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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sportsmen Concerned About Obama's Interior Pick

On Friday, December 12, Greg Lawson, Director of Communications for the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance was on NRANews' Cam and Company. Lawson talked about the speculation surrounding who will become President-elect Barack Obama’s Secretary of the Interior. Lawson said two names have moved to the head of the pack: U.S. Representatives Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Mike Thompson (D- CA).

Rep. Grijalva is a favorite of the anti-hunting crowd. He received a 100 percent rating from the Humane Society of the United State (HSUS) in each of the last six years. In Defense of Animals, another large anti-hunting organization, issued an action alert to its followers asking supporters to contact the President-elect’s transition team and urge Rep. Grijalva’s appointment. Additionally, the HSUS’ legislative arm has come out in support of Rep. Grijalva. Of interest to gun owners - Grijalva was rated an "F" candidate by the NRA in 2008.

Rep. Thompson’s HSUS approval rating last year was 58 percent. Thompson is a sportsman and was endorsed by NRA-PVF and received a "B+" rating. The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance signed a letter, along with other conservation organizations, encouraging his consideration by the new administration.

While many of the daily issues that confront sportsmen are dealt with at the state government level, the Secretary of the Interior wields much influence, overseeing key conservation agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Interested sportsmen are encouraged to contact the Obama transition team and let them know their thoughts on this nomination. You can contact the head of the team, John Podesta, by faxing 202-682-1867 or e-mailing John.Podesta@ptt.gov. You can also Click Here and send your comments directly to the transition team website

Also of concern to gun owners and sportsmen is who Obama will pick to head up the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Lisa Jackson's name has surfaced as a possible nominee to head EPA. Jackson played a pivotal roll in New Jersey's cancellation of its black bear hunting season. As head of EPA, she could do the bidding of anti-hunter groups by setting rules related to the use of lead ammunition - rules that could be detrimental to hunters and shooters. She could also play a role in reducing access to public land for hunting. While the Interior Department has over site of federal lands, the EPA could use environmental concerns as a means of trying to restrict use of those lands.

Sportsmen and gun owners need to remain vigilant. We have already seen the nomination of the very anti-gun Eric Holder to the post of Attorney General. If Obama appoints individuals with verifiable anti-hunter records, it will be one more sign that Obama's rhetoric on the campaign trail was meant to divert attention from his real record on issues important to gun owners and sportsmen.

Update: The Campaign Spot is reporting that Obama has chosen Colorado Senator Ken Salazar to be Secretary of the Interior. In 2004, Salazar was rated a "D" candidate. A quick search turns up that Salazar is not friend of HSUS. According to Project Vote Smart, since being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, his ratings have been:

2007-2008 Senator Salazar supported the interests of the The Humane Society of the United States 50 percent in both sessions of Congress in 2007-2008.

2007 Senator Salazar supported the interests of the The Humane Society of the United States 25 percent in the first session of Congress in 2007.

2005-2006 Senator Salazar supported the interests of the Fund for Animals 0 percent in 2005-2006.

2005-2006 Senator Salazar supported the interests of the The Humane Society of the United States 0 percent in 2005-2006.

2005 Senator Salazar supported the interests of the The Humane Society of the United States 0 percent in 2005.

1 comment:

Bitter said...

It was announced yesterday that it's going to be Salazar.