Press Release

Biggest Financer of “Amendment 10” Campaign Charged with Election Finance Abuses

Washington, DC – The Florida Elections Commission has charged Farm Sanctuary with 210 counts of breaking campaign finance laws, in connection with the group’s contributions to the political action committee campaigning for “Amendment 10” on Florida’s November 5 ballot.

By a 9-0 vote, the Commission charged that Farm Sanctuary, a national animal rights group, illegally acted as the ballot committee’s cashier, accepting donations from Floridians on behalf of the “Amendment 10” campaign’s PAC, and unlawfully promising those donors a federal tax deduction for their campaign contributions.

Farm Sanctuary co-founder Gene Bauston was also personally named as a defendant by the Commission, which found probable cause that Farm Sanctuary’s actions were “willfull.” This distinction indicates that Mr. Bauston and Farm Sanctuary were fully aware that their actions were illegal.

Although the Commission’s 210 charges only address funds collected from Florida residents, Farm Sanctuary has behaved similarly with literally thousands of Americans, using direct-mail fundraising to unethically funnel tax-exempt contributions into the Florida “Amendment 10” campaign’s coffers. Farm Sanctuary’s direct mail fundraising letters during the past two years have consistently asked Americans to donate money “for the Florida Ballot Initiative Campaign,” while at the same time assuring the public that “contributions are tax-deductible.”

Public records show that Farm Sanctuary has donated $465,889.17 to Floridians for Humane Farms, the official “Amendment 10” committee, since September 2000. Farm Sanctuary is by far the largest contributor to this effort.

“It’s despicable, but not surprising,” said David Martosko, director of research at the Center for Consumer Freedom, “that these zealots would think the law doesn’t apply to them. After all, Farm Sanctuary has a long history of supporting unlawful activity. It was the first U.S. organization to provide public support for the Animal Liberation Front, a group of violent criminals acknowledged by the FBI as our biggest domestic terrorism threat.”

For more information about Farm Sanctuary, interested parties can visit In addition, the Center for Consumer Freedom has assembled a dossier of papers related to the Farm Sanctuary case before the Florida Elections Commission. That file is available in Portable Document Format (PDF) at the following address:

Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit


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