Hawaii’s Animal CARE Foundation announced in August that it had filed a complaint with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission over advertisements sponsored by the Hawaiian Humane Society that focused on a proposed felony animal cruelty bill.
The Animal CARE Foundation charges that the advertisements were paid for with funds received from the Humane Society of the United States. The Foundation claims that such third party donations would have to be disclosed under Hawaii law. According to its press release,
ACF claims that the Humane Society of the United States, Inc. paid for the production of commercials which aired many times on television stations throughout the state by the Hawaiian Humane Society during the legislatureÂ’s deliberations over the proposed felony cruelty bill. HHS failed to disclose the contributions worth tens of thousands of dollars Â– as required by state lobbyist laws. ACF was opposed to the severely flawed bill.
Additionally, HSUS not only failed to register their lobbyist and their organization with the Hawai`i State Ethics Commission, but also hid their contribution by putting HHSÂ’s name and logo on the commercial which has already aired in several other states before being aired in Hawai`i.
Â“We feel that the people of Hawai`i should be aware that their laws are being affected by a wealthy mainland corporation with little to no understanding, appreciation, or respect for Hawai`iÂ’s culture, as well as its unique problems and circumstancesÂ”, said Frank De Giacomo vice-president of Animal CARE Foundation. Â“They are secretly funneling lobbying money into the state -blatantly circumventing our laws.Â”
Ethics Complaint Filed Against Humane Societies. Press Release, Animal CARE Foundation, August 13, 2003.