on death row waiting for the cold hand of death even puppies and kittens. Let’s not forget America’s wild horses being stampeded to death on BLM and NPS lands and replaced with commercial rancher’s cattle.

        What have these animals done to deserve such treatment at the hands of what is supposed to be the intelligent species??? Please tell me. I have the answer,… they were born.

        To our leaders in Washington, D. C., prepare to watch a campaign launched by animal lovers, the likes of which you’ve never seen before. Your record on animal welfare is about to be exposed and how you’ve treated your own pets will be readily available for the whole nation to see. No hold back, not for those we favor, or those we dislike, just the truth, the facts with as many details as we can present. We offer the same critique to local and state politicians because all politics are local and local and state government has much control, perhaps more than federal. None will be let off the hook. Animal abuse and neglect will no longer be tolerated.

        From your local animal lovers!

        Like

  36. Do you plan on writing a similar post regarding the 2016 presidential contenders? I’m very eager to learn about their stances on animal welfare.

    Like

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