Humane Society Legislative Fund candidates did well
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2010:
(Actual press date November 3.)
WASHINGTON D.C.– Among 298 midterm election candidates
endorsed by the Humane Society Legislative Fund, 238 were declared
winners by noon on November 3, 2010, 46 lost, and 14 were in races
In Washington state the HSLF endorsement of incumbent
Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat, may prove pivotal. Murray held a
1% margin over Republican challenger Dino Rossi as ANIMAL PEOPLE went
to press, with a recount certain.
Elsewhere, among 20 U.S. Senate candidates endorsed by the
HSLF, 17 were declared winners. Only two lost. The HSLF
endorsement may have helped U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,
in particular, who was trailing in the polls for much of the 2010
campaign, but ended up winning 50% of the vote, to just 45% for
“Teaparty” favorite Sharron Angle.
“We are pleased that we could help to re-elect many leaders on
animal protection issues in Congress who were in competitive races,
such as Senators Reid and Barbara Boxer of California, and
Representatives Peter DeFazio of Oregon, Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania,
and Dave Reichert of Washington,” said HSLF president Mike Markarian.
Among 221 House candidates endorsed by HSLF, 180 won, 28
lost, and 13 were in races still too close to call at press time.
HSLF television ads aired in suburban Detroit may have
provided the 1% margin of victory for incumbent Representative Gary
Peters, a Democrat.
HSLF support of one of the House losers, New Jersey 3rd
Congressional District Democratic incumbent John Adler, was not
shared by longtime New Jersey animal advocate Stuart Chaifetz, who
sent out pre-election e-mail reminders that Adler worked to repeal
the former state prohibition of hunting on Sundays. Adler further
eroded his credibility with humane voters by declaring in an October
5 appeal to hunters that, “As a member of the Congressional
Sportsmen’s Caucus, I advocate for pro-hunting policies.” Adler
lost to former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jon Runyan by 3.1% of
The HSLF endorsed only one gubernatorial candidate,
incumbent Ted Strick-land of Ohio–who lost to Republican challenger
John Kasich. Strickland in June 2010 brokered a deal between a
coalition called Ohioans for Humane Farms and the Ohio Farm Bureau
Federation which kept an initiative to reform farm animal practices
off the 2010 state ballot, in exchange for a promise that the Ohio
Livestock Care Standards Board will do many of the same things that
the initiative would have required.
HSLF, a subsidiary of the Humane Society of the U.S., enjoyed
a bit more success in helping favored candidates than the Defend-ers
of Wildlife Action Fund. Defenders of Wildlife sought unsuccessfully
to keep former New Mexico member of the House of Representatives
Steve Pearce, a Republican, from returning to the House, after
resigning his seat in 2008 to run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate.
Pearce is noted for his vehement opposition to the reintroduction of
Mexican grey wolves to New Mexico and Arizona.
Though the Democrats might have kept the House majority if all
candidates endorsed by animal welfare and conservation groups won,
historically most major pro-animal legislation has been passed by
divided Congresses. Because animal issues tend to split across party
lines, pro-animal bills may be acceptable to Cong-ressional
majorities of both Republicans and Democrats at times when division
along party lines prevents passing anything else.