That's especially true this year. Conservative Missouri farmers remember with disappointment the narrow margin of victory in 2010 of Proposition B which regulates certain animal breeding techniques. That ballot initiative was so controversial that after the voters approved it, the state legislature struck a compromise with Democrat Governor Jay Nixon to amend it to mitigate the initiative's regulatory impact.
With that in mind it came as a surprise to me that Republican US Senate candidate John Brunner appears to have once supported a radical animal rights group. According to the Brunner Foundation's 2008 form 990-PF (embedded below), the Foundation donated $10,000 to the Humane Farming Association (HFA). John Brunner and his wife serve as the two trustees of that foundation, so, does Brunner support the leftist agenda of HFA?
HFA is a radical animal rights group based in California. They work to limit or even outlaw the use of antibiotics and pesticides by ranchers and farmers. From their website:
HFA's goals are to protect farm animals from cruelty and abuse, to protect the public from the misuse of antibiotics, hormones, and other chemicals used on factory farms, and to protect the environment from the impacts of industrialized animal factories.The responsible use of antibiotics, hormones, and other chemicals serves two purposes. First, it promotes the health and welfare of the animals which insures a successful agri-business and, second, it keeps consumers safe. Does Brunner want to outlaw or over-regulate the use of antibiotics and pesticides? If not, why did he donate to HFA?
The Brunner funded HFA also supports outlawing cage-raised poultry. Such a policy would drive up the cost of the eggs and chickens you buy at the grocery store because the new regulations HFA espouses would force farmers to change their farming practices increasing the cost of production. HFA seems to be advocating policies that would ensure that every chicken sold in the country is a free range chicken.
The fact that Brunner gave thousands of dollars to this radical group is extremely disconcerting. It suggests that either he does not understand the importance of Missouri agriculture or that he uncritically accepted HFA's anti-agriculture propaganda. This raises serious questions. Why did he donate $10,000 to a radical, leftist animal rights group? How does he in good conscience fly around the state of Missouri touting his support of farming while financing a radical group like HFA? And, most importantly, does he support their radical agenda?
Thanks to MoSenateRace for linking and providing excellent follow-up! Also, thanks to Bob McCarty and Gateway Pundit for picking up the story!
I've placed copies of the Brunner Foundation's form 990-PFs from 2008 thru 2010 on Scribd. The 2008 990 is embedded below.