On August 2nd, the AR-HR.com article “Is Indiana House Rep. Linda Lawson Volunteering for HSUS on Constituents’ time” was released raising a number of ethical questions into her behaviour during this joint action by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
On August 4th, the following article was released on the HSUS website, “Indiana Legislator Gives Second Chance to Puppy Mill Dog”. In this article, Andy MacAlpine of the HSUS details:
- Linda Lawson’s involvement in the raid
- “Rep. Linda Lawson helped move dogs from their cages onto trucks that would take them to a a nearby emergency shelter.”
- Linda Lawson’s request that a specific dog (Pomeranian) be diverted to her local shelter,
- “Lawson held the dog a second time later that day while her picture was taken, and she kept track of her the rest of the time she was there. Before she left, she told Sterling that she would like to see the Pomeranian go to her local shelter, the Humane Society Calumet Area in Munster”
- Linda Lawson’s taking her granddaughter to the Humane Society Calumet Area in Munster to adopt ‘a dog’, ‘stumbling across’ the Pomeranian and the subsequent adoption of the dog by her granddaughter.
- “Later that month, Lawson took her 7-year-old granddaughter, Genavive, to the shelter to adopt a dog. It wasn’t long before Genavive spotted the Pomeranian. The two met in a nearby room, and the dog immediately started licking the little girl’s face. Soon memories of the Pomeranian imprisoned at the puppy mill came rushing back to Lawson. “Genavive said, ‘Grandma, I think this is the one!’” she says. “And I’m like, ‘Thank you, Lord. It is the one!’”
Puff piece that this article appears, it does no favors to Rep. Linda Lawson. The picture of the Pomeranian in the picture with HSUS Indiana State Director (Lobbyist) Anne Sterling and the picture of the Pomeranian with Linda Lawson’s granddaughter certainly look like the same dog. The statements and framing of the information in the HSUS article, at minimum, put forward the perception that Rep. Lawson exerted her influence in order to obtain her pick of dog from the raid.
This information is damning enough that both this HSUS article and the HSUS video of the raid of the Garwood farm have both been entered into evidence by the Garwood, to the outrage of Judge Whitis. Given the questions already raised by Judge Whitis regarding due process, and therefore a perception by the judge that the constitutional rights of the Garwoods may have been violated, this information gives the appearance of abuse of power as well.
The HSUS knows about the previous article examining Linda Lawson’s conduct with respect to the raid of the Garwood Farm (Breezy Valley Dairy). I observed their activity on the article and their monitoring of the subsequent commentary by readers.
The HSUS knows about the articles examining the conduct of the Attorney General’s office with respect to the raid of the Garwood Farm (Breezy Valley Dairy). I have observed their activity on the article and their monitoring of the subsequent commentary by readers.
This is an organization of very savvy people, highly skilled at media and message. Yet they have volunteered additional damaging information regarding one of their political allies? In the midst of a rising furor over the questions posed by the August 2nd AR-HR.com article? (HSUS was also monitoring the proliferation of links to this article to other blogs and websites) I find it very difficult to believe that this was accidental or not considered. So, I have to ask if this is payback for what the HSUS perceived as failure regarding HB1468 with the removal of the overwhelming majority of the HSUS-backed additions from the bill?
With friends like this, do Linda Lawson and other legislators need enemies?
Copyright 2009 by Erica Saunders
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