More nasty politics

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1998:

While most mass media political coverage
was preoccupied with disclosure
of U.S. President Bill Clinton’s
affair with former White House intern
Monica Lewinsky, U.S. Senator Dirk
Kempthorne (R-Idaho) tried repeatedly
to graft to appropriations bills his
four-year-old Endangered Species
Act “reauthorization” measure,
which would effectively dismantle
the ESA as it has existed since 1973.
The Kempthorne ESA
rewrite codifies the Clinton administration’s
“no surprises” policy, guaranteeing
landowners who sign habitat
conservation agreements that they
will not be hit later with more restrictions,
even if other endangered
species are found on the property or
knowledge increases about what is
necessary to protect a species. The
Kempthorne bill is accordingly supported
by Interior Secretary Bruce
Babbitt, author of “no more surprises,”
and apparently by Vice
President Al Gore.

Gore is expected to run for
president upon Clinton’s retirement in
2000. It would be convenient for him
to seek electione with ESA reauthorization
already disposed of.
This fall is Kempthorne’s
last chance, as he is leaving his
Senate seat to run for Idaho governor.
Kempthorne’s first attempt
to pass the ESA rewrite as a spending
bill rider was beaten back in midSeptember
by Defenders of Wildlife
and the Earthjustice Legal Defense
Fund, among other nonaligned organizations,
who rallied opposition via
the Internet.
But, warned Roger Featherstone
of Defenders, the fight is far
from over, with at least one more
omnibus appropriations bill pending
that could be loaded with anti-environmental
riders, including the
Kempthorne measure.

Meanwhile back in
Arkansas, where Clinton cut his
political teeth during two terms as
governor, Clayton Frayde, 17, and
David Huckabee, 18, the son of current
governor Mike Huckabee,
recently admitted hanging a stray
dog, throwing him over a 20-foot
railing, cutting his throat, and stoning
him as he died, according to
Bunny Huggers’ Gazette and the
Animal Legal Defense Fund, while
attending a camp operated by the
Caddo Area Council of the Boy
Scouts of America.
Though camp officials
reportedly also confirmed the incident,
Frayde and young Huckabee
were not charged with cruelty.
Instead, possibly invoking the
unwritten but widely recognized
Influential Persons May Get Away
With Murder Act, they apparently
convinced those in authority that they
thought the dog was sick and were
trying to put him out of his misery.
The July 27 edition of
Sports Illustrated, incidentally, published
a photo of Janet Huckabee,
David Huckabee’s mother, posing
with Cathy Keating, wife of
Oklahoma governor Frank Keating,
at the Mangum Rattlesnake Derby,
held last April.

Pig poop
Pork barrel politics meanwhile
continued to stink out loud in
North Carolina, among other places.
Between June 15, when the North
Carolina Board of Elections rejected
the results of the May 5 Republican
primary in the 10th House District,
and the registration deadline for a
September 15 second try, corporate
hog farmers led by Friends of N.C.
Pork and Poultry and encouraged by
Murphy Family Farms signed up
1,198 new unaffiliated voters.
Murphy Family Farms is
headed by longtime North Carolina
and federal legislator Wendell
Murphy––a Democrat.
Only 1,556 voters cast ballots
in the first 10th House District
primary, when farmer Johnnie
Manning edged incumbent Cindy
Watson by 18 votes. The results were
invalidated when the Board of
Elections ruled that Farmers For
Fairness, a hog industry front, had
improperly operated as an unregistered
political action committee.
Farmers For Fairness reportedly spent
$10,000 a week on advertisements
attacking Watson, who led legislative
efforts to control hog farm effluent.
It was the fourth time in five years
that the Board of Elections had
ordered a new vote in Duplin County,
board chair Larry Leake told media.
The second time around,
Manning managed 59% of the vote.
State representive Richard
Moore, a Watson ally and fellow
Republican, meanwhile got no relief
from asking the North Carolina
Department of Environment and
Natural Resources to look into possible
regulatory violations, after N.G.
Purvis Farms moved 244 pigs into a
former turkey house near his home.
Morgan in 1997 blocked Purvis’
attempt to build another mega-hog
farm near Seven Lakes by pushing
through the legislature a moratorium
on start-ups of farms with more than
250 pigs. Farms with fewer than 250
pigs are exempt from the manure handling
regulations that apply to megahog
“It had absolutely nothing
to do with Richard Morgan,” said
N.G. Purvis president Melvin Purvis.

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