Thousands of lobbyists have attended my training - from AstraZeneca and Allstate to UAW and AFSCME, from ACLU and Human Rights Campaign to the Christian Coalition and The Heritage Foundation - every kind of interest. This blog will touch upon their stories. I will likely not reveal their names or affiliations, just their experiences.
Dogs and Rattlesnakes - Part 2Despite legislatures adopting sexual harassment policies and mandatory annual training, lobbyists should not presume sexual harassment will cease. Experience to date suggests sexual harassment training does little to change lawmaker behavior. In part this may be because the drivers for the behavior remain, a few of which include: legislatures remain overwhelmingly male; acquired situational narcissism; power differential between lobbyists and lawmakers; those willing to sell and those willing to buy remain; sex is a proven sales technique; and some men and occasionally women are disposed to this kind of behavior.
The story of former Florida Democratic Senate minority leader-designate Jeff Clemens illustrates the hazards to lawmakers of a consensual lobbyist-lawmaker sexual relationship: "Clemens, 47 and married, resigned on Friday after Politico reported that he had an affair with Devon West, then a lobbyist for Martin County. As the relationship disintegrated, West came into possession of Clemens' laptop computer and according to Politico 'gained access to all his contacts and personal information and then informed his wife of the tryst.'" (Clemens failed test of character and let down many people, Palm Beach Post, October 31, 2017) Broward County, a much more politically powerful player, later hired Ms. West.
(February 13, 2018)
Dogs and RattlesnakesA dog trainer contacted me about "activists" trying to put him out of work by banning the use of rattlesnakes in his business. He teaches dogs in the western part of the US how to avoid getting killed by rattlesnakes. To teach the dogs to avoid rattlesnakes he needs rattlesnakes.
However, using rattlesnakes is considered by some as inhumane and so activists are trying to stop their use. The result will be he will be out of business and more dogs will be getting killed by rattlesnakes.
I tried to help him but he and his fellows don't have any money. All they have is enthusiasm and love, just like in the animal lovers below.
I spoke at an animal welfare conference. Several speakers gave interesting presentations. A researcher said that among millennials twice as many women as men research animal welfare on the web; among baby-boomers - four times as many women as men. A defense attorney said USDA wins in 100 percent of enforcement actions because they charge so many different infractions that some always stick. As interesting as were speakers, I was most moved by the participants.
The participants love their animals. Some were volunteer animal caregivers and others have their livelihoods tied to the well-being of their animals. But their commonality whether for dogs, snakes, monkeys, big cats, or owls was the welfare of the animals they own and deeply love.
They came together because the "animal rights" movement wants to end human ownership of animals. This end of ownership view sees no form of life as more valuable than another form of life. The net result of this "reductionism" is that frogs have the same value than humans. You can't own people so you can't have a dog or a cat or work or food animal.
However, the participants see animals in terms of relative value rather than equivalent value. The animal has value in and of itself as a creature in the wild; but also it is valuable in terms of its benefit to humanity. A medical researcher at another conference at which I spoke said of her lab animals, "Every animal is someone's (medical) miracle."
This little band of animal lovers to whom I spoke is woefully outgunned by the ASPCA, HSUS, PETA, etc. HSUS for example has 11 million members, a $160,000,000 annual budget, and lots of political power. These just a few well-meaning 'moms and pops', none of whom I expect has any money. All they have is love.
I wish these wanna-be animal welfare lobbyists the best. It was the love I saw in them that motivated me to serve them pro bono. I hope their love carries them forward.