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.
Dedicated to what may be the final 48 hours for American native wild horses.
©Citizens Against Equine Slaughter 2018
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.
Phone: (202) 225-9739
Fax: (202) 226-0997
To watch the video of the C-Span show click this link:
Call Begins at 16:30 on this video of the C-Span program.
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)