Since it's Friday, I want to remind you today and the first three days of next week to get your letters in to Governor Haslam! We have until next Wednesday, which is the date in which he must sign the law, veto it, or leave it alone and it will go into law.
I post this now because Haslam himself had said he was waiting for the Tennessee Attorney General's office to come back with information about the "constitutionality of the bill. Amazingly, here's what they found. Click here for the original article from the Humane Tennessee PAC.
The Tennessee Attorney General's office has issued an opinion on HB1191/SB1248, a.k.a. the "anti-whistleblower" or "ag gag" bill. Their finding? The bill is "constitutionally suspect under the First Amendment." Robert E. Cooper Jr., our state's Attorney General and Reporter, found that it could also "violate a person's Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination." (To read the entire opinion, click here.)
Governor Bill Haslam has had this bill on his desk since May 3 and is deciding whether or not to sign or veto it. Animal advocacy groups, clergy groups, the ACLU, numerous media outlets, and many celebrities have asked Gov. Haslam to veto this bill, and now that the Attorney General's opinion states that this bill is constitutionally suspect, the pressure is even greater for the governor to veto. Kudos to Rep. Mike Stewart (D) - Nashville for requesting the opinion and opposing this bill from the start.
So now is the time to write more letters and make more phone calls! Phone calls make the most impact and just tell his secretary you support what Rep. Mike Stewart had to say and you are asking him to veto the bill.
Gov. Bill Haslam - 615-741-2001 - firstname.lastname@example.org
It's amazing how much support there is to veto the bill. Many of you already heard that Carrie Underwood stood up and expressed her opinion. Emmylou Harris, Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood, Wynonna Judd, and Tish Cyrus have also jumped on the bandwagon and even Pricilla Presley has as well! Click the names to read the subsequent articles from the Chattanoogan and PETA.
Then we have the Clergy for for Justice Tennessee supporting a veto and Horse Haven of Tennessee, the folks who helped with the raid on Larry Wheelon's barn, have also asked Haslam to veto the bill. In addition, the ACLU had 33,000 people sign their petition in support of vetoing the bill.
I don't really see how Haslam can not veto the bill now. The support and facts against it is overwhelming. It's amazing how strong the opposition to the bill has become. But we can't stop now--we have to keep up the pressure for the burners, lickers, cheaters, liars, and abusers want it to pass. Overall, I don't think it's possible to thank every single person who has called, written, signed, and shown their support to stop this bill from becoming law.
In other news, Larry Wheelon has been ordered to vacate the premises by his landlord and the court. It sounds like it wasn't pretty for the landlord, but I'm glad he is being removed from the property. Click here for the article. We can only hope that the owners of the remaining horses won't just send their horses down to the next BL HPA violator who's waiting in the wings.
Also, please hop on to POPVOX. FTTWH was approved as an organization on POPVOX and is now an official endorser of the PAST Act. Click here for HR 1518 on POPVOX. So be sure to get on there and show your support!
"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."
~ Jim Heird, Ph.D., Do Right By The Horse, February 2010
"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
~ St. Francis of Assisi
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