A recent Sacramento Bee article, Conservative group paid for pro-fur testimony at the Capitol, California activists charge, feigns shock and outrage over a Libertarian college group offering to pay students to travel to the State Capitol and help them oppose a bill. And despite knowing they were Libertarians, called them “Conservative” for the headline.
California Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) has a bill to ban fur products and clothing in the state, and has said, “There is no need for fur in the 21st century and no place for it in a sustainable future,” and called fur a “fashion statement and statement of wealth.”
In one of the early hearings, Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) weighed in on the issue: “Californians love their animals and wildlife. Skinning animals or farming fur for fashion or other accessories is contrary to those values, and I believe it’s no longer necessary in a 21st century society. It’s clear Californians want us to lead on this issue and that is what we are doing with AB 44.”
Assemblyman Gloria was wearing a very handsome pair of leather shoes, a leather belt, and I’m sure he had a leather wallet in his back pocket, or tucked into his leather satchel.
AB 44 has passed the Assembly and is currently in the Senate. Many individuals and fur industry groups have opposed the bill, noting the magnitude of $350 billion of manufactured goods in the U.S. Nationally, furs account for around $531 million in sales—25 percent to 30 percent of that in California.
Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Marysville) has repeatedly said the bill raised legal issues surrounding the dormant Commerce Clause because it effects people and businesses in other states and their ability to sell to other states.
Assemblywoman Friedman said the Assembly Judiciary Committee analysis specifically addressed the issue: “This bill raises no reasonable dormant Commerce Clause concerns because it does not apply discriminatorily to out-of-state commerce,” the committee analysis said. Yet, the dormant Commerce Clause implies from the Commerce Clause: “One of the underlying purposes of the Commerce Clause is to allow the federal government to prevent economic discrimination between states. Selling goods between Alabama and Mississippi should not be as difficult as selling goods between the United States and Russia.”
Nevertheless, the bill continues to be passed by legislative committees, all dominated by Democrats. The attitude in California now when unconstitutional legislation is passed and signed into law is “then take it to court,” knowing the bill will go into effect long before the courts can overturn it.
Now the Sacramento Bee has inserted itself in the debate by publishing a news article devoid of facts, claiming a “Conservative” group paid for pro-fur testimony at a recent hearing. Supporters of the bill – mostly animal rights groups – grew suspicious when typically only a few pro-fur attended the hearings, with “suddenly 30 people showing up to oppose the bill,” the Bee reported. California Globe has attended many of the hearings and published several articles about the bill.
Labor unions, environmentalists, and social justice warriors as a matter of practice, spend tens of thousands of dollars bringing people to the Capitol to testify on bills every year.
Additionally, many would like to know how many union activists – who are not registered lobbyists – are being paid to lobby or testify for or against bills nearly every single day at the Capitol.
The SEIU, CTA, AFSME, UFW, CSEA, CNA, and nearly all of the California labor unions pay for their protestors, and those to testify at hearings regularly. They pay for travel, hotels and provide meals, pre-printed signs and posters, matching t-shirts, goodie bags, and pre-approved written testimony.
The California Labor Federation, which represents 1,200 labor unions, admits this in their description of their Political Action: “California’s unions make big political victories possible. Our members have made the critical difference in every recent election. We mobilize 20,000 union volunteers in each election cycle, and we turn out to vote at a rate of 10% higher than non-union voters.”
A SEIU post advertising a protest popped up when I did a Google search for SEIU:
RSVP: California for All Rally – SEIU Local 1000
…and this SEIU protest announcement offering lunch and transportation:
In their attempt to destroy the reputation of Young Americans for Liberty for seeking bill opponents to attend the hearing, it’s apparent the Bee did not actually research the myriad of other groups who already do the same. Nor did the Bee even look at the Young Americans for Liberty website to discover they are a Libertarian group, not “Conservative” as the headline states. YAL’s goal: “Our vision is to build a bench of 250 liberty legislators by the end of 2022 at the state level who will advance a Libertarian philosophy, ascend to higher office, and reclaim the direction of our government. Young Americans for Liberty is the most active and effective libertarian youth organization advancing liberty on campus and in American electoral politics.”
A friend who also read the article asked, “Does the SacBee have any fact checkers anymore?”
Assemblywoman Friedman and her staff seem stunned that there has been any pushback on the bill, or that people showed up to protest the bill. So rather than fix the bill or pull it, they’ve chosen to dox their opponents, destroy credibility, and apparently got the Sacramento Bee to do it for them.