Humane Society’s political arm calls for Matt Bevin to withdraw from Senate race

April 03, 2014 | | Comments 10
Flanked by his wife and 9 children, Matt Bevin announced he will run against Mitch McConnell for U.S.Senate on Wednesday July 23, 2013 in Frankfort, Ky. Photos by Mark Cornelison | Staff

Flanked by his wife and 9 children, Matt Bevin announced he will run against Mitch McConnell for U.S.Senate on Wednesday July 23, 2013 in Frankfort, Ky. Photos by Mark Cornelison | Staff

By Sam Youngman

The lobbying arm of the Humane Society of the U.S. and two other animal-protection groups called Thursday for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin to withdraw from the race, citing his attendance this weekend at a pro-cockfighting rally.

“Matt Bevin showed appalling judgment in associating himself with this band of lawbreakers and perpetrators of unspeakable animal cruelty,” Michael Markarian, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, wrote Thursday in a blog post. “He’s brought discredit upon the state of Kentucky, and he should withdraw from the Senate race.”

Bevin, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, told The News Journal in Corbin that he didn’t know he was addressing a pro-cockfighting rally last Saturday when about 700 people gathered at the event that was organized by Michael Devereaux, director of the Gamefowl Defense Network.

Bevin told The News Journal that he thought the event was a rally for states’ rights. “I was the first person to speak and then I left,” he told the newspaper.

However, organizers told the paper there was “never any ambiguity” about the purpose of the event, which was to rally support for changing laws that outlaw cockfighting.

In his blog post, Markarian said “it’s hard to imagine anyone accidentally stumbling into a cockfighting meet-up.”

“Bevin’s claims about not knowing ring hollow, as he is now parroting the language of anyone who defends animal cruelty but masks their true intent by speaking of ‘states’ rights’,” he wrote.

Ads for the event, which Markarian included in his blog post, are labeled in large type as a “call to action” for “cockfighters.”

A message to Bevin spokeswoman Rachel Semmel seeking comment was not returned Thursday. On Wednesday, Semmel said “Matt doesn’t believe this is a federal issue, and the state government can handle it.”

Groups that support cockfighting were furious when McConnell voted in favor of the federal farm bill in February because it included a provision that criminalized being a spectator at animal fights.

Supporters of the controversial practice, in which two roosters often fight to the death, have said they want the sport to be legalized and regulated by the state.

Filed Under: ElectionsFederal GovernmentMatt BevinMitch McConnellUS Senate Race

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  1. CoolerKing says:

    Just goes to show you how off-the-charts insane these Tea Party types are. Pro-animal-abuse? Seriously? No wonder Mitch McConnell is trying to distance himself from these nutjobs.

  2. RealDealAnimalRightsActivist says:

    HSUS the largest domestic terrorist group in the United States today. If these self proclaimed “animal rights activists” are so concerned with Ky? Where have they been while the Knox-Whitley animal shelter has been housed in a sardine can for the last several months? Our great representatives are now forced to rely on an ever dwindling coal severance fund to help our animals. Seems to me they are more concerned with politics, than animal welfare?

  3. ray says:

    I thought our constitution reads of and for the people not the animals! We need someone in there to defend American rights first!

  4. Ray Stephens says:

    I’m sure the HSUS want Matt to give up just like they want Farmer and Hunters and all people that use animals for a Harvest . And the Animal rights people are so quick to name call and to attack people that do not have the same mind set . At this time we have the worst Washington in the History of this country . Rural life is different from City life and that is why I choose to live in the Country. We choose to live with life and death on the farm . I stand behind Matt and at least he will talk to working people in Kentucky.

  5. calvin addington says:

    first thing that needs to be said is; this has very little to do with cockfighting. it is just another way/law to put a felony on any one , so they “the government” can take your rights to own/possess a gun and be able to defend you and your family.. and the HSUS is the biggest crooks to walk the earth… just call and ask for help. i have, more than once.. all and i mean ALL THE HSUS WILL DO FOR YOUR OR YOUR ANIMALS IS GIVE YOU A VOUCHER TO GET THEM FIXED. my brother had a cop come in his yard, without a cause or reason to be there, and shot his pit bull dog in the face, on the porch, just inches from his wife and self, as she lay on the porch. later one of his commanders came out and said they could not “finish” the job, because she was not aggressive, and it was against the law to shoot her otherwise. the HSUS and PETA would NOT EVEN LISTEN TO WHAT HAPPENED. THEY WERE INTERESTED ONLY IN TAKEN UP MONEY, WELL THE HSUS DID ASK IF SHE NEEDED FIXED. SO, I ASK YOU TO DO A LITTLE RESEARCH. BE HONEST WITH YOUR SELF. AND SPREAD THE WORD BOUT THE CROOKS… ALL PEOPLE INVOLVED WITH THE HSUS AND PETA ORT TO BE ARRESTED AND TRIED IN THE SAME COURT AS MURDERERS AND FACE THE SAME PENALTIES. WHAT HAS BECOME OF OUR BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY???

  6. tC says:

    A “controversial practice” is exactly right Mr Youngman. Last time I looked at the definition of LIBERTY, it says something about “freedom to choose” and with that freedom comes “controversy”. So what!!! Chickens fights are not like dog fights AT ALL. Dog fights are appalling because we DO know dogs have huge capacity to be “a man’s best friend, loyal, and loving”, a rooster not hardly. City liberals and Tea Party rural-lovers both have the FREEDOM to believe and promote their respective positions, and that is what makes America Great!

  7. Patriotgal says:

    I would like to say that I have been absolutely amazed at how many meetings, speeches, Lincoln Day Dinners, and restaurant meet and greets that Matt Bevin has accomplished in the last few months! Honestly, I don’t think most people consider how much time is involved in the travel alone, and then add to that the fact that these events are often held two a day. Campaigning is tough work, not only for the candidate, but also for his staff. These folks are the ones working the phones, and trying to set up opportunities for the candidate to meet Kentuckians, and answer their questions, and in a brief time try to give them a sense of WHO he is, and what his principles are before moving on to the next scheduled event. ~ I do NOT believe that Matt was aware that this event involved Cock Fighters, and even if the signs were ten feet tall once he got there, it would have been a waste of his time to neglect the opportunity to speak. ~ I think it is terribly unfair of the Kentucky S.P.C.A. to call for Bevin to drop out of his hard fought race over an error in scheduling. And even if he did speak at the event, unless his speech supported Cock Fighting specifically then the I believe the Kentucky S.P.C.A. owes Mr. Bevin a retraction and an apology! Bevin wants to represent ALL Kentuckians, and that’s more than I can say about Kentucky’s laws to protect animals from abuse. Kentucky’s laws are weak, and abuse is common. This is a shameful attack on a man who desires to help Kentuckians, and the Nation. This one issue pales in comparison to the many people in the State who have lost jobs, health care and seen their quality of life plummet in the last 5 yrs. ~ HERE is who Matt Bevin really is…

  8. Big Ben 4 Liberty says:

    CK purposely missing the point and mindlessly burning strawmen in the first comment. Meanwhile this absolute non-story misses the point on purpose. the Herald -Misleader wants Mitch to survive his primary challenge so he will be their preferred candidate’s opponent. Its the only chance she has in the fall.

  9. Lee martin says:

    Set-up all the way… Bevin isn’t for cockfighting…. His speech was on state’s rights and the federal governments rights- which right now seem pretty out of control…don’t think any Kentuckian would disagree.

    Mitch and the Carl Roves of the world- want to hold onto their power and the majority of the GOP treasure chest.

    Ky has a clear choice….I hear folks everyday complaining about everything that is wrong in Washington…well, stop crying about and actually do something about it ! No more deals for the rhinos- usually those deals almost always are a kick-backs !!!!

    Ky has a choice… Make the right one !

    Independence ky

  10. ralph+emerson says:

    The HSUS needs to stay out of politics with money that is donated to them by the public.
    That would be the same public who cares about the animals and not the liberal drivel that HSUS is spewing.
    Sorry, guys, no more donations.