April 2012 will mark the beginning of the 5th year of congressional consideration of the Great Ape Protection Act ‒ without ever having a vote on any of the bills. This year, I will not be a chump. I will not donate to the campaign of any member of the House or Senate until they actually vote on the bills.
Let’s face it, many legislators find it easy to put their name on a bill without ever having to actually vote for it. S. 810 and H.R. 1513 are both sitting in their respective committees, and animal welfare advocates ‒ like you and me ‒ are supporting the legislators who are sitting on the legislation. They are not holding hearings and they are not casting their vote.
Recently, several progressive celebrities have called for action on the bills. Alec Baldwin, Woody Harrelson, Ellen DeGeneres, and James Franco have all made eloquent and forceful pleas for action. You and I need to support their eloquence with OUR action.
When you get a request for a donation, don’t send money. Send a message! No campaign contributions until there are votes on S. 810 and H.R. 1513.
And, by the way, a message to the presidential campaigns can’t hurt, either.
UPDATE 7/29/2012: Tonight I contributed to the reelection campaign of my Senator, Ben Cardin. As chair of the Senate subcommittee considering S. 810, he held a hearing on the bill, and moved it forward to the full committee. During the committee markup, he introduced an amendment that would incorporate the NIH recommendations, thus making the bill more amenable to the Obama Administration. The bill was passed out of committee for the first time and is now on the Senate floor for consideration. I am proud of Senator Cardin's leadership on this important legislation.