How Pennsylvania’s Congressional Representatives Feel About Horse Slaughter
I decided to create a comparison of incumbents versus their opponents with respect to their stance on horse slaughter based on the recently introduced bill HR 6598 (Equine Protection Cruelty Act) as well as HR 503 (American Horse Slaughter Protection Amendment) and HR 249 (restoring protection to wild burros and horses). This poll was conducted via email and telephone and began at the beginning of October. The goal was to have an informational page here to show Pennsylvanian constituents how their US Representative and their opponents in the upcoming election feel about HR 6598.
HR 6598 is the Equine Protection Cruelty Act, introduced by Representative Conyers in July of 2008. While the House of Representatives did not get the bill out of committee for a vote, we (www.americansagainsthorseslaughter.com ) anticipate that HR 6598 will be reintroduced early in the 111th Congress.
Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008 - Amends the federal criminal code to impose a fine and/or prison term of up to three years for possessing, shipping, transporting, purchasing, selling, delivering, or receiving any horse, horse flesh, or carcass with the intent that it be used for human consumption. Reduces the prison term to one year if the offense involves less than five horses or less than 2,000 pounds of horse flesh or carcass and the offender has no prior conviction for this offense.
Specifically, I asked the legislative aides or campaign aides if the legislator or campaigner would co-sponsor, support or not support HR 6598 as written currently when reintroduced in the 111th Congress.
Here is how things shake out:
District 1: Representative Brady, incumbent, is currently in the process of co-sponsoring HR 6598, according to Robert Henline, his Agricultural aide. His opponent, Mike Muhammed did not respond to our communications.
Vote for Brady.
District 2: Representative Fattah has co-sponsored HR 503 and is in the process of co-sponsoring HR 6598. His opponent, Adam Lang was unresponsive.
Vote for Fattah.
District 3: Representative English has co-sponsored HR 6598, 503 and supported 249. His opponent, Kathy Dahlkemper, will co-sponsor the bill according to Jon Pyatt of her campaign staff.
Good support is offered by both candidates. Note Rep. English has supported many equine bills over the last several years. Both should support humane treatment of our equines.
District 4: Representative Altmire has been a friend to horses in the past and co-sponsored HR 503 and 249. His office did not respond to my survey. Melissa Hart’s representatives were contacted several times and did not respond.
Vote for Altmire. He has a proven track record of support.
District 5: Incumbent Peterson is retiring, which is a major relief to Pennsylvanian’s opposed to horse slaughter. Glenn Thompson is running against Mark McCracken. Neither office responded to the survey, despite numerous attempts to contact them.
In this heavily rural area, it is difficult to know if either will support our equines.
District 6: Representative Gerlach has already co-sponsored HR 6598 as well as 503 and 249. His opponent, Robert Roggio, is reported by his campaign office to be supportive of 6598 and will co-sponsor the legislation if elected.
Vote for either. Gerlach has a proven record of support; Roggio intends to co-sponsor.
District 7: Neither Representative Sestak or his opponent Craig Williams responded to our survey. Representative Sestak has co-sponsored 503 and supported 249.
We suggest supporting Sestak based on his past performance.
District 8: Representative Patrick Murphy has co-sponsored HR 6598 and 503 and supported 249. His opponent Tom Manion has said he will support humane treatment of equines.
Vote for Murphy based on his past support, however Manion appears to be a good choice as well.
District 9: Representative Shuster sends letters to his constituents indicating a compassion for horses, but his office fails to confirm support of any legislation. He did not support HR 249 or co-sponsor 503. His opponent, Craig Williams did not respond to requests for information.
Write in “Shrek”…he has a kind word for donkeys!
District 10: Neither Representative Carney or his opponent Chris Hackett responded to our survey, despite numerous attempts. Carney supported 249 but not 503.
This vote again goes to the write-in “Shrek.”
District 11: Again, no response from Rep Kanjorski or Mayor Barletta. Kanjorski had supported 249 but not 503.
Vote for Barletta. We need a change.
District 12: Rep Murtha has been a steady supporter of our equines, co-sponsoring 6598, 503 and supporting 249. We received no response from his opponent.
Please support Representative Murtha.
District 13: Rep Allyson Schwartz has co-sponsored 503 and supported 249 and 6598. Her opponent, Marina Kats has also indicated that she would not only support 6598 but “push for greater penalties” for inhumane treatment of equines.
Both are very supportive of our equines, but Schwartz does have the proven track record.
District 14: Representative Mike Doyle has co-sponsored HR 6598, 503 and supported 249. Opponent Titus North of the Green Party did not respond.
Vote for Rep Doyle.
District 15: Colin Long, aide for Representative Dent was unwilling to give a stance for HR 6598, which makes me suspicious of support of the bill. However, Dent has supported 503 and 249.
Despite promises to get back to us, opponent Bennett never stated her opinion.
Vote: I don’t feel certain about either of them.
District 16: Representative Pitts has been very supportive of equine protection, but neither he nor his opponent Bruce Slater responded to our poll.
Vote for Pitts. He supported 249 and co-sponsored 503.
District 17: Holden has not been a friend to our equines. He doesn’t support 503; he is in fact pro-slaughter. His opponent, Toni Gilhooley will support the bill and probably co-sponsor according to her campaign office.
Vote for Gilhooley in 2008!
District 18: Representative Tim Murphy is also pro-slaughter based on my communications with
his office. His opponent Steve O’Donnell did not respond to the survey.
Vote for O’Donnell or anyone except Tim Murphy.
District 19: Representative Platts is a co-sponsor of HR 6598 and 503 and supported 249. He is a good friend to equines. His opponent, Phil Avillo reports he will be happy to co-sponsor 6598 as well, if elected.
Vote: Platts has been a great friend to equines and has a proven track record of supporting them, but Avillo appears to be a good choice as well.
Again, this poll was done in a limited amount of time with a limited number of resources. All comments are suggestions regarding public officials and should be viewed as such.