OpEd: Trying to be nice about politics, but….


June 19, 2013 – OpEd by Jerry Finch

throw-the-bums-out-of-congress-10-28-10Things go on inside the House of Representatives late at night that would make your skin crawl. Deals, pats on the back, money changing hands – these are the folks that are supposedly representing US, as in the people of the U.S. I guess that was a myth that died a long time ago. Now they represent themselves in trade for promised financial backing, for votes, for the betterment of their friends and neighbors and for those lobbyists that hang around the hallways with money and promises.

Such as it was last night for those darling members of the House Rules Committee. As a result, when the Farm Bill, five years in the making, goes to the floor for a vote, there will be NO debate on any animal welfare amendments. Remember that horse soring amendment? Finished. Done. The good old boys from Tennessee backslapped that into the trash. Pete Sessions, R-TX put an end to that. He heads the Rules Committee. But that’s not all…

Puppy mills, shark finning, even a proposal to stop horse slaughter, all wadded up and heaved into the trash, no doubt to the sound of a lot of laughter and cheering. Food safety amendments, child labor amendments? Gone. That’s because the Rules Committee will keep the King Amendment. 

“If the King Amendment survives, and is included in the 2013 Farm Bill, it will wipe out more than 150 state laws governing agriculture, food and food safety,” said Ronnie Cummins, National Director of the OCA. “The biotech industry knows that it’s only a matter of time before Washington State, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut and other states pass GMO labeling laws. Rather than fight this battle in every state, Monsanto is trying to manipulate Congress to pass a Farm Bill that will wipe out citizens’ rights to state laws intended to protect their health and safety.”

You really should read about Steve King, R-IOWA, and his twisted destruction of every thing related to animal welfare. Do a Google search on “king amendment farm bill,” While you’re reading, think about the recent AG decision on tainted horsemeat in NM. Hummmm. 

This isn’t about politics. There are some really great people in the House, Representatives that try hard to battle the stone wall. What we do doesn’t have anything to do with politics, it’s about animals, about humane treatment, about life.  How letting a mother pig stand up and see her babies became a political issue is beyond me. What kind of world do we live in that turns a hens’ ability to spread her wings during her short life into a debate on the House floor? Is the right to a humane life and death really a platform for any political party? 

At Habitat for Horses, our main concern is horses. Makes sense. But even if we stick our head in the sand, as has been suggested by some, and let the “Big Boys” deal with DC, we can’t help but stare at the makers of the laws and shake our heads in shame and disgust. “They know what they are doing.” Seriously? Would someone explain that to the 350 horses that passed the borders today on their way to the slaughterhouse? We would appreciate your help, because we simply don’t get it. 

It just seems, to my small minded way of thinking, that no matter how much money we individually make, we’re all going to end up in the same place. Maybe those powerful politicians, those Corporate Executives, those Great Leaders of the BLM and their kin have a different guidebook that says when the ship of death finally leaves, those that have at least $5 million safely stashed away will all get an outside cabin. 

All my guidebook says is, “Do no harm.” 

As negative as it all sounds, we cannot and will not give up. 


Habitat for Horses is a 501.c.3 nonprofit equine protection organization supported solely by donations. As of this morning, we have 156 (+3) donkeys and horses under our care, plus one mule. Most of them are here because law enforcement removed them from their previous owner. Our ability to rehabilitate and rehome them comes from the financial support of people like you. Please support us by making a donation for the horses we all serve. Click HERE to donate

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Paula Denmon

    I rarely get so sad at an announcement that I cry. But this
    Makes me cry. I was so hopeful yesterday, and got
    Up extra early to make calls to Congress to fight against the King Amendment and for the Animals. I do not understand how
    This has happened. But let’s call it straight. The crazy mean men in the Republican Party in the house are useless to us. I
    Hate my Representative Joe Barton. He cares not
    One iota for animals, or hungry children, or women. Just money
    From big oil. Big Ag. Big Pharmacy.

    June 19, 2013
  • sherriey

    see….this! this! is why i didn’t cheer and do the happy dance the other day!!!!
    i am not a believer of corrupt politicians doing anything right by way of the people’s wants and desires! WE do NOT count! Gov has gotten too big. WE THE PEOPLE…is no more!
    sad….negative…scary….but TRUE!
    i am disheartened, but i’ll never, never give up this fight! NEVER!!!!!

    June 19, 2013
  • Margaret

    Darn it. I was looking earlier today and now to have read it here. How can this be? What is so political about FOOD SAFETY? I mean come on. We all need to eat to live. Whether that be vegan or carnivore EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING has a right to safety.

    I’ve been wanting to plant a drawn orange tree in my garden. My sister tells me winter is the best time to plant. That’s good, cause I may have to jump through a few hoops to get my orange tree. Just think I could ACTUALLY grow and cultivate MY VERY OWN FOOD!

    I see this and the fact that Tom Davis won’t be prosecuted in the same light. Somebody somewhere is paying someone off. WE THE PEOPLE keep getting screwed. It’s no wonder our country is such a freaking mess.

    June 19, 2013
  • Linda Brown

    Jerry, we won’t give up. We, who do care more than just reading about the problem of how horses, animals, people, are treated in this country, will keep up the fight. We will pray, inform ourselves, thanks to people like you. We will make the calls, write the letters, rescue the ones that we ourselves can save, and inform others, to help those who can’t speak or protect themselves from the greedy ones who do what they do for their own personal gain, with no care or concern for the God given animals who need our help.
    We won’t give up!

    June 19, 2013
  • Jade Hawks

    I’ve always believed in definition of winners: someone who gets knocked on their ass 20 times…and gets UP 21 times! I’m ashamed of a lot of the people working in “my government”, but I’m so proud of my countrymen/women who are going to get up tomorrow morning with me and step back into that ring with a smile and smartass remark like: “Lucky punch! Wanna try it again?!” and we’ll be back on the phones, our computers, and rallies – until this insanity is brought down and WE THE PEOPLE are once more the backbone of the government in this country. Going to bed now. Blessed Be All!

    June 19, 2013
  • Paula Denmon

    Sherry. It is the Government is too big
    Guys that pushed the King Amendment through. They do not want any restrictions by state or federal government on the treatment of animals or how
    Plants are grown. That is where this is coming from. In this
    Case we definitely need
    The government to require that animals
    Are treated humanely. And food is grown to be safe. This
    Amendment would override the Texas laws that prevent
    Horse slaughter, just passed bill that controls
    Puppy mills and makes dog fighting and cock
    Fighting illegal. So don’t just say government is too
    Big. Some legislators are just
    Bought and paid for by big Ag ( Monsanto Farm Bureau Cattlemens Ass), Big Energy, Big Pharm

    June 20, 2013
  • Barbara

    So sad but you are right. We will never give up.

    June 20, 2013
  • kumadee

    Seems as though the closer you get to making changes; the harder the door slams.
    I’ve already emailed Pete Sessions and warned him about November elections and I’ve called my reps office and told him to vote “NO” on the Farm Bill.

    For the horses…

    June 20, 2013
  • TerryW

    It’s beyond human, it’s subhuman. Don’t any of these people have children and grandchildren to answer to? Is empathy, decency, ethics – and class – bred out of these people? How many prostitutes do we have in our government?

    June 20, 2013
  • Sue

    I rece4ived a bulk e-mail reply from “my” House Representative, Ted Yoho. He’s been the Representative in this district for over 30 years. Here is the reply:

    <<<<<Thank you for contacting me regarding the Protecting Interstate Commerce Act (PICA) Amendment to the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act and to express your concerns regarding the mistreatment of animals. As a large animal veterinarian and the only Member of Congress from Florida serving on the Agriculture Committee I appreciate hearing from fellow Floridians on important matters such as this.

    The King Amendment passed by voice vote, which means it had strong bipartisan support, during the House Committee on Agriculture mark-up of the five-year authorization of the Farm Bill. I serve on this Committee and feel this California law would create a significant hardship for the hard-working North-Central Florida farmers and ranchers that provide our nation with food from humanely-raised livestock.

    In 2008, the State of California passed Proposition 2 known as the Standards for Confining Farm Animals initiative. This state law would dictate certain size standards for the way farm animals like chickens and calves could be confined. These new standards would force all egg, veal, and pork producers in California and even those selling these products for consumption in the state to comply with the standards by January 1, 2015.

    The PICA Amendment sponsored by Rep. Steve King of Iowa references the Commerce Clause, and states that the government of a state or locality therein shall not impose a standard or condition on the production or manufacture of any agriculture product if that product is produced or manufactured in another state and the standard or condition complies with federal law.

    This amendment in no way supersedes states' rights and would not prevent states from imposing future food safety requirements. The amendment merely states that a state cannot prohibit the import of a product from another state based solely on that product's means of production.

    As a large animal veterinarian with 30 plus years of experience I could never support animal cruelty and will always seek to ensure that all animals are treated properly and humanely. Thank you for contacting me in regards to the Protecting Interstate Commerce Amendment (PICA) Amendment to the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act. I appreciate hearing from you. If you have any additional concerns or comments please feel free to contact me; and if you haven't already, please take a moment and visit my website at http://www.yoho.house.gov and sign up for my weekly e-newsletter.

    Take care,

    Ted S. Yoho
    Member of Congress
    Serving the 3rd District of Florida

    June 20, 2013
  • Sue

    He twisted the response to make it sound as if those California Liberals were trying to force some dreadful restrictions on Florida residents!

    I also do not know how he’s got 30 years as a large animal vet since he’s served in the House at least that many years. I didn’t even know he was a vet! I wouldn’t want him serving MY horses! And he defends veal production….still? Really?!!

    June 20, 2013
  • Toni

    I TRIED to tell everyone in my district what a piece of crap steve king was but oh, no, they listened to his BS commercials saying the Animal Activists were paying the bills for his challenger. Wrong on all counts. He’s a Jerk and I’ve known it for a long time. His folksy down home commercials fooled enough people that he got back in. Words can not express my feelings about him. Not even bad words. His next agenda is legal dog fights.

    June 20, 2013
  • janwindsong

    I’m sick at heart. So discouraged. America has been infiltrated with corrupt, self serving profiteers. A culture of liars and thieves.

    What hardship does he speak of? The corporations that raise (sorry a slip) that force multiplicatuon ofsaleable cell material, make 400 times what n average worker makes in a year.

    The only weapon we have is awareness. Do NOT buy food from Costa, Sam’s, WalMart, any chain store.

    Return to the Ma and Pa stores. Only buy from local food farmers and ranchers.

    I’ve got to get on the phone again. Calling my CA Senators and beg them to stop this avalanch of cruelty.

    June 20, 2013
  • Debbie Tracy

    I also have made the calls yesterday and today, it’s hard to have a positive attitude when such blatent injustice occurs over and over, HOW on earth does the evil win over the good??? I will of course keep fighting but my gosh the manure is so tall and thick…

    Discouraging here we are fighting for this King amendment not to go further and to KEEP defunding language in horse inspections AND we have NOT even TOUCHED on the Ban OF HORSE SLAUGHTER & TRANSPORT, oh gosh will Bill 1094 ever see the light of day??? WOW makes me so freaking ANGRY…..

    June 20, 2013
  • Lisa L.

    I’m sure in his own environs, Iowa’s Steve King must be a real peach, but in his ‘professional’ life, he is a demon incarnate.
    If it’s female, animal, green, in need or self-governing, Mr. King has voted it down. (He’s gone so far as to vote to repeal the Wild Horse and Burro Act.) I can understand and take issue with his own politics but when he starts telling my state – and by extension, ME – that he and his cronies know better how to govern, he’s overstepped a tad.
    I hadn’t heard of Steve King until about two months ago; now it seems his name is attached to just about every horrendous piece of legislation coming out of Neverland. These people and their games… and they don’t even have the self-awareness to feel shame for what they do.
    By relegating ethics, empathy and compassion – for fellow humans or animals – to character flaws or weakness, they can sit up there in the clouds and believe they’re doing good work. By removing the ability to debate these actions, it demonstrates that the individual objections must have had great merit. Otherwise, why employ the standard late-night sneak tactics to ensure they don’t see the light of day?
    In my (admittedly biased) opinion, Iowa’s Steve King is a dangerous thing. And that his distasteful agendas are given national weight is absolutely frightening.

    June 20, 2013