Eighth bill to modify Proposition B read

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I kid you not, there is now an eighth bill about Proposition B, HB 332.

This one, sponsored by Representative Ward Franz, is confusing. It doesn’t revoke any of the Proposition B regulations. It does grandfather in existing breeders, which is something I can’t accept. It also, bizarrely, includes references to “humane societies” directly in the text. I just can’t figure out the reason why.

Regardless, grandfathering in existing commercial breeders is unacceptable. We’re supposed to turn a blind eye to the condition of the dogs in existing breeders? It’s OK for dogs to suffer in the 1400+ licensed breeders, but not for any breeder? The whole point of Proposition B is that there are problems with existing breeders, not some hypothetical breeder in the future.


Support for Proposition B from Representative Kirkton and Senator Schmitt

I received a very gracious phone call from Senator Schmitt’s office, assuring me that the Senator “owns and loves dogs”, and that he will support Proposition B.

My House Rep, Jeanne Kirkton, supported Proposition B before the election, and continues to support it now. In fact, her office has been kind enough to help me attempt to get some information from the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

I appreciate both my state representatives supporting Proposition B AND my vote.


House of Representative second meeting

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

The House of Representatives agricultural committee meets a second time on Proposition B, Thursday January 27, right after session adjournment, in House Hearing Room 3.

The Senate meets today, at 1pm, in Senate Committee Room 1.

Of course, after we’ve seen the demeanor and witnessed the bias among representatives attending the House meeting yesterday, we know that Pro-Proposition B forces will not get a fair hearing any of these days.

Majority Whip Jason Smith, who doesn’t have to attend these meetings but can as Majority Whip, was particularly aggressive in his questioning of Proposition B advocates. You understand why when you read that his mother owns one of the Missouri Dirty Dozen—a commercial breeder deemed to be especially negligent.

Normally, I’d be hesitant about bringing in this type of personal information, but Representative Smith had an obligation to inform the room of his personal involvement before participating yesterday, and didn’t.


Letters to Representatives Brattin, Parkinson, and Cross

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Most of the sponsors and co-sponsors for the several bills to modify or repeal Proposition B are from districts that, according to my spreadsheets, voted No on Proposition B. Folks should contact the representatives in these districts anyway, just to let them know about respecting the vote. My focus, though, has been on the representatives that come from districts that voted Yes on Proposition B.

I’m disappointed to see three such representatives in the newly released HB 281: Rick Brattin (124)Mark Parkinson (016), and Gary Cross (048). Representative Brattin’s district is in Cass County, Representative Parkinson’s is in St. Charles, and Representative Cross’s district is in Kansas City and Jackson—all areas solidly and overwhelming for Proposition B.

The following is an email that I wrote each. I suggest that you all do the same, as well as email or phone other representatives who are seeking to overturn the will of the people.

Representative Cross/Parkinson/Brattin,

I’m not from your district, but I am a Missouri voter. I was astonished to see you listed among the co-sponsors for HB 281, especially because your district county, Jackson/Cass/St. Charles, did have strong support for Proposition B. Note that the vote was not partisan, as both Democrats and Republicans voted for Proposition B.

I’m also not sure if you’re aware of how HB 281 looks to people like me, the average citizen of Missouri. At first glance, the bill provides an impression of being a modification, only. However, if you look at the edits, you can see that basically HB 281 is a repeal of Proposition B. It just doesn’t honestly say so.

For instance, most of the regulations now defer to the Department of Agriculture. However, the Department of Agriculture is the organization that defined the original ACFA regulations that have proven to be grossly inadequate. Considering how much criticism the department has had because of its cozy relationship with commercial dog breeders, you’re, in effect, giving the keys to the hen house back to the foxes.

Add all of the modifications together and you have a repeal of Proposition B, but the bill lacks the integrity of actually saying what it is doing. I find bills such as this to be duplicitous.

Of course you realize that there are problems in this state with licensed commercial dog breeders. The stories the inspection reports tell are horrendous. If you repeal Proposition B, there will be more stories in the future. What will be different, though, is that there will now be state representatives who must own part of the stories by condoning the continuing misery of dogs in Missouri.

Do the right thing and show how conservative Republicans are also compassionate Republicans who love dogs. Large scale commercial dog breeding is not truly an agricultural industry, and neither is it a growth industry. It’s also embarrassment to have a title such as “puppy mill capital of the US” attached to our state.

Please remove your support of HB 281, and work to uphold the vote of the people, in your district, and in the State.


Shelley Powers


Senate meets in unseemly haste

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

In a fit of unseemly haste, perhaps hoping to fly under the radar and sneak legislation in while people are unaware, the Missouri senate agricultural committee suddenly scheduled a public hearing on its versions of the pro-puppy mill legislation. Of course, giving people short notice does give the impression that the good Senators really don’t want the public there, and really aren’t interested in hearing what we have to say.

Regardless, Senate bills 4, 95, and 113 will be discussed in a public hearing at 1pm, Wednesday, January 26th, in Senate Committee Room 1.

It’s essential to email your state representatives, both Senate and House of Representative, and let them know you support Proposition B. Of course you do: you voted for it.

Now is also a good time to let your state representative know that you feel your vote does count. If they ignore your vote now, let them know they’ll feel differently, come the next election.