Monday, July 19, 2010

URGENT Ga Voters READ TODAY! Slate of Animal Welfare Friendly Candidates

Dear SEPRR, 
Many of you are either in Georgia, drive down here to rescue our animals, or work hard for reform from wherever you reside.. In Georgia, The Primary election is an often overlooked voting day with VERY low voter turn out. Animal activists have a real chance to seed the field with candidates who have demonstrated support of Animals and their proper treatment. 
This slate identifies candidates who actively support Animal Welfare and, if elected, would actually work to improve matters here in Georgia. In a few cases, we identify candidates who actively worked against Animal Welfare issues. We will also mention officials and candidates support SEPRR's Initiative for Animal Welfare Reform
Caveat: We do not lend any weight based upon party or any other political position. It is ONLY based upon demonstrated support for or against Animal Welfare in Georgia. We will mention which Party each candidate is associated with simply because many of you will want to highlight this for the party you personally prefer. This is as far as we go with the partisan politics.
Track the Election!A good jumping off point for Election Race Coverage is here:  Peach Pundit may be another place to jump into the fray. We are NOT endorsing either news source, just presenting a good place to jump in the water.

Dept of Agriculture
In terms of scope of power and the potential impact upon the plight of animals in Georgia, the Director of the Dept. of Agriculture, currently Tommy Irwin, is the most important office besides the Governor's race or perhaps the Attorney General.

During Irwin's record-breaking tenure, little has been done to improve the operations of Animal Control in our state in regards to reducing the need to euthanize animals in our shelters, all at tax payer expense. There is still no duty to report animal control shelter operational statistics to the Department. Regulations are lax. Enforcement is intermittent perhaps even understaffed. Inspections are scheduled. Shelter managers can anticipate when inspections occur. There are NO records or data tracked by or analyzed by the Department, therefore any statistics for Euthanasia, such as the related costs and the numbers killed, have been undertaken by various groups such as ourselves, SPOT Society, HSUS, GVAW, etc.
This article generated by Animal Welfare activist Ellen Graben, highlights all the current candidates for the Dept of Agriculture. (Graben has NOT endorsed this Slate, nor does she have anything to do with our organization.) Graben takes a different approach, refraining from endorsing or criticizing candidates. She has given the reader all the links and information to inform themselves. In any case, it is a great article! If you can't access Facebook or Twitter, we will be sending a copy of the posting via this email list.!/note.php?note_id=409293773043&id=100000500693168&ref=nf

(Twitter: rt @seprr Read before you VOTE in GA! CHANGE in the Wind for GA's Animals, Shelters, & Rescues (Part I) #gapolitics)
 Gary Ward Black Sr. (R) insiders are predicting this to be current the front runner, given polling results, his access to funding sources, and overall reach. The good news: he has stated he will do "right" by the animals in our state. 
X J.B. Powell (D) during the negotiations to pass the Animal Fighting Bill, ending the fighting of ALL animals in Georgia, he objected to the inclusion of Cock Fighting.

Attorney General
Bob Teilhet (D) 
actively supports animal welfare issues.

Insurance Commissioner
   Tom Knox deserves Honorable Mention. He fought long and hard to pass the Anti-Gassing Bill. His efforts were successful. Georgia will soon put into the past the gassing of animals in our shelters.

Department of LaborWhile we do not have evidence in support of the field of candidates in terms of Animal Welfare Support, we can tell you who has NOT supported Animal Welfare Reform, and has worked hard to oppose changes.

X Mark Butler (R)
 has consistently voted against reform measures. Specifically, he actively opposed the Anti-Gassing Bill and the Anti-Freeze Bill (which makes Anti-freeze unpalatable to children and animals to reduce incidence of poisoning.)

Candidates for Governor
Recommendation: Republican: Karen Handel  Democrat: Dubose Porter

 Karen Handel (R) Has spoken several times on behalf of animal welfare. She even makes the rounds to rescue events during her campaign. She also wrote a loose endorsement for the SEPRR's Animal Welfare Reform Initiative. She would not sign the petition on the grounds that it would be awkward to the legislative process if she were the governor, and her petition signature was noticed by opponents. I can't claim to understand this rationale, but I suspect she is trying to do things the most ethical way possible.

 Dubose Porter (D) Hailing from South Georgia near Dublin and Warner-Robbins, his wife is running for Lt. Governor. His wife runs a chain of local papers.  They use these papers to generate awareness of various animal welfare issues as they arise in those communities. Topics are Dog Fighting, Rescue, Cruelty. The two of them are squarely in support of companion animal rights.

Roy Barnes (D)  and former Governor As an attorney, he defended a client who was responsible for the starving to death of a one or two dozens horses. He prevailed and the client was exonerated. It is certainly a lawyers duty to defend their clients, so this is not necessarily damning comment. During his last tenure a Governor, it may be said if he helped Animals by allowing the Spay & Neuter license tag program to pass. 
The other  Candidates for Governor don't bear any mention since they have not demonstrated any support whatsoever of Animal Welfare Issues.

Note: Current Governor Perdue (R) has done practically nothing to improve the plight of Georgia's animals. The factory farming bill passed during his administration, significantly reducing the standards for care of livestock during the "production cycle". In the last few weeks, he took a stab at Companion Animals, redirecting the funds from the Spay and Neuter License Tag program to the General Budget.
Candidates for Lt. Governor
  Carol Porter (D)  Similar to here husband, Dubose who is also running for an office, she has leveraged her chain of local south Georgia newspapers to increase awareness of animal welfare issues.She is personally involved hands-on with day to day animal rescue.. fostering, pulling, adopting.

No other candidates, R or D,  have any demonstrated track record in support of Animal Welfare Issues.

The following officials have demonstrated support of Animal Welfare bills in the House. 

 Tom Knox,   Michelle Henson,   Rashad Taylor,  
 Edward Lindsey (R House Whip),   Able Mabel Thomas
If other SEPRR members know about their own candidates in their districts, such as the House of Reps or Senators, then please add them to the related Discussion item on the Fan Page. 

"Wags McGruff"

SE Pet Rescue Railroad
Office: 1.678.389.9903
Mobile: 1.404.932.6399
Fax: 1.404.3484759

Share on Twitter: RT @seprr Vote Tomorrow; Animal Welfare in GA: Pls use this slate of candidates. #petrescue (PLZ RT to GA!)

NOTE: SEPRR has not filed as a 501C3. Therefore, we can speak freely about political candidates as they relate to our mission of Animal Welfare Awareness and Reform.
Donations are accepted, but NOT tax deductible.This summer, we will get rolling on the charitable side, supporting rescues & shelters with grants, etc, but that is still under planning.
Donations can be sent via mail to SEPRR c/o Convivia Group PO Box 250712 Atlanta GA 30325
Checks can be made payable to SEPRR.
NOTE: About the numbers in the Animal Welfare Reform Petition Coversheet:
Euthanasia, Budgets, and Taxes: The numbers game of life and death.Since there is no duty to report, or duty to respond to survey forms from the public, the data is incomplete, and we can only use statistical modeling to estimate the numbers of animals killed and the related costs to the tax payer. Our group defends the numbers that 644,000 animals annually are euthanized in Animal Controls in Georgia, at an related cost of $220 million annually. GVAW has a recent survey that points to a much lower number, 240,000 animals annually, but that is the actual number reported, and does not statistically infer the total number for the rest of the state that did not respond to the survey. Given the low response rate, the 240,000 number statistically support's SEPRR's number.

Other Candidates to Note: It should also be mentioned that   Mary Norwood, former Atlanta Mayoral candidate and a denied access "candidate" in the Fulton County Commission Chairperson race, wrote a clear endorsement of SEPRR's Animal Welfare Initiative, and may have supported a test project in Fulton, in conjunction with other counties, if she had been given access to the ballot, which has been denied upon a technicality where she filed her forms 4 hours late. 30,000 voters signatures were ignored by the Fulton County Board of Elections. The Director who led this denial is an appointee. He was appointed by the incumbent Fulton County Chairman, Eaves, who also led the suit to throw out 8,000 other signatures. Why does this matter? These same players make decisions about who and who manages that Fulton County Animal Control. If they play the game this way with Norwood, what do you think they will do when it comes to decisions about the shelter?


Deb said...

Please note that Lynne Riley is running for the 50th State House District. As Fulton County Commissioner, Lynn was a strong proponent of the proposed ordinance banning dog chaining.

Deborah Smith-Callahan
Pet Rescue and Adoptions

Bryan Grant said...

BE the Change for Animals. Rock the Vote in Georgia this Fall.

All the links to the forums are here: