WASHINGTON – Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman continued his no-holds-barred rhetorical assault on the Humane Society of the United States Saturday and called on state agriculture policymakers from across the country to join him in fighting the group.
“This is about our American way of life and HSUS wants to destroy the American dream for America's farmers and ranchers,” Heineman said. "This is about jobs for American families and HSUS wants to destroy job opportunities for our sons and our daughters and our grandkids."
Heineman, a Republican, was speaking just outside Washington, D.C., at a gathering of state lawmakers who head agriculture committees in their respective statehouses. State Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege, Neb., is chairman of the Nebraska Legislature's Agriculture Committee and arranged for Heineman to speak.
The Humane Society of the United States has mounted petition drives in other states related to the confinement of livestock. The group's CEO, Wayne Pacelle, has previously said that the group has no plans to mount a petition drive in Nebraska and that he wants to work with farmers and ranchers.
But Heineman said Saturday that he doesn't trust the group, which he described as bent on the destruction of Nebraska's top industry, agriculture. He said states must reject any overtures for deals or compromises with the group. He had a friendly audience for that message and the tough talk repeatedly drew applause from the lawmakers.
"I'm a graduate of West Point. I'm an Army Ranger. This guy wants to engage in guerrilla warfare, I'll teach him a thing or two," Heineman said of Pacelle.