Former support of gassing dogs and cats may cost challenger the Illinois gubernatorial race
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2010:
(Actual press date November 3.)
SPRINGFIELD–The votes of animal advocates may prove pivotal
in deciding the 2010 Illinois gubernatorial race.
Democratic incumbent governor Patrick Quinn held an 8,000
vote lead over Republican state senator Bill Brady as ANIMAL PEOPLE
went to press on the morning of November 3, 2010, but both Quinn
and Brady had approximately 46% of the ballots, with 97% of Illinois
precincts having reported.
Regardless of which candidate finishes the first count ahead,
a recount appeared to be almost certain.
Soon after winning the Republican gubernatorial nomination in
February 2010, running on a platform of fiscal austerity, Brady
introduced a bill to allow animal shelters to gas up to 10 dogs or
cats at a time in carbon monoxide chambers–a killing method not
approved by either the American Veterinary Medical Association,
National Animal Control Association, or any national humane
organization, and illegal in 16 states. Illinois in 2009 banned
gassing dogs and cats with carbon monoxide even one at a time.
Days later, as furor erupted, Brady withdrew the bill.
“Brady stepped in some deep political do-do,” observed
Chicago Sun-Times Springfield bureau chief Dave McKinney a month
later, “but now appears to be making amends with pro-pet voters by
supporting a measure busting neglectful dog owners who keep their
animals chained outside inhumanely or in unsafe conditions. Brady
broke ranks with some of his Downstate GOP colleagues by voting for
anti-tethering legislation pushed by the Humane Society of the United
States and backed by the Illinois Farm Bureau.”
But withdrawing the bill to permit mass gassing and endorsing
the anti-tethering bill did not end the matter.
In October the Quinn campaign began airing an Internet
commercial “that the British newspaper The Guardian is dubbing
‘America’s nastiest political ad,'” McKinney wrote. “Quinn’s
Internet commercial shows squealing dogs being stuffed into a steel
container. It also quotes dog owners who identify themselves as
Republicans, saying they won’t vote for Brady because of his
sponsorship of an idea one woman in the ad described as ‘sick and
Trying to counter the ads, Brady on October 18 told a news
conference that if a bill authorizing mass gassing came to him as
governor, he would veto it “because I realize the consequences
associated with the legislation.”
“Asked what those consequences were, Brady said, ‘The
people of Illinois don’t want it,'” reported McKinney. “Quinn
hammered Brady on the subject at a debate between the two, and
continued the bashing, saying the issue ‘has to do with Senator
Said Quinn, “Anyone who learned of this was horrified,
revolted by what my opponent was proposing. He was acting in the
face of dog and cat owners all over this state and all over this
Responded Brady spokesperson Patty Schuh, “Anyone who is an
animal lover and has beloved family pets doesn’t want to dismiss the
importance of the issue, but when families are losing their homes,
when families are worried whether they’ll get a job tomorrow or if
their neighbor will lose his tomorrow, it does seem to be somewhat
of a distraction.”
That did little to get Brady out of the doghouse.