Saturday, August 02, 2008

Dogfight Slush Funds for "Humane" Vigilantes:

HSUS, Best Friends and the ASPCA set to cash in on court ordered forfeitures

The latest scheme in creative funding for humane societies -- which are private corporations controlled and directed by their own boards of directors, not open to public scrutiny -- will take funds from the public sector and put it into the pockets of non-governmental agencies with no specifics on how it is to be used.

Once again, that's public funds. Private sector. No strings attached.

Spoils of war: everyone at the table gets a piece of the pie

Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) introduced California SB 1775 earlier this year. His bill would have allowed authorities to seize and dispose of property used in dogfighting-related crimes. In addition to any other penalties imposed by the courts, "promoting dogfighting" could lead to the forfeiture of a home under the proposal.

Under the bill, proceeds from the forfeitures were to be shared with "local nonprofit organizations exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code whose primary activities include ongoing rescue, foster, or other care of animals that are the victims of dogfighting."

In other words, humane societies and societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, the agencies that typically investigate dogfighting allegations, would now have a financial incentive to act.

Opposition from the left-wing liberals! Democrats, take note!

The ACLU, the California Public Defenders Union, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and others drew their line in the sand.

In fact, SB 1775 was strongly opposed by many civil liberties-minded groups. Concerns were voiced because, for example, "promoting dogfighting" wasn't sufficiently well-defined.

The ACLU also argued that the California legislature approaches asset forfeiture with great caution, and does not allow it in cases of murder, mayhem and kidnap -- all crimes against humans.

So why propose asset seizure for dogfighting crimes? Huh?

But here's a better question: Who stands to benefit?

Going for the honking BIG BUCK$: The Usual Suspects

Predictably, the Humane Society of the United States loved SB 1775, calling it "another important tool for law enforcement to crack down on organized crime which thrives on the profits that dogfighting generates." The ASPCA liked it, too, formally listing itself as a supporter.

SB 1775 was generously greased with plenty of anti-dogfighting rhetoric. As if anyone, anywhere, was arguing that dogfighting is a good thing.

Senator Calderon added:

What makes this measure different from past forfeiture measures this committee has seen is that the proceeds go to animal welfare organizations who rescue and rehabilitate fighting dogs."


Profits from asset seizure with no muss, no fuss. No oversight.

Why make things complicated, right? Senator Calderon didn't see a need to attach strings. The proceeds were to be handed over to private corporations to do whatever the hell they want with them.

Call it a humaniac slushie.

First, create an emergency. Then milk the solution for all its worth.

Some things never change.
HSUS & Co. have been stuffing their pockets for decades by marketing the dogfighting "crisis" and their various remedies -- most involving the surgical removal of pit bull reproductive organs.


And, surprise, surprise, the problem just gets worse! The dogfighting crisis was old news back in 1991 when Vicki Hearne challenged HSUS on their self-serving promotion of the "emergency" when she published Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog.

Nathan Winograd calls it "Stoking the Fires of Hate: How the Animal Protection Movement is Failing Pit Bulls." Remember when HSUS demanded the deaths of Michael Vick's dogs ?

The fate of "pit bulls" is a mere detail. HSUS isn't interested in ending dogfighting. HSUS is interested in ending dogs. And raising funds, of course.

The good news is that Calderon's SB 1775 failed in committee in April, 2008.

The bad news is that SB 1775 was just the beginning.

Best Friends Animal Society and Seizing Assets for Fun and Profit

In September, 2007, Russ Mead -- Best Friends' general counsel and chief papa bear of that wildly incoherent animal extremist group -- participated in a conference on "dangerous dogs" and breed specific legislation at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.

Mead's portion of the event, captured in this podcast (which also includes a staggering amount of misinformation on dogs, dog bites and dangerous dogs, and begins with a presentation by Karen Breslin -- but that's another blog) includes a list of what Best Friends Animal Society advocates.

Forfeiture laws. I love this!

You're a dogfighter? We go to your house. We take your house.

They've been doing that for drug dealers for a long time, right?

[in response to a question from the audience asking if the forfeiture laws for drug-related crimes deters drug crimes]

I'm not saying [forfeiture laws for drug crimes] reduce drugs as a crime, but it certainly puts money in the coffers for enforcement.

Its no wonder that Mr. Mead stumbled a bit. The "war on drugs" -- kinda like the war on dogfighting -- doesn't look like its going to be over any time soon. And the role asset forfeiture plays in the drug war is increasingly problematic.

Some say that because of the resulting windfall, state and local law enforcement has become as addicted to forfeiture as an addict is to drugs--making property seizure no longer a means to an end, but an end in itself.

Following Mead's logic, it doesn't matter if the proposed forfeiture law for dogfighting crimes deters dogfighting. He wants the cash.

Follow the money -- always

The push for forfeiture laws isn't about stopping dogfighting. It isn't about saving pit bulls.

Its about money and its about positioning.

Proposals like SB 1775 will take public funds to fill the coffers of private corporations, like the Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA and Best Friends Animal Society.

And they are going to execute on their privately-developed strategic plans. Saving pit bulls from dogfighters is for the cameras. And the generous donors, naturally.

6 comments: said...

but dont you think ANY organization willing to investigate, and bring in to the attention of law enforcement:

1: needs to be reimbursed for their efforts
2: Will spend all monies it gets on the welfare of animals

Guy, you really need to grow up. Those of us that LOVE our companian animals will are will to go all out for them....

Blue Dog State said...

rpcchef writes:

"but dont you think ANY organization willing to investigate, and bring in to the attention of law enforcement"

"Any" organization? No, I sure don't. What you've written is a recipe for the funding of whackjobs and vigilantes.

"1: needs to be reimbursed for their efforts
2: Will spend all monies it gets on the welfare of animals"

So, let me understand this.

You're saying that public funds should go to the employees of a private corporation -- ones with a well-established private income and that VOLUNTEERED their services? Remember, this would be a private corporation responsible ONLY to its privately-elected board of directors, offering no opportunity for public input or scrutiny.

You think the American Civil Liberties Union opposed SB 1775 on a whim? Existing civil forfeiture laws are huge due process issues, and all that cash -- sure 'nuff -- only provided a financial incentive for more seizures. You think we're winning the war on drugs?

"Guy, you really need to grow up. Those of us that LOVE our companian animals will are will to go all out for them.... "

Give me a break. "Those of us" who?

PETA kills pets , and HSUS wanted the Vick dogs dead.

So much for spending on the welfare of animals. Forgot to mention that, didn't you?

Asset forfeiture has nothing to do with the welfare of animals. Get a clue: its about the money, honey.

Anonymous said...

This person needs to take s very serious look at the H$U$ budget. It is so sad to thnk that people who read this excellent blog would support this type of money grubbing. thanks for posting an in depth and thoughful look at this possible new "legal crime"
As for the poster thinkning the "welfare of the animals" will be helped by the H$U$.. they only need to look at Vicks dogs.. The H$U$ cried for $$$ to "help" Vicks dogs.. then turned and called for the killing of same.. after they got the $$ of course...

Caveat said...

Wow, some people are still so in the dark over the players and issues around animal husbandry that it's frightening.

It's like saying that Children's Aid should operate a police force and charge people based not on their activities but on a balance of probabilities derived from vaguely described 'equipment' they may own - which they decide is intended for nefarious purposes which endanger children.

They should then be able to seize the children and the assets of the same people once convicted with the lesser civil burden and put it into their own coffers to enable more enforcement.

Wow, watch 'child abuse' skyrocket under that set of circumstances.

Here in Ontario, the Fiberals (who brought us the dog ownership ban) are trying to pass legislation which would give the OSPCA full police powers including warrantless entry into any outbuilding where animals are kept, boarded, exhibited, etc, just for a look-see.

The OSPCA is a private charity. It is unaccountable. There's no governing public body. It is immune to inquiries by our Ombudsman (defender of citizens' rights from govt malfeasance) and to Access to Info legislation.

Officers would be internally appointed, unvetted by the Attorney General (at present the AG OKs inspector appointments).

You're talking about a private secret police force that fundraises in order to fulfil its mandate.

Talk about a door that's wide open to corruption.

Now, add the H$U$ and other AR/AL radical orgs and you basically have an AR Gestapo operating in the USA on an ad hoc basis.

And twits like commenter #1 buy right into it.

Anonymous said...

Gee, why wait for forfeture in CA, when you can set a legal precedent in AZ...Forfeture has already been filed for in the bogus case against Bobby Smith in AZ - regarding the attack on the show club and registry formerly based in Tuscon. Why? Because his properties were paid for FREE AND CLEAR, and are worth roughly $350,000. Claims of profiting from "illegal activity" (untrue) are being used to steal his lively hood (as well as those other folks arrested in the same "sting", even though Smith and Williams didn't even know Patrick or Vasquez!) It ALWAYS about the $ and not about the animals. H$U$' animal fighting task force leader, convicted criminal J P Goodwing has NEVER even been allowed to testify as a court approved expert witness. But what does it matter, when the court of public opinion is what fills the coffers of the vegan fascists!!!

Caveat said...

One other small point.

Dogfighting is already a felony. It is up to law enforcement to find the will and resources to investigate this abhorrent practice and bring the perps to justice.

Why is there any necessity for a middleman?

Answer: There isn't.

It's also a matter of some interest that the H$U$ initially claimed it was involved in the Vick investigation, yet the State of Virginia was unaware of any involvement on their part.

What's going on with the Louisiana investigation into H$U$ activities during Katrina? It's sure taking a long time for the report to be issued.