Everything HSUS and PETA…Animal Rights Extremists at Their finest and that ain’t much…
We solved a little mystery about the $15.75 million settlement in May of a federal racketeering and bribery lawsuit against the Humane Society of the United States and other activists. When the settlement was announced, HSUS declined to say how much it paid. Now we know: HSUS and its affiliate the Fund for Animals paid nearly $6 million, according to their consolidated financial statement.
On its tax return for 2013, HSUS declares $4.4 million in settlement expenses and the Fund for Animals declares $1.2 million—making up almost all of the $5.675 million settlement. Amusingly, the vast majority of the settlement is characterized as a “program” expense—but somehow we don’t think it will make it into HSUS’s next annual report.
This is donor money—HSUS’s insurance provider denied HSUS coverage for the litigation. That’s a fact HSUS danced around and omitted when it commented on the settlement, saying things like it expected insurance would cover most of all of the settlement and “in the end, that no donor dollars from the HSUS will go to Feld [Entertainment],” the plaintiff. Considering the settlement was paid in May, donor dollars already went to pay the racketeering settlement.
Fortunately, HSUS didn’t escape scrutiny from third parties. In fact, Charity Navigator yanked its rating of HSUS and replaced it with a “Donor Advisory” to the public. HSUS can pay a witness, but it can’t buy itself out of that jam.
What you may have missed:
Oklahoma Subpoenas are Latest Disaster for HSUS
As if things weren’t bad enough for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt now has issued subpoenas to HSUS as part of his office’s ongoing inquiry into the organization’s fundraising practices, according to Humanewatch.org.
The animal rights watchdog website reported that Pruitt shared the news on a recent broadcast of “All Around Oklahoma Agriculture.” He reportedly told listeners that his office met with HSUS representatives after news broke that the huge direct-mail firm that HSUS uses to solicit donations had reached a $25 million settlement with the New York Attorney General for deceptive charitable fundraising in another case. Pruitt said the reaction of HSUS leaders to the meeting was “in some respects, not good…there’s been denial.”
In the New York case, nearly all of the funds raised for a disabled veterans charity were sent back to the fundraising firm as payment for the campaign. The New York Attorney General’s office described the settlement as “the largest amount of financial relief ever obtained for deceptive charitable fundraising.”
The Humanewatch.org article quoted Pruitt as saying, “Someone can sit across a table and say, ‘We’re doing it the right way,’ but when you raise literally hundreds of millions of dollars, and all that we see so far is less than one percent of those monies going into what would be considered local shelters, it is a very fair and right question to ask this organization nationally, are they being deceptive and unfair in their communications? We intend to push that issue, we intend to find out, and if in fact they are engaging in what we consider deceptive practices, we will bring enforcement actions…and seek to recover damages.”
Pruitt also said he has been in contact with other state attorneys general. “We’ve talked about this on a national basis…I don’t have concrete information about their involvement but we are talking about that.”
A rash of Attorney General investigations nationwide would be HSUS’ worst nightmare, especially coming on the heels of several other financial and PR disasters, including:
- The $15.75 million settlement HSUS and other co-defendants agreed to pay to end the federal racketeering case brought against them by Feld Entertainment;
- HSUS’ insurance carrier’s refusal to cover the cost of the Feld litigation, leaving HSUS donors to foot the entire bill (something HSUS lied about in its initial public statements regarding the settlement);
- Charity Navigator’s issuance of a “Donor Advisory” against HSUS, indicating “extreme concern” that funds donated to the organization might not be used for the purposes intended by the donor;
- A $20 million dollar drop in contributions in 2013, according to HSUS’ latest fundraising report;
- The embarrassing failure of a June HSUS fundraiser near Capitol Hill, which drew an estimated 35 people, and came on the heels of a Washington DC “lobby day” held while Congress was in recess;
- Exposure of HSUS’ funneling of millions of dollars in donor funds into “investments in the Cayman Islands” instead of directing those funds to shelters or other programs that directly benefit animals.
Given these recent and high-profile failures, one thing is certain. Elected officials, donors and the media are beginning to see HSUS for what it really is: an organization that pretends to be about animal welfare while it pursues a not-very-well-hidden agenda of deception, greed and corruption.
As President Lincoln once said, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” HSUS, are you listening?
from the Center for Consumer Freedom:
The Nastiest PETA Ad Ever?
Last month, we shared a compilation of the top ten most offensive and misleading ads produced by the deceptively named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). But it looks like we spoke too soon: The self-proclaimed press sluts have topped themselves—or, perhaps more accurately, stooped to a new low.
PETA installed a new U.K. billboard featuring a surprised-looking woman splashed with white fluids. The advertisement—captioned “Some Bodily Fluids are Bad for You” with the fine print “Ditch Dairy. Go Vegan.”—is a far-from-subtle reference to a sex act, a tasteless reference purportedly designed to encourage a vegan diet. (You can view it at this link—if you really want to—but as you may have guessed it isn’t safe for work or children.)
However, as you might expect, most members of the community just couldn’t swallow the outrageously inappropriately ad. Amid protests, the ad was taken down.
In a blog post celebrating the campaign, PETA explained: “We love finding cheeky ways to grab people’s attention for animals, and our latest billboard is certainly going to stop passers-by!” But so far, it looks like people are only paying attention to PETA’s outrageously offensive tactics.
We think it’s pretty safe to say that the billboard has prompted more conversations about the rights of women instead of the rights of animals. As one advocacy group explains: “PETA’s sexist, misogynist adverts aim to be original and thought-provoking but they are neither.”
Given that the group has flippantly referenced mental illness and female obesity in other publicity stunts, it should probably come as no surprise that PETA is breezily dismissing its depiction of sexual degradation as just another “cheeky” media grab.
Forget dairy. Let’s hope this offensive press stunt persuades people to ditch PETA.
Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinions of others…Stay tuned -B