WASHINGTON (Oct. 14, 2009) - The Humane Society Legislative Fund announces its endorsement of Dean Florez in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor of California.
“Dean Florez has been a champion of animal protection in the California state legislature, and he has a tremendous record of accomplishment and leadership,” said Michael Markarian, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund. “California voters who care about the humane treatment of animals and want effective leadership should support Dean Florez for lieutenant governor.”
As the Senate Majority Leader representing California’s 16th Senate district, Florez has been one of the leading champions for animal protection in the legislature. During his tenure in the legislature, Florez has:
Reorganized the former Senate Agriculture Committee to become the Senate Food & Agriculture Committee, which he chairs. The change signaled a new direction from a committee created to exclusively protect the interests of industrial agricultural producers, to one that recognizes the importance of consumers and balances the interests of animal welfare, the environment, food safety and public health concerns for good agricultural policy. This was the first such reorganization of an agricultural committee in the country, following increased national discourse on food policy issues and setting a precedent for other states to follow.
Authored and passed legislation to ban tail docking of dairy cows (S.B. 135). This painful and unnecessary mutilation is often performed without anesthesia. Florez brought humane organizations, veterinarians and agricultural groups together to create consensus for the measure, which passed the Senate and the Assembly and was signed into law by the governor. As California is the nation’s top dairy-producing state, a ban on tail docking will set a nationwide precedent.
Supported Proposition 2, which was overwhelmingly approved by California voters in 2008 to phase out the inhumane confinement of veal calves, breeding pigs and egg-laying hens in crates and cages where they are essentially immobilized for their entire lives on industrial factory farms.
• Voted for and supported a wide range of other animal protection bills, including measures to establish felony-level penalties for illegal cockfighting, ban the use of toxic lead ammunition in the habitat of the critically endangered California condor, require rodeos to have veterinarians available to treat injured animals, crack down on abusive puppy mills, prohibit convicted animal abusers from owning animals and ban the sale of meat from "downer" livestock too sick or injured to stand or walk on their own.
“I believe that Dean Florez has the ability and courage to forge solutions on the major issues of the day in California,” said Wayne Pacelle, executive vice president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Even though he represented a strong agricultural district, Florez was prepared to confront tough issues and to get results, whether it was his reconstituting of the Senate Food and Agriculture Committee or his successful effort to ban tail-docking of dairy cows. The role of lieutenant governor will continue to prepare him for even more significant leadership opportunities in the future.”
HSLF is a nonpartisan organization that evaluates candidates based only on a single criterion: where they stand on animal welfare. HSLF does not judge candidates based on party affiliation or any other issue.
Media contact: Heather Sullivan: 301-548-7778, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. On the web at www.hslf.org.
Paid for by Humane Society Legislative Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. HSLF, 519 C Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002.