PUPS: The Perfect Storm for an HSUS Sneak Attack by Frank Losey
Based on my 20 years of lobbying experience in Washington DC, I believe that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is methodically executing a "Behind-the-Scenes Strategy", with the help of several Members of Congress, to ensure that the PUPS Bill is enacted this year for the following reasons:
- The number of co-sponsors of the PUPS Bill (H.R. 5434) in the House of Representatives continues to grow each week. As of July 23, 2010 the number of sponsors and co-sponsors in the House of Representatives is 83.
- HSUS is "beating the drum", behind the scenes, to Congressional Members and their respective staffs about the scathing USDA IG Report with regards to APHIS Inspection Procedures, and is citing that report as a reason for House Congressional Members to co-sponsor the PUPS Bill.
- HSUS has ballyhooed the Animal Crush Video Bill (H.R 5566), which passed the House on July 21, 2010 by a vote of 416 to only three votes in opposition. Significantly, nearly 300 House Members had co-sponsored this Bill. That is why House Rules on voting for this Bill were suspended. The horrific images used to gather Congressional support for this Animal Crush Video Bill will consciously and subliminally carry over in the minds of many Members of Congress and their respective staffs.
- HSUS is masterful with its use of subliminal messages and resonating, horrific images that have framed the public's misperceptions about all breeders.
- HSUS has spent millions of dollars on advertising on the FOX Network. These ads on FOX raise the following question: Why would HSUS not run the same ads on other major networks, unless there was an ulterior motive? Unquestionably, HSUS is seeking donations as part of its "Factory Fundraising" efforts. However, a secondary and major subliminal purpose of using the FOX Network is to reach out to conservative Republicans, who historically have not scored well on the HSUS Congressional Scorecard. HSUS is politically streetwise and savvy, and it knows that Conservative Republicans are more apt to watch FOX, and "coincidentally" see the HSUS ads, which contain gut-wrenching images of dogs and puppies. This is done not only to try and gather support for more co-sponsors on the PUPS Bill, but more importantly, to reduce and mute opposition to the inevitable efforts of the HSUS to orchestrate a "Sneak Attack" amendment to a "Must Pass Bill", such as an Appropriations Bill for funding the USDA.
- "Sneak Attacks" are, by their very nature, sneaky and designed to use the element of surprise to one's advantage. In short, you do not publicly tell your potential opposition of your plan of attack against responsible breeders until it is too late to stop the orchestrated "attack"!
- Why would the HSUS use a "Sneak Attack" for the PUPS Bill? In March of 2009, during a Workshop sponsored by the Georgetown Law School and the HSUS, Congressman Moran from VA, who was a Congressional panelist at the workshop, was asked the following question: "Why is it so hard for us to amend the Animal Welfare Act, and how can we do it?" His response was chilling, and the gist of what he said is as follows: The best way to overcome opposition is to wait until the eleventh hour and add a late night, last minute amendment to a "Must Pass Bill", such as an Appropriations Bill, so that there will be no time for opposition to kill the amendment. Significantly, Congressman Moran is on the Appropriations Committee!
I respectfully submit that the reason why HSUS recently has been eerily "silent" on the PUPS Bill, and has not been repeatedly and publicly urging its "11 Million Members" to contact their respective Members of Congress and ask them to support the PUPS Bill is because the HSUS is executing a "Sneak Attack" in the following sequence:
- Continue to work behind-the-scenes, and under the radar to gather co-sponsors for the PUPS Bill by following up with the nearly 300 U.S. Representatives who co-sponsored the Animal Crush Video Bill, and literally take a license with these unsuspecting Members of Congress by simply implying that their support is needed for the same reason as was their support for the Animal Crush Video Bill.
- HSUS will continue to recruit more Representatives to co-sponsor the PUPS Bill, and once the number crosses the 100 threshold, HSUS will employ the herd mentality approach to persuade more and more Representatives to jump on the bandwagon. HSUS will claim that this will "protect those dogs and puppies that need your help".
- When the USDA Appropriations Bill comes up for a vote, as Members of Congress are scrambling to wrap up outstanding issues in a hurry so that they may return to their states and districts to run for re-election, the PUPS Bill will be added, "at the last minute", and the justification for "expediency" will be that since the PUPS Bill has well in excess of 100 co-sponsors, it "obviously" is not a controversial amendment, and it will become part of a "Must Pass Bill". At this point, there will be no time to mount opposition to it.
Why is this suggested "Sneak Attack" scenario not only feasible, but likely, you ask?
The Congressman who suggested a "Sneak Attack" Approach is Congressman Moran. He co-founded and is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus in the House of Representatives. This Caucus has 84 Members.
The website for the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus lists 40 different animal related Bills "currently under consideration by Congress". Conspicuous by its absence is the PUPS Bill, which currently is being sponsored and co-sponsored by 83 Members of the House... that is nearly 20% of the House of Representatives. Could that "omission" be yet another tell-tale indication that a coordinated "Sneak Attack" is on-going, especially since Congressman Moran is the Co-Chair of this Caucus?
- Congressman Moran has introduced and sponsored Bills championed by the HSUS.
- Congressman Moran has been a featured speaker at HSUS events.
- Congressman Moran is a Member of the House Appropriations Committee which will be considering the Appropriations Bill for the USDA.
And in the Senate, which must also pass the Appropriations Bill for USDA, you have Senator Durbin who could smooth the way for Senate passage of the PUPS Bill as an Amendment to the USDA Appropriations Bill in the Senate because:
- Senator Durbin is in a Democrat leadership position in the Senate.
- Senator Durbin introduced an identical version of the PUPS Bill in the Senate.
- Senator Durbin is on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The HSUS annual lobbying event in Washington DC (Taking Action for Animals) concluded on July 26, 2010 with a major lobby day campaign, which was totally scripted by the HSUS, and resulted in hundreds of HSUS supporters descending upon the U.S. Capitol to personally tell their respective Members of Congress to support every Bill that HSUS wishes to have Congress enact... this includes the PUPS Bill!
For all of the reasons set out above, I believe the "Perfect Storm" exists for the HSUS to successfully orchestrate the enactment of the PUPS Bill.
What Can Be Done?
Follow the HSUS Lobbying Play Book, and send E-Mails to your respective Members of Congress that politely ask that they suspend judgment and action on the PUPS Bill (H.R. 5434 and S. 3424) until the following questions are fully vetted in a Committee Hearing:
- Is the "perceived problem" and "need" for the PUPS Bill caused by the so-called internet sales "loophole", or by simply an inability of APHIS to enforce existing laws and regulations? In short, would the "perceived problem" and "need" be best addressed by more strictly enforcing the existing laws and regulations, rather than adding new laws and regulations onto the existing laws and regulations that may not have been strictly enforced?
- Is it the intent of Congress to mandate that if someone has as few as one intact female dog that is capable of being used for breeding, then that person may be subject to the expanded coverage of the PUPS Bill?
- Is it appropriate for Congress to define a four-month-old puppy to be an adult dog?
- Would the existing language in the PUPS Bill have the unintended consequence of dramatically reducing the number of available dogs that are specifically bred and trained for use by special needs organizations that support the handicapped and the blind?
- Would the existing language in the PUPS Bill have the unintended consequence of dramatically reducing the number of available dogs that that are specifically bred and trained for use by law enforcement throughout the US, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense, such as bomb sniffing dogs?
- Why has the Humane Society of the US, for the last three years, repeatedly refused to tell the American public and the US Congress that major pet breeder organizations in ten states have publicly condemned substandard kennels? Significantly, over 85% of all Federally licensed and inspected kennels are located in those ten states.
If you live in Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania or South Dakota, you may wish to add the following sentence. "Our state is one of the ten states."
If enough breeders send E-Mails to their respective Members of Congress, such a collective effort may derail and stop the HSUS PUPS Bill freight train that is picking up steam.
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