Republican Jim Patterson introduced “ag-gag” Assembly Bill 343 to the California Assembly—if passed, the bill would have likely shut down undercover investigations on factory farms. As it turned out, the bill was what got shut down. There was so much opposition to Assembly Bill 343 that Patterson yanked it out of consideration himself after admitting to the Los Angeles Times that he does care about animal treatment. He is now free to consider measures that protect animals from abuse rather than hide it.
Not surprisingly, the bill was sponsored by the California Cattlemen’s Association. But the public outcry against the bill was deafening. Legislators were flooded with e-mails from advocates for animals and free speech, and Republican legislators also got hit with a personal appeal that GOP strategist Mary Matalin filmed for PETA and sent to each legislator herself:
Animal advocates are also making great strides in Indiana, where a proposed “ag-gag” bill has had most of the wind sucked out of its sails. After legislators there also heard from Mary Matalin and throngs of disapproving voters, House Speaker Brian Bosma deemed the bill unconstitutional and legislators promptly gutted it, removing penalties for filming or taking photos on farms. Now we need your help to bring about a similar victory in Tennessee, where legislators passed a proposed “ag-gag” bill, which is now heading to Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk for his signature. Tennessee Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris and singer Carrie Underwood have both harshly criticized the unconstitutional measure, and they need everyone’s help to stop this bill before it becomes law and makes taking pictures or filming on factory farms illegal. No matter what state you live in, please e-mail Haslam and urge him not to sign Senate Bill 1248. You can also send polite tweets to @BillHaslam.