Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Garrett Fighting the "Dog Hater" Label

As mentioned prior to Labor Day weekend, Representative Scott Garrett began responding to the charges being leveled at him by the Humane Society Legislative Fund. Obviously, Garrett's been feeling the heat for his vote against the bill to ratchet up the penalties for the interstate commerce aspects of organized dogfighting and cockfighting.

Not only did his action prompt a scathing Op-Ed from the HSLF I posted earlier, but now the HSLF is planning a rally at Garrett's Paramus office on September 12th. In a rare response, Garrett wrote his own Op-Ed to formally respond to the HSLF charges.
Some have asked why I voted against a bill to make these current federal crimes prosecutable as felonies. Simply put, my vote was to keep federal officers, courts and law enforcement dollars focused on the crimes against which only federal legal resources can be used. When Congress thrusts federal prosecutors, federal law enforcement and federal courts into the business of duplicating state criminal law enforcement, it decreases their ability to pursue crimes that are only prosecutable with federal resources.


My vote was certainly not to condone crimes against animals, as some have implied for political gain. In fact, I support the criminal statutes already in place.

My vote was to stop federal law enforcement from further creeping into state criminal statutes. Regrettably, with each passing year, Congress seems to expand the reach of federal law, overlapping significantly with state law in ways that diminish our ability to marshal federal resources to fight criminal activity.

What doesn't make sense with his explanation is that Garrett added himself as a co-sponsor of the legislation 25 days after it was introduced. Garrett had a chance to read it; decided at the time it was a good idea; never removed himself as a co-sponsor; and then became one of only 38 Members of the House to vote against the Bill.

So, what made Garrett really go from being for the penalties before he was against them? Maybe his staff can come up with a better answer in the next few days.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul voted no either so it really might have been a federal agencies taking too much control type thing.

Although Ron Paul says no in his sleep routinely.

Garrett isnt one of those legislators that says "well it won't really hurt and it'll pass anyway so i might as well vote for it"
Which isn't exaclty a logical argument. There's a difference between standing up for something you believe in rather than not voting for something because of one small thing you disagree with.

This might actually hurt him because of how many humane society members are in the 5th.