It is video like one released by animal rights group Mercy for Animals (warning: graphic content)
that Senate Bill #1337
is supposed to prevent from coming out.
And if money talks in politics, then the voice of the agriculture industry in Idaho is one of those speaking loudest and clearest. According to followthemoney.org
from the non-profit National Institute on Money in State Politics in 2012
, the ag industry spent over $540,000 donating to political causes in the Gem State.
Of that, specifically who the website classifies as from the dairy industry – and some of biggest supporters of Senate Bill #1337 - donated just over $24,500
to campaigns and causes in Idaho. Looking back, in 2010 the industry chipped in a little over $20,000
, and in 2008 the industry shuffled over $24,000 into campaign coffers
Drilling our numbers down further, let’s look specifically at which state leaders took cash from the dairy industry in 2012. Earlier this month, the bill handily passed through the Idaho Senate and of the 23 senators who voted in favor of the bill, 12 of those received campaign contributions from the dairy industry. The lone senator who took funds but voted against the bill was Senator Curt McKenzie of Boise.
Wednesday, the House put its stamp of approval on the bill by a vote of 56 to 14. In this chamber, a total of 15 took dairy dollars. Fourteen of which voted for the bill while one, Representative John Rusche of Lewiston, was the only one to take a contribution and vote against.
And now with the bill passing in both the Senate and the House, on it travels to the Governor’s desk. So, how much has Governor Butch Otter taken from the dairy industry? His total checks in at $5,500.
According to followthemoney.org one of the major opponents to "ag gag" bills, the Humane Society of the United States
, has not donated any money to campaigns or causes in Idaho.
For more information and to have a look at which lawmakers took money from the dairy industry in 2012, click the links at the top of the page.