Prop. 2 backers wield lawsuits as weapon
Humane Society says egg board illegally used check-off dollars
Hank Shaw Capital Press
The campaign in favor of Proposition 2 is turning heads among veterans of California's ballot initiative process because it has been unusually litigious.
The "yes" campaign has filed at least five separate lawsuits against its opponents this year.
"I've seen lawsuits before, but not this many," said Barbara O'Connor, a professor of political communications at Sacramento State University. "It's unusual for a proposition."
The Humane Society began the slew of lawsuits by charging that the United Egg Board was illegally using check-off money - normally used for advertising and promotion - to fight Prop. 2. They have won at least the first round in that suit.
It then followed with a series of other suits:
HSUS sued the University of California over a study it did that suggested that passage of Prop. 2 would end conventional egg production and cost jobs. The group said the university did not give them documents concerning the funding of that study in a timely manner.
• The group sued a French Camp egg rancher for allegedly discharging ammonia into the air, creating a nuisance and violating clean-air laws.
• The group sued a San Diego County egg producer for similar pollution-related charges shortly after he became active in the "no" campaign. Humane Society staffer Jennifer Fearing, who is running the "yes" campaign, told the New York Times, "He put a bull's-eye on himself."
• HSUS sued the United Egg Board again, this time for allegedly making false claims about the welfare of conventionally raised chickens. Read More
HSUS has 13 full time lawyers in their organization along with over 1,000 pro bono attorneys across the United States, this organization has been built to file lawsuits and draft legislation to abolish animal agriculture in this country. However, as producers we have something that their $130 million dollar budget can’t touch, and that is our amazing story of food production in this country. Be proud of what you do and share that with our consumers.