Congressman Chris Stewart is one of the most crooked elected officials when it comes to public lands and special interest money. 3 women just took him down a notch.
*The first was the woman who wrote the ethics complaint filed against him on Jan 24.
**The second was the lady who alerted to the live call-in show, a chance to finally get the word out on mainstream media.
***And the third is the woman who called in and was able to ask Congressman Stewart the questions he denied or would not answer, instead telling her she did not know what she was talking about.
They intend to take him up on the invitation to meet him in August.
###3 hours later, the Stewart Amendment that would kill 100,000 wild horses was scrubbed from the Omnibus language.###
*Patience O’Dowd who gave up a month of time to compose the ethics complaint from 2 years of evidence gathering by CAES.
**Terry Murphy who in the wee hours of the morning was tagging and flagging CAES to alert us that there was an opportunity to call-in and corner Congressman Stewart on live air.
***Val Cecama-Hogsett the voice in the interview. Val had been up working all night and was checking messages before bed. With 10 minutes notice, but years of evidence what were the best 3 questions, there wouldn’t be time for more?
UPDATE — Approximately 3 hours after news of the ethics complaint, which gave proof that Representative Chris Stewart lied to Congress in order to push forward his agenda, his amendment was scrubbed from the Omnibus bill.
Val Cecama-Hogsett, after decades of fighting for wild horses, felt this was the last 48 hours. This Omnibus Bill was it. The wild ones would be gone if it passed. So, out of desperation, she spent a night, during the quiet hours, trying to find one person, anyone who would have the power to make a difference, someone she had worked with and knew would hear her voice.
She decided to Fax Senator Chuck Schumer who when first getting his feet wet as a Senator in NY had helped her change law. Together she worked with him and his staff to fight for better protection for equines, and made extreme cruelty, like starving a domestic horse a felony (not just a misdemeanor).
She wrote the fax that would be the culmination of her years of battles for horses. The one she knew had to be heard, had to make a difference. She explained how they (CAES Patience O’Dowd and she had gathered facts, dug through case law, spent years to build a case, but no law firm would spend the years it could take, no work within a bidget this tiny non-profit could afford. Then she outlined that case for him with the mismanagement, and sometimes unauthorized actions of the Bureau of Land Management.
Val then outlined what it the simplest, and most fiscally responsible way to enact actual management.
Next came the biggest issue. The truth and how to get it out there when you have Representative Stewart, when all of government, mins a handful willing to tell the truth, all believed the lies of Rep. Chris Stewart. HOW to get the ethics complaint filed by CAES against Stewart heard?
Val explains to Senator Schumer how if this Omnibus Bill passes with that amendment in H.R.3354, the Stewart Amendment that would kill wild horses in holding, and reduce numbers on the range to a number that would mean extinction, and allow BLM to sell without any restriction (to killbuyers). It would become law, “…law that was voted on and passed based on lies. The proof is right there, in that ethics report, so why is no one doing anything” she asked Senator Schumer.
Our horses would become extinct without the Senate having ever held one hearing on this portion of the Omnibus, never even heard that the wild ones would be killed. If that passed, without someone at least investigating this ethics report, 100,000 wild horses would die. The number left would be so low, and spread out so far on the vast public lands that there would be no genetically viable herd left. This meant extinction.
Val concluded telling the Senator that during her life in NY, where her children and grandchildren still live, he had been her champion for the animals, and public libraries, where she was a director, and that she felt he was the last hope these horses had. If he or someone did not scrub that amendment from the Omnibus, the horses could have just 48 hours left.
10 minutes after sending that off, at 5:20 am Val was finally going to try and sleep, something that just was not coming easily with the stress and worry for her beloved wild horses, Val got urgent messages. After checking to see what they were realized she was not going to bed, her job was not done yet this day. Rep Chris Stewart was about to be on a talk show on C-Span. She had to call in, they probably wouldn’t let her ask him questions….definitely not if they knew it was about wild horses, there has been a media blackout, which had been broken a few times recently, but not by her organization, not by advocates who spoke truthfully, even when it wasn’t politically correct.
So, calling in, and finally getting through, Val formulated her most important questions, which ones would give the largest message to the people listening, which would most point out the lie that was going to kill the wild horses. She carefully jotted 3 notes, those were the best, they had to work.
She got on the air and was so nervous that at first, she said good morning “senator Stewart, I mean Representative”. But then she was able to ask her first question…exposing that ethics complaint to all who were listening, and reporters at C-Span who should care about an ethics complaint no matter the subject. NOW maybe something would get done. Mainstream Media had finally outted the ethics complaint, even if it was through her tired, foggy call after working all night, and only have 10 minutes notice!
3 hours after this talk show, and a few more after the fax had been sent and the Stewart Amendment was removed. The horses would be safe until September, where the new budget begins. Will the ethics complaint be investigated, will the truth about wild horses getting blamed for the things livestock are doing finally be seen. Will livestock numbers on the public lands be diminished? Will corporations stop profiting off our land, killing our wildlife, and destroying the land stop?
Way to fight like wild horse Val, Wild Horse Annie is proud of you.
Read the transcript of the interview, or click on the video and listen to Val at about the 16-minute mark.
This morning a board member of CAES, Val Cecama-Hogsett was on C-Span to ask Representative Stewart some very blunt questions about wild horses, ethics, and criminal violations.
When asked to respond to the ethics complaint and Title 18 criminal violations Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT) denied knowledge of any complaint, first trying to claim it must have been someone else. Then denying he ever saw or heard about the report. Citizens Against Equine Slaughter emailed and faxed the 20-page* complaint to his DC office the last week in January after filing it with the Office of Congressional Ethics on January 24, 2018.
Cecama-Hogsett then asked Representative Stewart to explain why 8.7 million livestock, one half million each deer and elk are not starving on the same lands he ‘alleges’ significantly smaller wild horse populations are starving on. She pointed out the population number he has quoted has gone from 67 – 90 thousand, making it clear that the actual numbers are subject to very unreliable estimates of the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency tasked with overseeing the protection of wild horses as a historic, iconic and integral part of our ecosystem and heritage.
Representative Stewart seemingly went on the defensive and acted as if he has more knowledge than Cecama-Hogsett, inviting her to meet him on the western range in August to see the horses he ‘alleged’ are starving. Representative Stewart did not answer the question about why only the horses were starving. Instead, he said it does affect other wildlife, cautiously avoiding the word livestock, and said unless she is willing to meet him on the range to ‘see for yourself, I am not going to change your mind.”
The call was abruptly ended by C-Span at that point and she was not able to ask her third question. Apparently wild horses are not an approved topic of discussion between C-Span and whoever pulls their puppet strings.
Cecama-Hogsett said,”this tour of western lands to view starving ‘animals’, I wonder if any are horses? He seemed to change his wording, didn’t he? I am sure he can find some bones somewhere in the west to show us, but proving his allegations of starving horses may prove a difficult task for the ‘informed, farmer, rancher who loves these animals’.”
Citizens Against Equine Slaughter intends to, and notified Representative Stewart on his Facebook post of the C-Span show that they want to know who to speak to and schedule the August tour.
What can you do?
Everyone needs to call the Office of Congressional Ethics, your Senators and Representative, and the media in your area, also this week.
Tell them this ethics complaint needs to be considered before a law is passed to kill 100,000 wild horses based on the ethical and criminal lies that got the Stewart Amendment passed in H.R. 3354.
Transcript of call with Representative Stewart and Val Cecama-Hogsett (aka Theresa**) on C-Span. (Corrections to the script where we found them are in parenthesis)
“Show Full Text 00:16:14 HOST DEMOCRATS LINE, OREGON — HELLO.
00:16:17 CALLER HI, YES. GOOD MORNING. REPRESENTATIVE STUART — I HAVE A THREE-PART QUESTION FOR YOU. COULD YOU RESPOND TO THE ETHICS COMPLAINT THAT WAS FILED AGAINST YOU WITH THE OFFICE OF CONGRESSIONAL ETHICS THAT INCLUDED A CRIMINAL VIOLATION OF THE U.S. CRIMINAL CODE TITLE 18?
HOST: AND WE TALKED ABOUT THAT VERY QUICKLY — Show Less Text 00:16:45
GUEST LET ME TALK ABOUT THAT VERY QUICKLY. I HAVE NEVER HAD AN ETHICS COMPLAINT ABOUT ME.
00:16:54 CALLER THERE IS ONE THAT WAS FILED ON JANUARY 24 BY MY ORGANIZATION.
00:16:59 GUEST I’M COMPLETELY UNAWARE OF THAT. IT MIGHT NOT HAVE EVEN GOTTEN THROUGH THE INITIAL REVIEW.
00:17:04 CALLER WE FAXED IT TO YOUR OFFICE. YOU MIGHT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH YOUR OFFICE.(getting messages to you)
00:17:10 HOST OTHER QUESTION PLEASE.
00:17:15 CALLER (If) WE HAVE STARVING HORSES AND CLEARLY THERE ARE 8.7 MILLION LIVESTOCK ON THE STATE(same) PUBLIC LANDS THAT ARE NOT STARVING. WE HAVE HALF A MILLION DEER, HALF A MILLION ELK ON THE SAME LAN(d). NONE OF THEM ARE HAVING SERIOUS STARVING PROBLEMS THAT YOU ALLEGED LAST YEAR AND IN 2016 THAT (67 thousand) 75,000 (and now 90 thousand) WILD HORSES ARE STARVING. I WANT TO KNOW WHY THEY ARE THE ONLY POPULATION THAT IS HAVING AN ISSUE. Show Less Text 00:17:52
GUEST ONCE AGAIN, THAT IS ONE OF MY CONCERNS — THAT IT DOES AFFECT THE WILDLIFE. YOU SAY THAT I ALLEGED. HERE’S THE DEAL. YOU COME TO UTAH AUGUST, AND I WILL SHOW YOU ANIMALS THAT HAVE STARVED TO DEATH. UNTIL YOU DO THAT, I AM NOT GOING TO CHANGE YOUR MIND. IF YOU ARE WILLING TO DO THAT AND COME SEE THE TRUTH, I WILL SHOW YOU ANIMALS THAT ARE STARVING TO DEATH ON THE RANGE THROUGHOUT THE WEST. YOUR THIRD POINT. Show Less Text 00:18:18
HOST SHE IS GOING (Gone). PETER, GO AHEAD. PETER FROM KENTUCKY.”
Released March 21, 2018, the House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen spins his approval web of lies to promote the Omnibus Budget as a good thing.
While the major news, that she seems to view as a good thing, is to
“preserve federal lands for public and private uses, such as
energy development, ranching, recreation, and military training…”
The glaring omission seems to be environmental conservation, wildlife preservation, watershed improvements during increasing drought and fire … you know those pesky little details that created the BLM and Forestry Service.
There is no mention of a major amendment that will allow over 100,000 wild horses to be killed because of 40 years of mismanagement, and favoritism of the commercial livestock public lands ranching. That seems like it might be significant enough to warrant a mention in the summary.
In his summary of the BLM budget, she boasts a provision for sage-grouse conservation, even though the plan worked on with real conservationists was scrapped by President Trump and Ryan Zinke.
The new plan will likely do everything except force commercial industry, using sage-grouse lechs and nesting areas exempt from any enforceable restrictions put on them to protect the birds. It will likely amount to wild horses removed from these focal areas, although there is zero scientific evidence even hinting to wild horses being a reason for the decline in the grouse population.
It will also include cutting the old growth pinyon-juniper, which they claim doesn’t permit growth of vital sagebrush to provide cover for the birds, and also gives raptors a perch to hunt them. Coincidentally the ranchers have wanted to cut these trees for decades because they take space and water from forage for cows and sheep. Nevermind that there is also no science to back up this theory of conservation created by…well we all know who.
Here’s what the summary of the Department of Interior BLM Omnibus bill says…
“Bureau of Land Management (BLM) – The bill contains $1.3 billion for the BLM, an increase of $80 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. The bill provides $60 million, equal to the fiscal year 2017 level, for on-the-ground sage grouse conservation to protect the species and to preserve federal lands for public and private uses, such as energy development, ranching, recreation, and military training. The bill also includes a $21 million increase to expand energy and mineral development. “
While the “Vision Card” front has all the same hype the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has always claimed are their Mission, Vision, and Values on the front of this new ID badge for employees, the back was a clear slap in the face to anyone who is involved in any kind of Environmental, Conservation or Wildlife preservation organizations or advocacy groups.
The way I interpret the back of this badge outlining the BLM “Guiding Principles” is this.
Support our misuse of multiple use management, even where the law clearly allows an area to be used for a specific purpose, like say, Indigenous Treaty, Wild horse preserve, critical sage-grouse focal areas, desert tortoise protection, fragile watershed areas, etc. The list could go on and on, but would never include commercial business (those are sacred uses to Secretary Zinke in his pursuit of world energy dominance, and his pockets full of cash from the livestock industry.
Support community-based conservation by forming groups of ‘local’ people, like the ranchers, miners, loggers, and oilmen who are the only people who live in these remote areas. Form advisory councils so we know what they want us to do to keep the campaign contributions flowing smoothly. But, do not include anyone who argues with the ‘locals’ or uses science or truth to actually accomplish what our job is. The one the American public hired us to do.
Improve our respect for employees and support them when they do what the ranchers, miners, loggers, and oilmen want. Employees like that bad supervisor who tried to remove Cliven Bundy’s cows and made us stand nose to nose with gunmen who pay us to do what they want. Wow, that was a mess, glad we forced that supervisor to resign, we don’t need those whistleblowers and people who want to do that job we talked about above. You know, what the American public really thinks we do.
We have to provide better accountability to our stakeholders, and we mean those stakeholders that are part of the free or low-cost use of our lands to make commercial profits, the largest being the livestock industry. This guiding principle is more appropriately called Accountability to STEAK-holders.
Why do we, the American People continue to employ an agency that is NOT doing their job? We need to fire, or in the case of Secretary Zinke, vote those out who would appoint someone, who supports the polar opposite of the job they are hired for. This is not a partisan issue, we have seen far too many administrations like this for far too long. My personal opinion is that this one is the absolute worst.
Yes, it may benefit our economy, in the short-term, but can we afford the long-term or permanent damage that is and will be done?
Can we afford the day when our resources cannot be saved or replenished?
Should we support oil, minerals, lumber, livestock feed or livestock, that strips our lands of our assets, exports them to another country, while the corporate/commercial entities are the ones raking in the profits?
Isn’t this our land and resources, and if they are developed or sold shouldn’t we share in those profits? Or will we continue to ignore the loss of value of our lands, water quality, air quality and killing or extinction of wildlife?
Were these normal times, we would now be saying “sayonara” to Ryan Zinke.
President Trump’s secretary of the interior has inspired a half-dozen ongoing investigations into his travel expenses, his blending of official business with political activities and personal pleasure, and his whimsical management of a 70,000-person, 500 million-acre agency.
And now this:
Testifying before Congress last week, Zinke was questioned by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), who mentioned that two of her grandparents were held as Japanese American internees during World War II. She asked Zinke why the administration wants to cut funds to preserve Japanese American internment sites.
Zinke smirked. “Oh, konnichiwa,” he replied to Hanabusa, a fourth-generation American.
Even after he had time to reflect, Zinke was unapologetic. “How could ever saying ‘Good morning’ be bad?” he said over the weekend.
Actually, it’s closer to “Good afternoon,” but let’s follow Zinke’s logic on this: He’ll soon be greeting a Jewish lawmaker with “Shalom,” an African American lawmaker with “Jambo,” Mexican American questioners with a spirited “Que pasa?” and Native Americans with “How.” It is the benevolent ruler who greets the natives in their ancestral tongues.
That’s fitting, because Zinke runs his department much like a 19th-century colonial governor or imperial viceroy — and not just because he showed up on horseback his first day of work. As The Post’s Lisa Rein reported, Zinke assigned a staffer to hoist a special secretarial flag whenever he enters Interior Department headquarters. He also commissioned a commemorative coin with his name on it.
The Interior Department is Zinke’s plaything. He toyed with disbanding 200 federal advisory boards (most members of the national parks advisory board resigned, saying Zinke sidelined them), but he created a new one — a group of big-game trophy hunters to advise him on big-game trophies. To run the national parks, Zinke tapped an official who improperly helped Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder remove 130 trees to improve his estate’s river views. Now Zinke’s talking about $70 entrance fees at national parks, because freeloaders — the elderly, the disabled, veterans and “fourth-graders” — pay discounted fees.
Zinke reassigned dozens of senior career employees, suspecting them of disloyalty. As The Post’s Dino Grandoni and Juliet Eilperin reported last week, Zinke’s Bureau of Land Management distributed “vision cards,” featuring an image of an oil rig, to be worn by the natives — er, the employees. And Zinke’s department now has political appointees screening grants, a process overseen by a kindergarten classmate and football buddy of Zinke’s.
Zinke’s fine tastes befit a colonial ruler. It’s possible that, as his spokeswoman says, he didn’t know about a decision by career staffers to spend $138,670 to replace three sets of doors in his office. But he certainly knew of the tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars spent on private plane and helicopter rides. This included a $12,000 private flight from Las Vegas to an airport near his home in Montana after an event he did with a political donor made him miss a commercial flight, and $6,000 on government helicopters so Zinke could go horseback riding with Vice President Pence.
The department’s inspector general is trying to sift through Zinke’s expenses, which don’t adequately “distinguish between personal, political and official travel,” she said.
Zinke, asked about his expenses at a Senate hearing last week, replied that “I never took a private jet anywhere” — because he flew on prop planes.
At Thursday’s House hearing, Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) asked why he had not replied to her letter about his expenses. Zinke, rebuking Barragán for her lack of “courtesy,” replied by waving a copy of a reply that he said had been addressed to the top Democrat on the committee.
It turned out the letter was not addressed to any Democrat.
The viceroy needn’t trouble himself with such details. Nor need he fret that he told lawmakers last week that “Florida did not get an exemption” from expanded offshore oil drilling — even though Zinke himself announced in January that Florida was “off the table.”
And we are not to question the viceroy’s integrity when he claims his trip to Pennsylvania last month was official, not political — even though it was attended by Trump-endorsed congressional candidate Rick Saccone, it occurred just outside the district where the special election was held last week and it involved Zinke handing over a large ceremonial check.
Zinke has worked hard to reach such stature. Back when he was a Navy SEAL, he was found to have billed the government for personal travel to his home in Montana.
“I ended up having to repay $211 in unauthorized expenses,” he wrote in his book, “American Commander,” “but the biggest penalty was being embarrassed for wrongdoing.”
It would seem the viceroy is no longer vulnerable to such sentiments.
End of Copy Paste Article
As many organization do with all of their articles and notices we are going to ask all of you, if you gain something from our work, if you want to help us continue to do the work we do, not just in research and education, but also in legal appeals and lawsuits, in legislative work and lobbying, in unifying the environmental, conservation and animal preservation communities, and in stopping inhumane practices like slaughter and spay experiments, or radio collaring of wild horses, please consider making a donation. It takes a unified advocacy to get the job done, and you are each part of that advocacy community.
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On this World Wildlife Day, many of us are feeling anxiety, sadness, and worry. The American way of life that we thought we enjoyed has become an idealistic dream.
“Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” – AbrahamLincoln
You can take President Lincoln’s quote and replace the word ‘people’ with corporations. We saw with the events os Cliven Bundy and his followers, that the federal government can be forced to back down under the pressure of the livestock industry. Then after 2 armed stand-offs (Bunkerville, NV, and Malheur, OR), we watched the Bundy’s receive acquittals for armed stand-offs and even the armed takeover of a federal building.
We then watched the events of Standing Rock, where our Indigenous Peoples were brutalized and arrested, by both law enforcement and hired mercenaries protecting an oil pipeline. Indigenous people were arrested for protecting their own sacred lands, lands that are theirs according to treaties.
Then came this new administration. We see everything, our EPA, ESA, FDA, all turned upside down and shook like the government was looking for spare change to fall from pockets to strip them of every protection we hold dear.
We hear and go to secret meetings, closed-door meetings between government and big business, lobbying and laying down the plan to destroy wild areas, wildlife, environmental protection, delisting endangered species, and our focus, the wild horses.
So what can we do? Let’s look back to Wild Horse Annie, let’s do what worked….but not just the children, every one of us who still cares, still believes our voices together are bigger and stronger than these destructive industries.
On the 2018 World Wildlife Day, we ask you to fill out the following form, answer the 3 questions on the photo and we will send it to President Trump.
We know you can just click buttons and have your computer sign this…but it holds more weight when you take the time and effort to answer the 3 questions on this postcard.
So PLEASE will you take a few moments of your time for the horses? Do they mean at least that much to you?