If Landry Wants To Raise Real Money, His Next Fundraiser Ought To Focus On Hunting Gary Ackerman

That New York Democrats are obnoxious sissies is hardly news. But comments from one of them surrounding an event which happened this past weekend merely showed how acute the problem really is.

Responding to news that Rep. Jeff Landry planned a fundraising opportunity around an alligator hunt on Friday, followed by a dinner at his camp, Rep. Gary Ackerman put out the following bit of urbane milksoppery in a statement a couple of weeks ago…

“$5,000 to kill a reptile? Heck, for a mere 10 percent of that, you can send me $500 and you don’t have to kill an alligator,” Ackerman wrote in a message to supporters. “Don’t have 500 bucks, or can’t find an alligator in New York? Well just don’t shoot a squirrel and send me $50.”

Ackerman’s smarmy message left out a few things. Like, for example, that alligator hunting in Louisiana is tightly controlled, with a specific season laid out for it – which, it just so happens, is going on right now – and it’s regarded as a necessity in a state with a population of some 1.5 million alligators.

The Landry campaign secured 17 alligator tags for the hunt. Not everyone hunted alligators at the fundraiser; only the folks who paid $5,000 got a tag. Others attended at a lesser level.

Alligator hunting is driven by economics, as it’s a $30 million industry in the state (probably more now, given the success of Swamp People and the spinoff commerce it has produced), but it’s also driven by conservation. In Florida, where supposedly-endangered alligator populations spawned a ban on hunting in the late 1960’s, a near-immediate population explosion led to an explosion of nuisance gators. Even today, gators on golf courses in the Sunshine State are commonplace occurrences.

We have less links in Louisiana, and more gators. Louisiana has some 50 percent more alligators than does Florida despite far less land area, so efforts at controlling the population through hunting make for good policy.

One might be forgiven, in fact, for recognizing Landry’s fundraising activity as a bit of public service – his $5,000 donors willing to harvest gators are doing their part to reduce what might otherwise be a population explosion that could threaten other species in Louisiana wetlands gators use for prey or could result in hungry gators encroaching on human habitats and threatening pets or even children.

So guys like Landry recognize that while alligator hunting is great sport, it’s also a necessary, if perhaps gritty, reality.

Ackerman, who has no alligators of note in his district and is thus blissfully and childishly ignorant of the necessity of hunting them, is entitled to make wisecracks at fundraising efforts of his political adversaries. There is no wildlife in Queens, where his district is, so he wouldn’t know what an 800-pound, 13-foot alligator could do to livestock or things like crawfish traps.

For that matter, perhaps Ackerman has an issue with crawfish traps. If he’s protective of squirrels – which is thoroughly unsurprising in its own right – he might object to the harvesting of tasty crustaceans as part of his animal-rights paternalism as well.

And while he’s free to do so, it’s illuminating that he would see an alligator hunt as an opportunity to draw a distinction between Landry’s political persona and his own. After all, this is no new phenomenon.

Another gritty reality Landry embraces is the necessity and desirability of oil and gas production. He’s been one of the most outspoken Congressional advocates for domestic energy, something the public understands is crucial to American economic recovery and survival. Landry has made the point continuously that oil exploration and production can be done in an environmentally responsible way, that our modern society can’t function without a reliable an economic fuel supply and that our national security depends on a viable and robust domestic energy industry.

Ackerman takes a different view.

There was his introduction of the so-called Big Oil Welfare Repeal Act, in which he attempted to stick the oil industry with $4 billion in higher taxes, in May – as though that would somehow put a dent in the federal deficit. That was in May, and it was consistent with a pattern of hostility to “dirty” oil and gas, contact with which would likely ruin Ackerman’s silk stockings.

Among the positions Ackerman has taken over the years…

  • Co-sponsoring a 2005 bill that was an early version of Waxman-Markey global warming cap-and-trade legislation;
  • Banning drilling in ANWR;
  • Attempting to implement the Kyoto global warming protocol, which failed 97-0 in the Senate;
  • Raising CAFE fuel standards for cars to restrict your choice of automotive purchases;
  • Opposing the construction of new oil refineries;
  • Killing oil exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf (Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico, specifically);
  • Raising taxes on oil companies, as far back as 2007;
  • Supporting giveaways for useless “green energy” initiatives like wind and solar energy; and
  • Supporting EPA’s unconstitutional effort to regulate carbon dioxide as a poison gas.

Ackerman is also one of the foremost congressional advocates of animal rights. A taste of a typical event in Ackerman’s world

Farm Sanctuary presented Guest of Honor Mary Tyler Moore with an original portrait by internationally-renowned artist Peter Max for her dedication and hard work on behalf of farm animals. Ms. Moore eloquently spoke out for farm animals, “To come face to face with a sheep, cow, pig, or goat and to look into their eyes is to see the depth of their souls…whether it’s fear and terror in the eyes of an animal traveling to slaughter or the joy and trust in the eyes of an animal safe and comfortable at a place like Farm Sanctuary. Animals look to us for compassion and protection, and it is our duty to relieve their suffering.”

Rep. Ackerman was awarded Farm Sanctuary’s first Congressional Friend of Farm Animals Award for his commitment to farm animal protection. Congressman Ackerman has been a perennial defender of animals in the U.S. Congress, consistently scoring at the top of the Humane Congressional Scorecard. Since 1992, Gary Ackerman has worked to advance the Downed Animal Protection Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, and in May of 2000, he also introduced legislation to outlaw cruel confinement for veal production.

Guests were dazzled by The Plaza Hotel Chef Mark Felix’s masterful creations, from vegetarian shrimp cocktail and vegetable dumpling hors d’oeuvres to a three-course gourmet vegan dinner of caesar salad with blackened tempeh, “Seitan Picatta” served on a bed of mashed potatoes with caramelized maui onions, grilled asparagus, organic tomato ragu and sautéed oyster mushrooms. Topped off by a scrumptious caramel and dark chocolate mousse dessert, the dinner also put the spotlight on vegan food.

With vegan favor bags full of even more goodies in hand, many newcomers to the movement left the evening with a new resolve to adopt a vegan diet. The event not only raised much needed funds for Farm Sanctuary’s Say No To Veal advertising campaign, but was also an inspirational evening which strengthened our commitment to the shared goal of ending farm animal cruelty.

There are people who do things, and then there are sanctimonious popinjays like Ackerman who sit in chairs and spout fantasies and criticisms of the doers. Here’s Ackerman defending the global warming fraud with a pomposity so fulsome it makes you want to reach for the Tums and the shotgun…

So if Landry wants to give his campaign donors a shot at playing Junior and Willie, we’re less than concerned. It might be an even bigger ticket if his next fundraiser involved a a plane trip to the Big Apple and a chance to shoot Ackerman.

After all, considering that Ackerman hasn’t garnered less than 63 percent of the vote in any election since 1996, carnation-boutonniared-sissies like him appear to be in as plentiful supply in New York as gators are in south Louisiana.



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