Saturday, November 29, 2008

Obama is considering Charlie Stenholm to be in charge of the USDA.

Who will be the next secretary of agriculture?

If Washington Ag journalist and observer Jim Wiesemeyer has his way CHARLIE STENHOLM.

OH NO!!!

Charlie Stenholm would be BIG trouble for the horses, HUGE. It is my understanding that the agriculture community has been trying to get Stenholm in that position for awhile. He was talked about for the Bush administration as well.

We must be proactive and all write to president elect Obama and tell Obama not to appoint Charlie Stenholm as Secretary of Agriculture. Tell Obama while we realize his own compassion index is 100% we are concerned voters that want to make sure he does not consider Charlie Stenhom for the position of secretary of agriculture. Charlie Stenholm is a paid lobbyist and has been the biggest obstacle in getting the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act S 311/HR 503 and the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008 HR 6598 passed. If he is appointed as the secretary of agriculture it will be the worst thing that could happen to horses and all farm animals.

You can contact Obama here:
~Everyone mention that Charles Stenholm is nothing but a paid lobbyist!!! ~

You can read what Jim Wiesemeyer has to say here: (scroll down to "For Obama")

Article link:

Here is the info which contains Stenholm's client list at Olsson, Frank & Weeda .
And in 2006, it shows he was lobbying for Beltex and Dallas Crown:
Here is a list of his personal contributions, it has two pages:

And from his wiki;

Post-Congressional career
After his November 2004 defeat, Stenholm was mentioned by some major news organizations as a possible candidate for Secretary of Agriculture in President Bush's second term Cabinet, despite Bush's support of the redistricting plan. In the end, Bush nominated Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns, a fellow Republican, for the post.
After leaving Congress, Stenholm became a lobbyist, representing various agricultural interests, including the horse meat industry. In 2006, he was the most visible lobbyist for three foreign-owned horse-slaughter plants in the U.S. that are fighting legislation that would force them to close. The legislation appears to be headed to a vote on the House floor by early September.[3] Meat from these horses is used as food in some European Union countries, Japan and Mexico, for zoo food, and for medical purposes.
He is being slated for Secretary of Agricultre in the Barack Obama administration.[1]

Also send this link with your message to President elect Obama

Tell him to look at the over 200 pictures from the government on how abusive horse slaughter is and that Stenholm is a paid to lobby to keep horse slaughter legal not giving a concern for the horse or the millions of Americans that want it stopped.
Give them a GRAPHIC warning. These picks are barbaric and the worst kind of abuse a horse could ever suffer.

FACTBOX: Vilsack, Buis and Stenholm among USDA possibles
Wed Nov 5, 2008 9:31am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Prominently mentioned by analysts and farm lobbyists for agriculture secretary in the Obama administration are a former Iowa governor, the National Farmers Union president and a former Texas congressman.
Obama senior strategist David Axelrod said on Wednesday the president-elect would "move with deliberate speed" on selecting nominees for cabinet and major White House posts.
Here is a list of potential nominees for agriculture secretary:

-- Tom Buis, 56, second-term president of National Farmers Union. Buis has elevated NFU's prominence in Washington and is former Senate aide to Tom Daschle, an Obama insider.
Tom Buis, National Farmer's Union= bad choice
This is from their 'policies' listed on their site."2. LivestockWe support producers’ rights to raise livestock. We oppose a ban on the slaughterof horses."

-- Tom Vilsack, 57, two-term governor of Iowa ending in 2006. Major issues were funding for education and bringing more high-tech agribusinesses to Iowa, the No. 1 corn and soybean state.

-- Charles Stenholm, 70, mentioned for USDA chief for two decades, regardless of who won the White House. A 13-term congressman from Texas through 2004 and a conservative "Blue Dog" Democrat who helped shape the 1990 and 2002 farm laws.

-- Marshall Matz, co-chair of Obama's rural outreach committee and lawyer known in Washington for representing school nutrition interests. Active in Democratic politics since the 1970s. Matz and Stenholm work at the same law firm.

-- Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, 60, elected to second term in 2006. Also mentioned for health and education secretary. She has worked on school funding, health care and renewable energy.

-- South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, elected to fourth term on Tuesday. Active on biofuels.
From what I have been reading today, Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, South Dakota Democrat voted NO on HR 503.

-- Roger Johnson, North Dakota agriculture commissioner, active on 2008 U.S. farm law, sought a stand-by disaster relief fund.

-- Rod Nilsestuen, Wisconsin agriculture secretary. Was leader of the state's largest cooperative business group and active in rural economic development.

-- First-term Sen. John Tester, organic farmer from Montana; regarded as a longshot.

Huffington Post, written by John Markarian. NOV. 19, 2008. "WE NEED CHANGE ANIMALS CAN BELIEVE IN.' Link below.

The article talks positively about prospects for posts: former Iowa Gov. Vilsack, John Boyd. NOT Stenholm.

Article link:

We need letters to Obama and Biden, NOW, before it is too late!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What Can I Do To Help Right Now?

Dear Washington Horse Advocates,
As President Elect Barack Obama puts together his Cabinet, we have the opportunity to offer input right now via his Obama Biden Transition Team website. (Energy and Environment: would include Secretary of the Interior and Agriculture.) also....

Phase I: Send an email at the link above right now urging President Elect Obama to choose Raul Grijalva as Secretary of the Interior. Representative Grijalva has been a strong voice in the U.S. House of Representatives on animal issues. He has been an early co-sponsor of legislation to ban the slaughter of American horses and an advocate of America's wild horses. Raul Grijalva is the American horse's "dream pick" for Secretary of the Interior.
Also urge President Elect Obama to pick Commerce and Agricultural Cabinet members who "get it" that the slaughter of American horses needs to end in 2009.
John Boyd, President of the National Black Farmer's Association would be a great choice for Secretary of Agriculture in view of his and his organization's commitment to end horse slaughter in America. HSUS has endorsed his candidacy and it is believed he is in the vetting process for the position.
After you have sent that e-mail, send one to Vice President Elect Joe Biden at the same site. Encourage him to do everything in his power in the new Administration to ban the slaughter of America's horses. Joe Biden has a humane score of 100%+ so let's make sure that he hears our voice in his new role as Vice President Elect.

Phase II: As the Cabinet nominations are announced for Interior, Commerce and Agriculture, we will communicate to each of them the urgency of passing a slaughter ban on all American horses as well as ensuring the American wild horse roams free under Federal protection. Links will be provided as the new Cabinet rolls out.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Retirement Ranch Planned for Wild Horses

By Lyndsey LaytonWashington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, November 19, 2008;

November 19, 2008;Madeleine Pickens, the wife of billionaire T. Boone Pickens, who this week offered to rescue more than 30,000 wild horses kept in federal holding pens, said yesterday that she wants to create a permanent retirement ranch for the horses and burros that could be open to the public.A key to her plan, she said, is federal tax credits to help attract donors. Pickens said she met last week with Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) to discuss the proposal, which animal rights advocates have long promoted as an incentive for encouraging private individuals to adopt wild horses. "It's going to save tax dollars in the end, quite a bit," she said in an interview. "It has become so expensive to take care of these horses in these holding areas." Half of the nation's wild horse population is in Nevada, and Pickens said Reid told her that he has been concerned about the issue for 25 years. Jon Summers, a spokesman for Reid, said the senator was intrigued by the proposal but did not commit to it. "He thought this was a creative idea to a problem that needs creative solutions," Summers said. Officials with the Bureau of Land Management revealed this week that Pickens had come to them with a plan to relieve a growing agency headache -- the care of wild horses and burros that were removed from federal lands and placed in holding pens to await adoption. The government periodically gathers horses from the range to prevent overpopulation and damage to the grasslands. It typically rounds up about 10,000 horses in a year. Horse adoptions have slowed significantly in the past five years, and the cost of feeding and caring for these horses has grown sharply, decimating the bureau's budget and creating what the Government Accountability Office termed a "crisis." The government is caring for about as many horses in holding facilities as the 33,000 that still roam wild on federal lands.Bureau officials reluctantly began to consider exercising a legal but controversial option: euthanasia. Their focus was on about 2,000 unwanted horses that had not been adopted despite several tries. Pickens, a racehorse breeder and lifelong animal lover, said she was horrified when she learned about the problem. "There's got to be a way to bypass them -- why does it have to be Washington to solve the problem?" said Pickens, who, along with her husband, airlifted 800 cats and dogs stranded by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and brought them to California for adoption. She said that she approached officials at the Bureau of Land Management and that they embraced her idea. "I was just so thrilled -- at all the areas I expected a 'no' from, I just got a smile and 'Yes, we love it,' " she said. Pickens is negotiating to win control of more than 1 million acres of grassland in the West, where she plans to establish a horse ranch. She intends to acquire part of the land through private sale and the rest through a lease with the federal government. She is considering several pieces of land, costing $10 million to $50 million.Pickens wants to adopt all the wild horses and burros being held in federal pens, sterilize them and let them loose on her retirement ranch. As the government rounds up additional horses each year, she said, she could absorb them as well because they would replace horses on the ranch that die from natural causes. "I see it as an eco-vacation spot," Pickens said. "Could you imagine taking your kids there, staying on the range in log cabins or tepees? I love the idea of sharing it with the American people." Jeff Malcolm, an assistant director at the GAO who studied the wild horse program at the request of Congress, said that Pickens's idea could work but that the government would still need to control the population of wild horses roaming the range. "You have to look at the entire pipeline of the process," he said. "You need a strategy of population control." Bureau officials have been experimenting with fertility control but have not employed a comprehensive method to manage the population growth of the animals.