Wetterling, Bachmann to court sportsmen/women at Game Fair
Dennis Andersen's latest column in the Strib asks why the DFL isn't working harder to court the votes of sportsmen and sportswomen, 60,000 of whom are expected to attend Game Fair in Anoka this weekend. Patty Wetterling and Amy Klobuchar are the two DFLers who will be there. Both Wetterling and Bachmann will have booths set up and will be working the crowd.
Patty Wetterling has a lot to offer sportsmen, and I think that fairgoers will be impressed. She strongly supports the Second Amendment, stating,
I am convinced that the right way to fight the problem of gun violence is to crack down on the criminals who use them. Let’s take guns out of the hands of criminals and children, not law abiding Minnesotans.
Who's going to be a more appealing candidate to hunting and fishing enthusiasts-- the no-frills Wetterling, who seems like she'd be most comfortable in jeans and tennis shoes, or Michele Bachmann, who enjoys vaccuuming in high heels and wearing her "little pink dress"? But, of course, Bachmann does have a conceal and carry permit, which apparently (according to her) makes her bona fide on "sportsmen's issues."
And what about Bachmann's $2,000 donation from the Safari Club? Does she represent the real-life sportsmen of this district, or the 40,000 fat-cat trophy hunters of the Safari Club?
Here's some more info on the Safari Club:
The Arizona-based SCI has made a name for itself as one of the most extreme and elite trophy hunting organizations, representing some 40,000 wealthy trophy collectors, fostering and promoting competitive trophy hunting of exotic animals on five continents. SCI members shoot prescribed lists of animals to win so-called Grand Slam and Inner Circle titles. There's the Africa Big Five (leopard, elephant, lion, rhino, and buffalo), the North American Twenty Nine (all species of bear, bison, sheep, moose, caribou, and deer), Big Cats of the World, Antlered Game of the Americas, and many other contests.
To complete all 29 award categories, a hunter must kill a minimum of 322 separate species and sub-species - enough to populate a large zoo. This is an extremely expensive and lengthy task, and many SCI members take the quick and easy route to see their names in the record books. They shoot captive animals in canned hunts, both in the United States and overseas, and some engage in other unethical conduct like shooting animals over bait, from vehicles, with spotlights, or on the periphery of national parks.
SCI members have even tried to circumvent federal laws to import their rare trophies from other countries. Prominent SCI hunter Kenneth E. Behring donated $100 million to the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum and, according to published reports, tried to get the museum's help in importing a rare Kara Tau argali sheep which he shot in Kazakhstan and had shipped to a Canadian taxidermist - one of only 100 Kara Tau argali sheep remaining in the world. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, now under Hogan's watch, is the agency charged with granting or denying such trophy import permits.
Read Andersen's column. He brings up some interesting ideas on why this voting bloc traditionally votes Republican, despite the Democratic value of protecting the environment. He also points out that, with around 90% of sportsmen and women in three key swing states voting in the 2000 election, they are an extremely motivated and important bloc that both candidates must appeal to.