Sarah Steelman recently released a TV ad that personally attacks John Brunner’s family. As she travels the state promoting her smear campaign, it must be noted that Steelman is hiding the fact that she has cast devastating votes against the agricultural community. And when she attacks John Brunner's daughter for making a charitable contribution, Sarah Steelman fails to mention that she, herself, once accepted a maximum campaign contribution from the President of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation.
With a damaging voting record for Missouri agriculture, it’s no wonder Sarah Steelman has earned zero endorsements from agricultural leaders or organizations.
In 2003, Sarah Steelman accepted a maximum contribution from the president of the radical animal welfare group, the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation.
- In 2003, Nancy Grove, a self-described “Animal Welfare Attorney” and President of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, boosted Sarah Steelman’s war chest with a $1,175 campaign contribution (Missouri Ethics Commission, Campaign Finance Database, 2003).
- In 2003 the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation through a newsletter described its purpose to: “…bring about positive change for animals through legislative means. Our efforts are combined with the actions of concerned individuals, other groups, organizations and agencies interested in the enactment and/or protection of animal welfare laws. Our goals include increasing public awareness regarding the plight of animals, addressing problems with appropriate legislation, and providing information to the proper authorities to ensure enforcement of the laws. As the only organized animal welfare lobbying group in Missouri, the Alliance is dedicated to furthering mainstream animal welfare issues by achieving these goals." (Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, 2003 Newsletter).
- Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation often supports Humane Society of the United States campaigns and grassroots efforts (Kansas City Star,April 30, 2002 / Springfield News-Leader, May 13, 2002).
- In 2010, Grove donated $105,000 to the Humane Society of the United States financed Prop-B committee. (Missouri Ethics Commission, Campaign Finance Database pages 11 and 15)
- Patrick Tuohey, Sarah Steelman’s current campaign press secretary, advocated for the ‘Your Vote Counts’ campaign, which actively supported the implementation of Missouri's 2010 Anti-Puppy Mill law (The Missouri Record, June 16, 2011, http://www.missourirecord.com/news/index.asp?article=10242).
- Tuohey received compensation from the 'Your Vote Counts' campaign (Missouri Ethics Commission, Campaign Finance Database, page 9)
- The Humane Society of the United States contributed more than $110,000 directly or in-directly to the ‘Your Vote Counts’ campaign — the same effort Tuohey advocated and worked for (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Forces join for voter initiatives, 8/16/11).
- Sarah Steelman voted in favor of price discrimination legislation that eliminated the cash market for live animals and forced farmers to use only one market based on a USDA-determined quality of meat formula (The Associated Press, September 28, 2001; Missouri Senate Journal, May 7, 1999, SB 310, Overall vote: 31-0, Steelman vote: Yes).
- “But packers quickly quit paying cash based on the live weight of cattle, hogs and sheep. They cited a fear of costly lawsuits. That left most farmers with only one option for selling livestock - a quality-of-meat formula determined after slaughter. And many farmers complained they were losing money. . . . [The USDA] estimated the law could have cost Missouri farms and rural communities anywhere from $7 million to $20 million annually (The Associated Press, 5/7/99).
- With the meat packing industry fleeing Missouri and the massive regulatory cost of the legislation, Gov. Bob Holden signed a law in 2001 that repealed much of the lawsuit-laden legislation.
- Sarah Steelman — as an inconsistent and unreliable conservative — voted in favor of the legislation in 1999 but voted for repeal in 2001.
- In 1999, Sarah Steelman voted in favor of SJR 17 that gave counties the option of taxing land at the value of its highest and best use. Undeveloped land would be taxed at the level of nearby developed land, increasing property taxes on farms (Missouri Senate Journal, SJR 17, April 26, 1999 / St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Editorial, April 6, 1999).
- The American Farmland Trust opposed such tax schemes because farmers would not be able to afford to stay on their land close to urbanization or they would be incentivized to subdivide and sell land to developers.
- Fuel costs represent a significant amount of input and distribution costs for Missouri's farmers. (Are High Fuel Prices Causing Problems for Farmers?, ConnectMidMissouri.com, May 20, 2011)
- In 2002, Sarah Steelman voted in favor of legislation that terminated the sunset clause and made permanent a 6-cent per-gallon gas tax hike (Missouri Senate Journal, SB 970, March 20, 2002)
- The National Journal reported in 2011 on the Americans for Tax Reform view regard the question of permanently voting to extend a temporary tax increase: “ATR would adjudicate and say a politician broke the pledge if he or she voted to extend a ‘temporary’ tax increase beyond its promised duration” (National Journal, Grover Speaks! Says he didn’t give on taxes, July 22, 2011)
- Whether it’s filling up their John Deere, paying for fertilizer and pesticides, or transporting their crops and livestock, Missouri farmers and ranchers still feel the effects of higher gas prices thanks to Sarah Steelman’s 2002 vote.