People & policies

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1998:

New York Daily News correspondent Murray
Cox reported on July 28 that PETA supporters Alec
Baldwin and Kim Basinger would serve lobster salad,
yellowfin tuna, and Hudson Valley foie gras at an
August 1 reception for U.S. President Bill Clinton and
First Lady Hilary Clinton. PETA is outspoken in opposition
to lobstering and fishing, and produced a gruesome
undercover video of ducks being force-fed to make
Hudson Valley foie gras. “Web sites and Internet chat
rooms have been buzzing,” New York Post “Page Six”
columnist Richard Johnson wrote on August 6. “The
menu was published hours before the Clintons were
scheduled to arrive.” PETA president Ingrid Newkirk
called Baldwin, who called the caterer. The foie gras,
Newkirk told Johnson, “was not served.” The caterer
confirmed her account.

Gary Patronak, DVM, who succeeded
Andrew Rowan as head of the Tufts Center for
Animals & Public Policy in April 1997 after Rowan
became a senior vice president for the Humane Society
of the U.S., in July indicated to the Worcester Telegram
& Gazette that he opposes neuter/release-and-vaccination
of feral cats because it doesn’t “solve the underlying
problem of the animals’ welfare.” This, ironically, is the
HSUS position; Rowan helped introduce neuter/release
to the U.S., after seeing how well it worked to reduce
feral cat numbers in England and South Africa.


Edward Duke, hired in May at total compensation
of approximately $300,000 a year to head the profoxhunting
Countryside Alliance, resigned just 12
weeks later after losing a vote of confidence over issues
including his salary and his firing of press officer Janet
George. Said Duke, “The organization did not require a
person of my business experience.”
The American Medical Association s p e n t
$17.1 million on federal lobbying in 1997, the most of
any organization, according to Associated Press figures
published on July 8. Also extensively involved in animal-based
testing or research and ranking among the top
25 were the runner-up, Philip Morris, at $15.8 million;
Pfizer Inc., fifth, at $10 million; and the
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers
Association, 19th, at $6.3 million.
Democracy South and 11 other North Carolina
organizations on August 3 asked the Internal Revenue
Service to probe whether the hog farming firms behind
Farmers for Fairness have improperly taken deductions
by claiming donations to FfF as a business expense or a
charitable gift. According to Raleigh News & Observer
staff writer Wade Rawlins, “The tax return filed by
Farmers for Fairness for the year ending May 31, 1997,
indicated that FfF claimed three-fourths of the nearly $1
million it spent on advertising and polling as tax
deductible.” Earlier, on July 30, U.S. District Judge
Earl Britt refused to stay a North Carolina Board of
E l e c t i o n s order that it file a financial disclosure statement,
which would reveal the sources of funding for ads
attacking former state representative Cindy Watson.
The hog industry targeted Watson for defeat after she led
efforts to strengthen environmental laws.

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