Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are reported to be frontrunners in the presidential campaign. While neither grabbed my attention as contenders for my vote based on issues that are important to me, reports on their links to animal cruelty stopped me from taking a closer look. Neither one is the type of human being I want making decisions affecting my life or the lives of those I care about, and that includes animals.
From the beginning I knew Romney was not my man before he even opened his mouth. Actions speak louder than words.
In 1983, Mitt Romney took his family on a trip to Ontario, a 12-hour ride from their home. When packing, Romney put the suitcases inside the car. He put the family dog, however, in a cage up on his station wagon’s roof.
The dog was terrified, but off drove Mitt Romney, and he wouldn’t stop until the dog’s diarrhea started flowing down the back window. After stopping to hose the car down, Romney drove off again, with the dog still on the roof.
That was not simply cruel. Mitt Romney broke the law. It is against a crime in Massachusetts to transport animals in a manner that is cruel or could endanger them.
Incidentally, President Bush the elder is quietly endorsing Romney. Another warning shot.
Huckabee was Arkansas Governor for more than a decade, and largely viewed by animal advocates as an impediment to moderate reforms, or at the very least, someone who never lifted a finger to advance animal welfare. That in and of itself is not a dealbreaker for me. This is.
In 1998 when the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Huckabee’s 17-year-old son, David, was fired from his job as a Boy Scout camp counselor because he and another teen allegedly killed a stray dog. Animal protection groups reported that the boys hanged the dog, slit his throat, and stoned him to death—but the teens were never charged with any crime. David amazingly went on to become an Eagle Scout.
The story about Huckabee’s son has been circulating on some blogs, like Dogster for the Love of Dog Blog and The Real Mike Huckabee, but new information has come to light. At the time of the camp incident, a local prosecutor apparently asked the Arkansas State Police to investigate whether David Huckabee violated state anti-cruelty laws. Newsweek broke the story this week that the former director of the state police, John Bailey, says that Huckabee’s chief of staff and personal attorney leaned on him to drop the investigation. According to Bailey, he refused to play ball, and was fired seven months later. It seems that the governor tried to stop the state police from investigating the cruelty charges against his son, and Bailey’s story is corroborated by the former FBI chief in Little Rock.
Michael Vick is sitting in prison for animal cruelty crimes related to dogfighting, as he should be.
Huckabee and Romney are running for President of the United States, and reportedly have committed or aided and abetted abuse to animals.
If you think this has absolutely nothing to do with how either would conduct themselves as President, you are barking mad! Ask any dog.
Sources: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Boston Globe, Human Society Legislative Fund, Newsweek