The letter (last revised 7/31/2012):
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Congressman Steve King (R-IA).
I am writing to you today regarding your comments during your LiveStream town hall about dog fighting spectators. There is nothing wrong with my priorities regarding living creatures and animal rights because when people choose to fight- they do just that, they choose to step into a ring and fight; dogs, roosters and other animals are forced by people into barbaric situations and suffer terrible treatment before, during and after these terrible happenings and after often killed after a loss.
However, aside from the fact that these animals are living creatures who feel pain, Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States whom you referenced in your video has come out with a statement saying “Spectators are participants and accomplices who enable the crime of animal fighting, make the enterprise profitable through admission fees and wagering, and help conceal and protect the handlers and organizers; Federal investigators who raid large-scale animal fighting operations may soon be able to prosecute the entire cast of characters who sustain dogfighting and cockfighting.” Also coming along with the activities of illegal dog and cockfighting are gangs, narcotics, illegal weapons possession, public corruption and various violent crimes- which is why a crackdown against spectators of such events is highly supported by Fraternal Order of Police, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and more than 150 law enforcement agencies from across the country.
It is illegal in 49 states to be a knowing spectator at an animal fight. A majority—29 states—impose felony-level penalties on spectators. This legislation imposes federal misdemeanor penalties for knowing attendance and felony penalties for knowingly causing a minor to attend.
The amendment was introduced by Senator David Vitter-La., and strongly backed by Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Conn., Maria Cantwell, Wash., Mark Kirk,-Ill., Scott Brown, -Mass., and Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, -Mich.
Apparently, this isn’t your first attempt at stopping animal rights in your five terms in Congress. According to a release from the Humane Society of the United States: "[King] has led the fight in Congress to block legislation to crack down on the barbaric practices of dogfighting and cockfighting; during consideration of the 2012 Farm bill, [King] was also the lead an unsuccessful effort to defeat a McGovern amendment to make it a crime for an adult to attend or to bring a child to a dogfight or cockfight.
A three-year study by the Chicago Police Department found that 70 percent of animal offenders had also been arrested for other felonies, including domestic and aggravated battery, illegal drug trafficking, and sex crimes. That pattern of behavior undoubtedly encouraged the Fraternal Order of Police, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and nearly 200 law enforcement agencies from across the country to support the current effort in Congress to quash illegal dogfighting and cockfighting.
Every other federal lawmaker in Iowa – including Republicans Charles Grassley and Tom Latham –supported this policy of forbidding adults from bringing children to these spectacles of violence. South Dakota Senator John Thune also voted in favor of barring adults from taking kids to animal fighting spectacles.
[King] also stood alone in Iowa’s delegation in opposing a previous upgrade of the federal law against animal fighting. In 2007, he was one of a just a small group of lawmakers to oppose H.R. 137, a bill to make it a federal felony to transport animals or cockfighting implements across state lines."[- Report released by the HSUS.]
The people have spoken, and they are not happy with the stance you've taken against animals and their rights; because your actions against animals and legislation involving animal rights have told the public more about your character than anything you could say come time for the elections.
Congressman Steve King has opposed many different pieces of legislation regarding animal rights; he also says he’s for states’ rights, but he is the author of an amendment, adopted during the recent House Agriculture Committee consideration of the farm bill, that seeks to nullify a raft of statewide laws―his target being laws to protect animals, either duly approved by state lawmakers or directly by voters, and also perhaps nullifying laws on environmental protection, worker rights, food safety, and other issues.
Tell Congressman King that there is nothing wrong with our priorities, but there are clearly something wrong with his.
Sign our petition and join us on Facebook at Dogs Against Congressman Steve King.