Silk purse looking more like sow’s ear

Animal rights leaders in Florida must be feeling a bit like embattled New Jersey Senator Bob Torricelli this week, wondering if it’s too close to election day to throw in the towel. While activists try to convince reporters that their proposed amendment to Florida’s constitution would be a victory for animals and the environment, few opinion-makers are buying it.

Last week the Tampa Tribune delivered a scathing denunciation of “Amendment 10,” as voters will soon know it, saying that it is the one ballot initiative “that least deserves protection in the state constitution.” The Tribune also rightly called it “propaganda for animal rights activists nationally.”

Now the floodgates seem to have opened, with three more Florida dailies advising citizens to “Vote No.” First the Daytona Beach News-Journal called Amendment 10 “a cause without a case,” noting that activists plan to use a Florida victory to “launch a nationwide crusade.”

The Vero Beach Press-Journal published a stunning condemnation of its own. The Florida hog amendment, says the Press-Journal, would only serve to “pump up publicity, sentimentality and donations for animal-rights groups, some of which are determined to turn the world to vegetarianism by any available means.”

Yesterday the Lakeland Ledger followed suit, telling voters that animal rights advocates “have made little effort to persuade the Legislature of the wisdom of their position.”

In a follow-up letter published in Sunday’s Tampa Tribune, Center for Consumer Freedom research director David Martosko pointed out yet another reason for Floridians to put Amendment 10 out to pasture. Farm Sanctuary, the amendment’s biggest financial backer, stands charged with 210 counts of breaking Florida campaign finance laws. “It seems Farm Sanctuary illegally acted as the campaign’s cashier,” wrote Martosko, “accepting donations from Americans in all 50 states on behalf of the campaign’s political action committee. That’s a big no-no for tax-exempt charities.”

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