PART FIVE (WHY WON’T THE HSUS JUST COME CLEAN?) “WHY THE PAST ACT DIDN’T MAKE IT?” IT’S TIME FOR SOME STRAIGHT ANSWERS FROM CONGRESSMAN ED WHITFIELD (R-KY) AND THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES

(Editor’s Note:  Interview Invitations were extended to HSUS CEO Mr. Wayne Pacelle and to Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY).  Mr. Pacelle declined through his representative, and no response was forthcoming from Congressman Whitfield’s representative)  

WASHINGTON,  DC –  The facts now substantiate that if the HSUS had worked as hard passing the PAST ACT,  as it has in making post mortem  “excuses” and “spin” attempts,  the PAST ACT would now be the law of the land.

Since the PAST ACT’S  demise,  HSUS officials have been frantically scrambling to put an acceptable “face” on what happened.       The initial HSUS Dec. 10, 2014 spin job blaming it all on an “UNIDENTIFIED REPUBLICAN HOLD” didn’t hold water.

The problem is a December 16, 2013 Wayne Pacelle Email made public in the OCE (Office Of Congressional Ethics) investigation of in which Mr. Pacelle says to colleagues:      ” “¦ I’d really like to get to 50 in the Senate, and then we have an ironclad case to make for moving it, with majorities in both chambers.   If Commerce passes it, then Reid, if we give him enough time, can do a cloture vote on it. We’ve got enough ins with him that we just might get it done.”  

On  Dec. 16, 2013, the  PAST ACT  had  38  Senators.

On  March 13, 2014, when the  PAST ACT  reached  50  Senators.

On  April 9, 2014, the U. S.  Senate Commerce Committee  unanimously approved the  PAST ACT.

The problem is Mr. Pacelle never made good on his stated intention to go to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for a Floor Vote and Cloture to shut off debate.

The reason “why” appears to be an OCE investigation which,  according to Congressman Whitfield Aide Marty Irby,  began in  early January 2014,   shortly after Mr. Pacelle’s email.

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The  Congressional Ethics Investigation was to determine if Ms. Harriman-Whitfield lobbied her Congressman husband  or his staff on the  PAST ACT,  and if Congressman Whitfield granted special favors or privileges to Ms. Harriman-Whitfield,  either in her capacity as a lobbyist,  or to her employer,  The Humane Society Of The United States.

The other Parts of this series detailed events until the final straw that broke the camel’s back of the PAST ACT was this photo which appeared on July 17, 2014:

ILeft To Right) HSUS CEO Wayne PACELLE,  CONSTANCE (CONNIE) HARRIMAN-WHITFIELD, CONGRESSMAN ED WHITFIELD (R-KY)

(Left To Right) HSUS CEO WAYNE PACELLE, CONSTANCE (CONNIE) HARRIMAN-WHITFIELD, CONGRESSMAN ED WHITFIELD (R-KY)

The public did not become aware of the full extent of the OCE investigation until November 10, 2014 when the contents were disclosed.

But Mr. Pacelle was monitoring it every step of the way.

During the Spring and Summer of 2014,  both Congressman Whitfield and Mr. Wayne Pacelle expressed support for passing the PAST ACT.

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“WALK ON WASHINGTON” – JUNE 18, 2014

After the shoe dropped on November 10, 2014,  things changed dramatically.

As late as  November 14, 2014,  Mr. Wayne Pacelle told  The Tennessean  newspaper,      “This (PAST ACT) is our top legislative priority.”   Yet in the same interview,  Mr. Pacelle started talking in terms of 2015 saying that  he expects Whitfield, as well as the other cosponsors in the House and Senate, to stay on board.”    Pacelle said  “This is not a new-found concern of his, and everything I’ve seen from him shows he’s very focused and determined to getting this bill over the finish line.”

This did not play well with supporters of the PAST ACT.

They were going all out and fighting to get it passed, but Mr. Pacelle seemed to find a reverse gear.

In the Tennessean story, a  spokesman for Whitfield  hedged saying  “nothing has been decided”  about reintroducing the anti-soring bill in the next Congress. Whitfield also has denied wrongdoing, and his lawyer told the ethics office that Whitfield’s staff acted according to his policies and directives, not those of his wife or her employer.”

On November 19, 2014,  Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) became Senator #60, and on November 21, 2014,  Representative Dave Brat (R-VA) became Republican #117 satisfying the “HASTERT RULE”.

Congressman Whitfield made no final push to #PASSTHEPASTACT.

HSUS CEO Mr. Pacelle did not do the “One Thing” he knew would work to #PASSTHEPASTACT which was to play the “Harry Reid Card”.

So “why” didn’t Mr. Pacelle make good on using his influence to persuade Democrat Harry Reid (D-NV) to call a Floor Vote, then invoke Cloture to pass the PAST ACT?

The obvious answer now is the HSUS,  by going to the wall for the PAST ACT,  would invite media scrutiny and draw attention to the Whitfield Ethics Investigation and the HSUS role in it.

Faced with that choice,  Mr. Pacelle  decided to throw his  “Top Legislative” priority overboard.

Congressman Whitfield also decided to pull the plug on the PAST ACT.  He has been clammed up since July 31, 2014, and rode the campaign bus with PAST ACT foe Mitch McConnell in late October 2014.

When the PAST ACT expired,  the HSUS was faced with explaining to all its donors “Why” the PAST ACT did not become law.

As for Congressman Ed Whitfield,  he simply disappeared,  not even taking time to thank all the persons who had worked so hard to support HR 1518.

Both the fact that neither Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) nor HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle made any final push on behalf of the PAST ACT while the golden opportunity was there begs all kinds of questions:

  • how bad the Ethics Investigation really is?
  • what is  still out there that has not been made public?
  • why did Congressman Whitfield not make a final push?
  • why did Congressman Whitfield get on the bus to campaign for Mitch McConnell?
  • why didn’t Congressman Whitfield thank PAST ACT supporters when the bill died?
  • what does Mr. Pacelle fear?

None of it adds up.

If the PAST ACT,  according to CEO Wayne Pacelle,  was the “Top Legislative Priority” of The Humane Society Of The United States, how can you explain Mr. Pacelle  pulling the plug on it leaving all the PAST ACT supporters wondering what in the world happened?

Rather than come forward,   all The Humane Society Of The United States has done since the PAST ACT went down on December 11, 2014,  is put out rapid fire “Spin Attempts” on  Dec. 22, 23, 29,  31, to “explain”  the HSUS’s failure to deliver victory when the planets miraculously aligned in 2014 to #PASSTHEPASTACT.

Interestingly,  the “spin attempts’ have been buried in and among various HSUS Year End reports of various activities offered by:

WAYNE PACELLE,  HSUS CEO – DEC. 22, 2014  

“We assembled an incredible bipartisan group of  308 Representatives and 60 Senators  behind the  Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act  to stop the inhumane practice of “soring” show horses, and sustained funding for USDA’s  enforcement of the existing (albeit weak) federal Horse Protection Act.”

BGB  COMMENTS:  Mr. Pacelle said not getting the PAST ACT passed was “…one of my great frustrations, given the impregnable case we made for reform.”

Interestingly, Mr. Pacelle used the words “we have an ironclad case”   on December 16, 2013,  when referring to going to Senator Reid to ask for a Floor Vote and Cloture for the PAST ACT.  And then he talked about an “impregnable case we made for reform    to The Tennessean on November 14, 2014.      Mr. Pacelle should have realized that “The Horses” had a “wurtzite  boron nitride case” for him standing up for them and protecting them by persuading lame duck Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to call a Floor Vote and invoke Cloture,  but it didn’t get done.

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WAYNE PACELLE,  HSUS CEO  – DEC. 29, 2014

“We built enormous support for this issue in Congress ““ with 60 Senators and 308 House members signing on to the  Prevent All Soring Tactics Act.”    …  “A powerful coalition has been assembled to get this legislation over the finish line in 2015.”

In his statements,  Mr. Pacelle billed the HSUS as a “large, powerful organization that could help unite the disparate strands within our field and drive results from lawmakers, the courts, and business leaders.”    

Perhaps Mr. Pacelle needs to read the words of his employee Constance (Connie) Harriman-Whitfield,  wife of Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY):

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CONSTANCE (CONNIE) HARRIMAN-WHITFIELD, WIFE OF CONGRESSMAN ED WHITFIELD (R-KY), AND HSUS EMPLOYEE

CONSTANCE (CONNIE) HARRIMAN-WHITFIELD, WIFE OF CONGRESSMAN ED WHITFIELD (R-KY), AND HSUS EMPLOYEE

According to the April 24, 2014 deposition of Congressman Whitfield’s Scheduler Emma Hydelauff, she set up between 50 – 70 meetings for Marty Irby and Donna Benefield with Representatives/Senators in September/October/November 2013.  Before this push began,  the number of PAST ACT House co-sponsors was about 160.   By October 24, 2014,  the number had climbed to 202.  

www.billygoboy.com reported on  Oct. 24, 2013   “WASHINGTON, DC ““ The number of Co-Sponsors of HR 1518 in the House of Representatives in a  meteoric  rise has now reached  202. (147 Democrats and and 55 Republicans)  The magic number is  218,  and then the Bill  which will be in a position to be moved onto the House Floor by Co-Sponsor  Ed Whitfield (R-KY)  for consideration.”

Perhaps, Mr. Pacelle needs to also read where on January 28, 2014,   Ms. Harriman-Whitfield told the problems of HSUS setting up meetings with Republican Congressmen and Senators:

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MIKE MARKARIAN – DEC. 23, 2014  

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Mr Markarian is an important man at  The Humane Society Of The United States.  He is second in command and answers directly to HSUS CE0 Wayne Pacelle,  as does  Ms. Constance (Connie) Harriman-Whitfield, wife of  Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY).

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HIGHLIGHTS FOR ANIMALS FROM THE 113TH CONGRESS

MR.  MARKARIAN SAID:      “The 113th Congress, spanning January 2013 to December 2014, may be remembered for its relative lack of productivity and growing polarization. In terms of general lawmaking, it appears this Congress enacted fewer laws, by a wide margin, than any other since at least 1947, the date to which the House clerk’s records go back.

Yet despite two years of gridlock, Congress delivered a number of important successes for animals in the past two years. There were some major setbacks and disappointments, too. But the successes in the areas of animal fighting, chimpanzee sanctuaries, horse slaughter, wildlife trafficking, fending off the King amendment, and more demonstrate that even when little else is getting done, animal protection can bridge partisan divides in Congress.”

The  PAST ACT  was not mentioned at the top of Mr. Markarian’s HIGHLIGHTS  Blog Report,    rather it was buried toward the bottom of the  “HIGHLIGHTS”.

.In his “Highlights’ ,  Mr. Markarian listed:   POSITIVE STEPS, DEFENDING AGAINST HARMFUL MEASURES and SETBACKS.   The PAST ACT was addressed in SETBACKS.
POSITIVE STEPS:
  1. ANIMAL FIGHTING.
  2. CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARY
  3. HORSE SLAUGHTER
  4. IVORY AND WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING
  5. WILD HORSES
  6. ANIMAL WELFARE ENFORCEMENT
  7. ALTERNATIVES TO ANIMAL TESTING
  8. CAPTIVE MARINE MAMMALS
  9. VETERINARY MEDICINE MOBILITY ACT

DEFENDING AGAINST HARMFUL MEASURES:

  1. KING AMENDMENT
  2. SPORTSMEN’S ACT
  3. OTTERS
  4. IVORY/WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING
 SETBACKS,
MIKE MARKARIAN  – DECEMBER 23, 2014 –  “And some crucial measures were left  unfinished, such as the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to end the cruel soring of Tennessee walking horses. With the overwhelming  bipartisan support of 308 House cosponsors and 60 Senate cosponsors  and endorsements by an extraordinarily  broad coalition  of veterinary, horse industry, animal welfare, and other groups, the PAST Act is  ripe  for final action.  It was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee but blocked from Senate and House floor consideration by a few legislators doing the bidding of the horse sorers, who don’t want Congress upsetting the status quo that has been so profitable for them.  There’s no excuse for not passing the PAST Act.  It must be addressed as a priority in the upcoming year.”
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BGB COMMENTS:   Mr. Markarian is simply misleading HSUS donors when he says that the PAST ACT “is” ripe for final action, and say there is “no excuse” for not passing it, and it must be addressed as a priority in the upcoming year.

The truth is the PAST ACT “was” ripe for final action.   Things have changed from 2014 to 2015.    Senator Mitch McConnell is now Majority Leader of the United States Senate, most likely for the next six years and possibly beyond.  And there are many reasons the “308 – 118 – 60” coalition won’t be repeated in the 114th Congress.

Apparently,  Mr. Markarian also doesn’t want the HSUS donors or PAST ACT supporters to focus upon Mr. Pacelle not going all out with lame duck Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid when he had the chance.

Mr.  Markarian,  the burning question in the minds of every American who worked so hard to see the PAST ACT to become law is why didn’t Mr. Wayne Pacelle do what he said he was going to do on December 16, 2013

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KEITH DANE,  DEC. 31, 2014 TALKING POINTS

KEITH DANE, TWHBEA DIRECTOR AND NATIONAL EQUINE PROTECTION DIRECTOR, THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES

KEITH DANE, TWHBEA DIRECTOR AND NATIONAL EQUINE PROTECTION DIRECTOR, THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES

“we worked to gain an extremely rare, wide majority of cosponsors in both the House and the Senate”

“some of the biggest successes in animal protection legislation have taken several sessions”

“we worked to gain an extremely rare, wide majority of cosponsors in both the House and the Senate”

BGB COMMENTS:  This is the same old “party line” Yimmer Yammer from Mr. Dane, mostly trying to take all the credit for the HSUS, then making excuses for why the job did not get done.

Congressman Ed Whitfield’s PAST ACT expert Marty Irby told Keith Dane on January 28, 2014:

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FORMER TWHBEA PRESIDENT MARTY IRBY

FORMER TWHBEA PRESIDENT MARTY IRBY

Congressman Ed Whitfield’s wife and HSUS employee told Keith Dane on January 28, 2014:

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CONSTANCE (CONNIE) HARRIMAN-WHITFIELD, WIFE OF CONGRESSMAN ED WHITFIELD (R-KY), AND HSUS EMPLOYEE

CONSTANCE (CONNIE) HARRIMAN-WHITFIELD, WIFE OF CONGRESSMAN ED WHITFIELD (R-KY), AND HSUS EMPLOYEE

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BGB COMMENTS:

Only because of the hard work of the  American  Public,  and many groups who do not incur the knee jerk enmity by many elected officials toward HSUS,   there was a remarkable  BIPARTISAN  coalition  “308 – 118 – 60” for the PAST ACT in 2014.

There are other things that can be done to further weaken and take down the sore Big Lick, but in all probability, it sadly will not be the PAST ACT in 2015.

The time for that was 2014.

Going forward, there are serious questions as to what out front role, if any, that the HSUS can effectively play in the fight to eliminate the sore Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse.

It’s now Monday,  January 5, 2015.

The American Public deserves some straight answers, not more ‘spin’ attempts,  from Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Mr. Wayne Pacelle,  CEO,  The Humane Society Of The United States.

Isn’t it time they just came clean?

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