| Editorial by Fred Taub,
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports
today that Ohio Rep Marcy Kaptur (D) from Toledo "Responded to a plea from the
Humane Society of the United States by inserting anti-de-clawing language into
a bill that finances the Department of Housing and Urban Development." Boycott
Watch questions why cat de-clawing is the business of Congress? Don't our
legislators have anything else to worry about, such as high gas prices,
problems in Iran and Iraq, and a host of other major issues? Why is Congress
De-clawing is generally done by
homeowners and renters who have to pay for the damage their pets may cause
using their claws, such as to shredded screens, scratched walls, doors and
fixtures, as well as damaged furniture. The people who live in HUD dwellings,
however, are not paying for such repairs anyhow, so they have no incentive to
stop their pets from causing any damage whatsoever. HUD management, however,
has an interest in preventing damage to the property they manage. Kaptur is
essentially, therefore, trying to implement law that is not only unnecessary,
but would cause undue government waste when she should be government waste, or
better yet do nothing and allow HUD officials to continue to do their jobs
themselves without gratuitous interference. Besides, HUD maintenance crews are
busy enough as is. They do not need the extra work, not to mention the budget,
to repair things that should never have been ruined in the first place.
The reason for the de-clawing legislation may stem
from favors owned to a campaign contributor - Ms. Kaptur received a $500
campaign donation from the Humane USA Political Action Committee in the
2005-2006 and $1000 in the 2004-2005 campaign cycles. Voting along the
ideologies of campaign contributors or people supporting politicians with their
same views is normal and part of our political system. What makes this
different is that in this case, there is no issue - Kaptur is proposing
legislation for a problem that simply does not exist. This legislation stems
from the direct request of a campaign contributor, thus it clearly appears to
be a case of a special interest buying legislation and a Congressional
representative selling her office.
The Humane USA
Political Action Committee donates to a large number of candidates, both
Democrats and Republicans. Considering whom they gave money to and how much, we
can only conclude that Humane USA is out to buy votes, and Kaptur was
apparently purchased. Let's examine the record.
the 2005-2006 campaign cycle, Humane USA gave $37,750 to 26 Congressional
campaigns, just under $1,500 on average. More powerful candidates, however,
received the most substantial donations, and in particular Senator Robert Byrd
(D-WV) received the single largest campaign donation at $10,000, probably
because it takes a lot of money to get the attention of by Senator Byrd.
Kaptur, on the other hand, is from Toledo, a small city and she is relatively
unknown nationally. For her, even small donations of $500 are important, but
she probably wanted to get back into the $1000 club, which she was at in the
previous election cycle, which was by far the standard donation at 11 people,
as almost half of the donations were at that level.
This is not just a matter of government waste - this
is a matter of people in Washington who do not manage HUD property trying to
tell those who do manage the property how to do their jobs, while at the same
time authorizing government wasteful spending. What's next - legislation about
which hand HUS carpenters use while using a hammer?
If people living in HUD properties want cats but do
not want to have them de-clawed, then they can get a different pet. Congress
has more important things to do than worry about cats - let HUD officials do
their jobs - they are the experts, not Congress.
this is really about is special interests buying votes, and the ten minutes or
so needed to vote the amendment probably cost taxpayers billions of dollars
because the real business cutting wasteful spending was never addressed, and it
will cost taxpayers millions of more dollars in what would have been
unnecessary HUD repairs. In the end, tax payers will have pay the bill for the
damage, so when your taxes go up along with the federal deficit, not to mention
more government red tape for no reason whatsoever, you will know who to thank -
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). You can thank her directly by calling her Washington
DC office at (202) 225-4146.