Letter to Governor Nixon on SB 113 and Proposition B

Governor Nixon:

SB 113 should be on your desk and you're now faced with a decision: sign or veto the bill.

It's tempting to think that you should sign the bill and move on. After all, didn't you work with the Agricultural Appropriations committee to get more funding for the Department of Agriculture to enforce existing laws? Hasn't the same committee said that you'll only get these funds if you sign SB 113? And if you don't sign the bill, won't you be facing the wrath of the people in your rural communities?

However, you can't deny one thing: the people of Missouri have stated that we want Proposition B, and no matter how SB 113 is worded, it is a repeal of Proposition B. It is a rejection of the voters of this state.

Can we get by without the $1.1 million in new funding for enforcement? I truly believe we can.

Give the respect we get

I believe I've found all the representatives who voted to gut Proposition b, but who came from districts that supported Proposition b. They join with the four State Senators, who also voted against the wishes of the people in their districts. There were several others who I didn't list whose districts were split almost right down the middle—they'll have to figure out what they'll tell half the people come election time.

Though Proposition b was bi-partisan, with significant support among Republican voters, the Republican representatives were more willing to disregard the will of the people than the Democrats. However, I think every state Senator and Representative who voted for SB 113 and who comes from a district that supports Proposition b should be held accountable, and should answer one question: why?

The Reps who voted against their districts

The Jefferson City News Tribune has a list of the votes for SB 113 in the House.

I'm focusing on those from Yes on B districts who voted to gut Proposition B by voting for SB 113.

Republicans:

My old friend, TJ Berry, who I got into a back and forth with last week, came out for SB 113. I'm not surprised by his action: he was just playing games when he talked about "compromise". Since his district voted for Proposition B by 57.1%, tell him what you think of his "compromise" in the next election.

John Diel came from a St. Louis district that voted for Proposition B by 61.4%! I wonder what he got in order to betray the people in his district so heavily.

This isn't the end

I listened to, and recorded, the "debate" on SB 113 in the House today.

First, my thanks for those brave souls who suffered the indignities heaped on them by Representative Loehner, aided and abetted by Tilley. I'll have the folks' names as soon as I can decipher who said what from the recording. I'll also post all of the recordings I have—though be forewarned, you'll need a strong stomach to listen to them.

This is not the end. We still have the possibility of a Nixon veto. Well, OK, the possibility is slight: after all, the politicians in this state are more afraid of the Missouri Farm Bureau than the voters. Still, we can only be pleasantly surprised—read that "astounded"—at this point. Whether I vote for Nixon again is based on his actions in regards to SB 113. I have no patience for people who trade either dogs or our votes for political gain. It is just that simple.

Protests and Petitions

There was a Humane Day at the state capital yesterday. I should have posted a note before the event, but I got caught up in the fooflah surrounding Governor Nixon's "generosity".

As noted in the news story, SB 113 not only guts Proposition B but also undermines existing enforcement. The bill uses tricky wording to make it seem as if it is improving enforcement, when what it is doing is adding additional layers of complexity.

I love the comment by Representative Loehner:

How much are the dogs and voters worth?

Evidently, the welfare of the dogs and the vote of the people are worth $1.1 million to Governor Nixon and the kiddies in the Missouri Senate.

According to a new story from Fox, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved Nixon's 1.1 million request for additional inspectors, on condition that Nixon signs SB 113.

Why lax laws need to change

A sad reminder of why the lax laws—at both the federal and state level—need to change: The USDA has taken an Iowa breeder to court for unpaid fines. That's about all the USDA can do, too—that and revoke the license.

This breeder has been repeatedly cited for filthy conditions and dogs that were desperately in need of care. He's repeatedly refused to allow an inspection. He won't pay his fines. He's a past member of the Iowa dog breeder's Hall of Shame. According to the article, the breeder said he'd rather kill the dogs that need care than actually give them the care they need. Yet not only is he still operating, but his last inspection shows that all is in compliance.

Governor Nixon followed the money

KSDK has a story today on Governor Nixon proposing a budget extension of 1.1 million in funding for the Department of Agriculture. This amount should be enough to ensure there is sufficient personnel to fully regulate the dog breeding industry.

The proposed budget amendment would apply whether SB 113 passes, or Proposition B is left alone.

It's the first time someone in the Missouri government has come out and stated, truthfully, that SB 113 does not provide sufficient money for enforcement. The amount looks to be enough to really ramp the department up to a desperately needed level of personnel—not like the faux funding in SB 113.

HJR 3 is less than perfect

HJR 3 was perfected today. I listened to the debate on the bill's perfection via the House audio stream. It will probably come up for a vote this week or next.

What this bill does is put a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot in November, 2012. If voted on, HJR 3 would effectively eliminate the rights of the voters of Missouri to vote on any agricultural animal legislation.

Of course, the same people that bring us HJR 3 are the same people who have told the voters of this state that we don't matter; that we're stupid, and ill-informed; that urban voters have no right to vote on any rural legislation; that our votes don't count.

What they'll do to pass this law is, well, lie to the people of this state. They'll play on the fears of eggs costing $10.00 a dozen, or little kiddies starving in the streets because no one can afford to buy any food.

Pet Definition

I don't have a lot of patience with the fooflah about the "pet" definition, but I don't much care about it one way or another.

If I were going to define "pet" I would define it as an animal that is not maintained for food, fiber, fuel, or other by-product.

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