What is SAOVA?
The Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA) is a nationwide, nonpartisan group of volunteers seeking to elect politicians who will oppose the "Animal Rightist" (AR) threat to our rights as Americans. It is the only national group working to protect both sportsmen and animal owners, natural allies, in the legislative and political arenas. SAOVA's members hunt, fish; own and breed livestock, dogs, cats and other pets. We study political candidates in all states to identify those who understand and resist the AR threat, as well as those who are in the pocket of the Animal Rightists.
Since 2002, SAOVA's volunteers have interviewed politicians running for election to the U.S. Congress for the first time. Each election cycle, we also review the voting records of incumbents standing for reelection. The goal of these activities was to determine candidates' positions on the animal rightists' threats to our sport, avocations and farming livelihoods.
Bureau of Census documented population changes trigger congressional redistricting every ten years. Following the 2010 Census and apportionment, eight states gained a total of twelve House seats; eight states lost one seat each; and two states (Ohio and New York) lost two seats each. Given the vast advantages of incumbency, sitting House members are extremely difficult to defeat at election time. That leaves open seats, created by retirements and politicians running for higher office, as races where small groups might have a significant impact. Because few open seat candidates have pertinent voting records to guide us, we use an issues questionnaire to solicit their views.
How does SAOVA evaluate candidates? SAOVA personnel review the voting records of all House members and Senators running for reelection to determine whether they support the AR agenda. Usually the most recent year's data is sufficient for this determination, since committed AR legislators vote the same way year after year. Since 1999, many of the dozens of AR initiated House bills and other actions were considered threats to some animal owner. Senators had fewer similar voting opportunities.
Any incumbent politician running for reelection that supported the majority of the recent AR bills had his or her prior voting record, sponsorships and funding/endorsement records carefully examined. In most cases our analysis confirmed a consistent AR support pattern.
SAOVA's determinations have been independently confirmed 100% of the time by the endorsements of the major Animal Rightist political campaign organization, the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) controlled Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) PAC. HSLF endorses a few candidates who are clearly not their supporters.
SAOVA ignores such wishful thinking and records HSUS's endorsements Animal Rightist Endorsed. "Animal Rightist Endorsed" when they're justified by hard facts.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, legislators whose actions consistently support sportsmen and animal owners are SAOVA ENDORSED.
Analysis for the 2012 election cycle included co-sponsorship of reintroduced HR 835/S 707 Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (PUPS) - the latest in a decade of HSUS dog breeder legislation that would bring federal inspectors inside residential homes of Americans who sell dogs at retail. Additional consideration was given to co-sponsorship of HR 3798 Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012, which takes responsibility for facility management and design out of the hands of experts and places it under federal regulation where it can be subjected to the whim of animal rights activists. Final consideration was given to members of Congress who voted against HR 4089 The Sportsmen's Heritage Bill which would enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting, opening additional lands for use by sportsmen unless closed or restricted based on scientific study.
Does party affiliation or endorsement by any other interest group guarantee a candidate will defend our rights? Animal rightists have infiltrated both the Democratic and Republican Party ranks. Voting blindly for a candidate based on party affiliation without studying the individual's voting record on animal rights issues is a prescription for trouble. Likewise, endorsements based solely on handgun positions or Second Amendment concerns are poor voting guides. Some of the most notable AR legislators support gun ownership, but wish to restrict hunting, trapping or animal ownership. Gun owner concerns and animal owner or hunter support among politicians don't always coincide.
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