Gun owners have already been treated to the nomination of anti-gun Eric Holder as Obama’s pick for Attorney General. Wh should be wary of who he may pick at Interior and EPA as well.
On Friday, December 12, Greg Lawson, Director of Communications for the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance was on NRA News‘ Cam and Company. Lawson talked to Cam Edwards about the speculation surrounding who will become President-elect Barack Obama’s Secretary of the Interior. Lawson said two names have moved to the head of the pack: U.S. Representatives Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Mike Thompson (D-CA).
Rep. Grijalva is a favorite of the anti-hunting crowd. He received a 100 percent rating from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in each of the last six years. In Defense of Animals, another large anti-hunting organization, issued an action alert to its followers asking supporters to contact the PResident-elect’s transition team and urge Rep. Grijalva’s appointment. Additionally, the HSUS’ legislative arm has come out in support of Rep. Grijalva. Of interest to gun owners, Grijalva was rated an “F” candidate by the NRA in 2008.
Rep. Thompson’s HSUS approval rating last year was 58 percent. Thompson is a sportsman, a member of the Congressional Sportsmen Caucus, and was endorsed by the NRA-PVF in 2008, receiving a rating of “B+”. The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance signed a letter, along with other conservation organizations, encouraging his consideration by the new administration.
While many of the daily issues that affect sportsmen are dealt with at the state government level, the Secretary of the Interior wields great influence, overseeing key conservation agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Interested sportsmen are encouraged to contact the Obama transition team and let them know their thoughts on this nomination. You can contact the head of the team, John Podesta, by faxing 202-682-1867 or emailing John.Podesta@ptt.gov. You can also click here and send your comments directly to the transition team web site.
Over at EPA, Lisa Jackson’s name has surfaced as a possible nominee to head EPA. Jackson played a pivotal roll in New Jersey’s cancellation of its balck bear hunting season. As head of EPA she could do the bidding of the anti-hunting groups by setting rules related to the use of lead ammunition – rules that could be detrimental to hunters and shooters. She could also play a role in reducing access to public land for hunting. While the Interior Department has over site of federal lands, the EPA could use environmental concerns as a means of trying to restrict use of those lands.
Sportsmen and gun owners need to remain vigliant. If Obama appoints individuals with verifiable anti-hunting records, it will be one more sign that Obama’s rhetoric on the campaign trail was meant to divert attention form his real record on issues important to gun owners and sportsmen.
Update: The Campaign Spot is reporting that Obama has chosen Colorado Senator Ken Salazar as Secretary of the Interior. In 2004, Salazar received a “D” rating from the NRA-PVF but he has been no friend of HSUS. According to Project Vote Smart, his ratings from HSUS have been no better than 50% and have mostly been 0-25% support for HSUS legislation.