The Humane Society of the United States is spending $500,000 through their legislative offshoot and using deceptive tactics in Iowa to help unseat Republican Congressman Rep. Steve King (R-IA) in his election battle with Christine Vilsack.
The HSUS — a radical animal-rights group that opposes hunting and has a long-term agenda that includes eradicating the agriculture industry as we know it — has made the outspoken King their primary political target this campaign season, and the group has launched an ad campaign dubbing the congressman “the King of Cruelty.”
Using puppies and kittens as a false front to gain ground for their radical animal-rights agenda is a common tactic of the group.
As recently reported in The New Republic:
The Humane Society Legislative Fund has spent $500,000 so far this cycle to defeat King in his race against Democrat Christine Vilsack–currently rated a toss-up by Real Clear Politics. That’s half of the Humane Society’s total election budget. After five terms in the House, King is running in a newly gerrymandered district, making this the toughest race of his career.
The Humane Society’s ad campaign, called “Stop the King of Cruelty,” shows images of barbed wire and sad-eyed dogs in cages. It focuses on King’s opposition to pet-related legal protections, such as stronger laws against animal fighting. After years of King’s disdain and ridicule–he calls them “anti-meat liberals”–animal rights groups undoubtedly relish the opportunity to oust him from the House. “Steve King has most extreme record on animal cruelty issues in the entire Congress,” says Michael Markarian, President of the Human Society Legislative Fund.
It’s ironic that Markarian would label anyone as “extreme,” since he has endorsed the tactics of the animals rights terror group Animal Liberation Front. Congressman King is completely correct in his assessment of HSUS as “anti-meat,” although the group’s leadership such as Markarian has shown that their sympathies are more radical than liberal. Rep. King is one of the few politicians who sees the HSUS’s tactics for exactly what they are and has been willing to call them out for it.
HSUS’s campaign against King in Iowa is a prime example of how the group masks their radicalism behind a “puppies and kittens” agenda. Trying to promote a hardcore anti-hunting, radical vegetarian agenda in a Midwestern state like Iowa would normally be a hard sell, so the group doesn’t mention it in their ads against Rep. King. Instead, they roll out the sad-eyed puppies.
The reality is that regulatory agenda that HSUS pushes would have a profound impact on the agricultural industry that is so vital to the district that Republican King and Democrat Vilsack are fighting to represent. One of the recent centerpieces of the HSUS strategy that King opposed was a law passed in California that imposed restrictive new guidelines for chicken raising in the state of California. How does this affect farmers in Iowa? The group added to the law that California could not import eggs from states that did not have that same standard; about 30% of California’s eggs come from Iowa.
King took legislative action on this on both Constitutional and practical ground. He introduced the Protect Interstate Commerce Act (PICA), which passed the Ag Committee to be included in the Farm Bill. In a characteristically clear and outspoken statement, Congressman King said:
By 2014 California will require only “free range” eggs be sold and the impact of their large market would compel producers in every other state to invest billions to meet the California standard of “means of production.” PICA will ensure that radical organizations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and PETA are prohibited from establishing a patchwork of restrictive state laws aimed at slowly suffocating production agriculture out of existence.
Destroying the agriculture business is a long-term strategic goal of HSUS and the reason they are spending half a million dollars against King. The group’s methods will be familiar to anyone who has seen the film “Occupy Unmasked;” HSUS favors a diversity of tactics approach that combines putting a “professional” face on the political end but embracing radicalism behind the scenes.
Mike Markarian, who was quoted in The New Republic piece earlier, is President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. In 1997, before he had that position, Markarian wrote a piece for the animal-rights publication The Abolitionist that spells out how this diversity of tactics scheme works.
While the “citizen” activist says “YES” to that which is right, the “rebel” activist says “NO” to that which is wrong. Direct action, civil disobedience, hunt sabotages, and Animal Liberation Front activities all fall under this category. Activists purposely breaking laws that are unjust, such as hunter harassment laws, or committing acts of civil disobedience to help animals, are effective rebels because they tie the movement’s issues together with First Amendment, freedom of speech, and civil liberties issues.
Later in the essay, Markarian makes it very clear that he believes legislative advocates like HSUS and terrorists like ALF all have a valid place.
There are some people who are very good at civil disobedience and jail support. There are some people who love to go into schools and talk to children about animal rights. There are some credible scientists and doctors in our movement who can promote alternatives to dissection, hunting, and meat eating. There are some people who love to meet with their elected officials. Everyone in the movement has a niche, and they should all be embraced, not alienated.
It’s hard to imagine that this sort of radical, militant vegan agenda would play well with the common-sense working people of Iowa. The reason that HSUS and their leftist allies wants Rep. Steve King “put to sleep” is that they know King is on to their game and will aggressively defend both the Constitution and the farmers of Iowa.