OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – A local policy group wants lawmakers who accepted donations from groups associated with cockfighting to give that money to humane societies.
The Kirkpatrick Policy Group says lawmakers who received funds from a cockfighting Political Action Committee should either return the funds or re-gift them to humane societies.
The group claims that the organization is violating Oklahoma Ethics Commission rules regarding its disclosure of donors.
“Let’s be clear: to fight animals to the death is a crime in every county and every state in our nation,” said Christian Keesee, president of Kirkpatrick Policy Group. “For an Oklahoma politician to accept money from a PAC whose leaders knowingly violate ethics-filing and animal-abuse laws is the furthest thing from a best political practice. Meanwhile, the erosion of our voter-approved law would wreak havoc in rural Oklahoma. At Kirkpatrick Policy Group, we call upon every elected official who accepted these donations to dispossess themselves of these funds at once.”
A bill introduced by Representative Justin Humphrey is set to allow counties to circumvent a voter approved ban on cockfighting.
The ban was approved by voters in 2002, but Humphrey’s bill would allowed voters in each county in the state to reduce the punishment for cockfighting to a misdemeanor.
“No state legislature in our nation’s history has ever weakened a law against cockfighting or dogfighting after enactment,” said Alexander Berney, attorney and KPG board member. “Oklahoma has never given a county the latitude to impose weaker penalties in that jurisdiction after banning a practice statewide. Lawmakers should understand that the people who would benefit most by weakening the anti-cockfighting law are those interested in violating it.”
Representative Humphrey says the bill is about criminal reform.