Oklahoma State Representative Scott Biggs: "(We) Will Not Give In to (HSUS) Bullying Tactics"

OKLAHOMA STATE REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT BIGGS: "(WE) WILL NOT GIVE IN TO (HSUS) BULLYING TACTICS"

In a 7-minute 'Point of Personal Privilege' address to fellow members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Reps. Scott Biggs (R-Chickasha) and Brian Renegar (D-McAlester) came across the aisle to stand together in defense of their constitutionally-approved authority which has been called into question by Humane Society of the United States. Representative Biggs stated that HSUS has sent him and Representative Renegar "letters containing veiled threats of lawsuits and demands in an attempt to silence legislation, legislation that seeks to protects Oklahomans." The letters from HSUS are in response to House Bill 2250, first introduced by Renegar, which would ban animal rights organizations from fundraising in the state unless that money is used towards in-state programs. The motivation for this bill comes from events in 2013, in which Biggs and other members allege that HSUS raised money from Oklahomans following the Moore tornado under the pretense that it would be used to help displaced animals. Oklahoma Farm Report covered Representative Biggs' House address:

"In his comments on the floor, Biggs responded by saying that HSUS did make reference to the Moore tornado in their solicitations to donors. He cited an email sent after the tornado that talked about the plight of animals after the tornado- and then later asked for money. Biggs also cited testimony given by HSUS to Congress after the tornado about the amount of money given to the organization in that time frame- an amount that exceeded $1.7 million dollars. Biggs told his colleagues that the HSUS then spent $110,000 of that money on animals and shelters in the region."

He goes into detail on this fundraising at the 2-minute mark of the video below. The author of many of these letters is Drew Edmondson, former Oklahoma Attorney General and House Member-turned HSUS lawyer who is a member of the Oklahoma Stewardship Council, a front group for HSUS that is opposing the state's Right to Farm Amendment (State Question 777) - which will be voted on in November. Scott Biggs urged his fellow members to "stand up with other members and tell Drew Edmondson that the Oklahoma House of Representatives will not tolerate threatening letters and veiled attempts to silence legislation that seeks to protect Oklahomans." We can add these alleged threats to the growing list of missteps by HSUS in the state of Oklahoma. The Washington D.C.-based animal rights group continues to burn bridges and damage its reputation with citizens by going after trusted Oklahoma lawmakers and pursuing legal actions against them. HSUS claims to know what is best for Oklahomans, but can you really trust an organization that only seems to be interested in helping itself?

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