On March 28, hotflash reported on a Senate Ag Committee hearing in Jeff City in which certain statements were made about the Humane Society of the United States and, specifically, the petition process currently taking place in Missouri to put puppy mill regulation to a vote in November.
Witness Dale Ludwig of the MO Soybean Assn. asserted that HSUS raises $100 million a year with campaigns such as this and that only $1 out of every $200 raised actually goes to pet care.
Since I am one of the petition carriers for this effort to better regulate mass production of puppies for profit in our state, I decided to look into who is buying full-page ads in national newspapers denouncing HSUS.
If you go to the home page of HumaneWatch you’ll find a blog by David Martosko calling HSUS every name in the book and inviting people to join the discussion. And who does David M work for? From his own page:
After the 2000 political season, I joined the Washington firm of Berman and Company, working almost exclusively for its nonprofit client the Center for Consumer Freedom. (CCF hadn’t yet really found its voice, or even its name, back then.) I found myself working alongside people who, like me, lived to dig up elusive nuggets of information and communicate them to a wide audience.
The Center for Consumer Freedom formerly called the “Guest Choice Network (GCN)”) is a front group for the restaurant, alcohol, tobacco and other industries. It runs media campaigns which oppose the efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, environmentalists and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, calling them “the Nanny Culture — the growing fraternity of food cops, health care enforcers, anti-meat activists, and meddling bureaucrats who ‘know what’s best for you.'”
CCF is registered as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization under the IRS code 501(c)(3). Its advisory board is comprised mainly of representatives from the restaurant, meat and alcoholic beverage industries.
Does the name Rick Berman ring a bell? It does if you watch the Rachel Maddow show regularly
HSUS is on to Berman and his astroturf smear campaign
How much our state legislators know about the Center for Consumer Freedom is another question altogether. Berman can make people believe anything, no matter how crazy it sounds. And with unlimited funds from the corporations that benefit from his lies, his tentacles reach deep into our psyches.
Now I’m even more motivated to get as many signatures on the puppy mill petitions as I can. To learn more about this effort, go to puppy mill ballot