Martha Stewart chastises Christie over pig confinement bill veto, urges override
By Bill Mooney | September 27th, 2013 - 9:55am
| More

A bill that Gov. Chris Christie vetoed continues to draw national attention.

Martha Stewart, TV celebrity, talk show hostess, business magnate and expert on upscale dining and living, has written an open letter to the Legislature imploring it to champion a bill that would ban confinement of gestating pigs.

Stewart, who says she is a New Jersey native, implored the lawmakers to take action.

“These animals have committed no crime, yet they’re treated worse than even the most violent criminals would be treated. No prisoner in our state – or country, for that matter – is kept in a cage so small he can’t turn around for months on end,” she said.

“This is torture, and we shouldn’t permit it to be inflicted on anyone, especially animals who have done nothing to deserve such callous punishment.”

Earlier this year, Sen. Ray Lesniak said Christie’s veto was motivated by Christie’s national political ambitions.  Lesniak said the original bill drew bipartisan support, and dealt with a matter of cruelty to animals that is drawing increasing advocacy, yet Christie turned the bill aside because Iowa – site of the first GOP presidential caucus – is home to the National Pork Board.

The bill, S1921/A3250, would have prevented gestating pigs from being confined in a box that practically immobilizes them.

The practice is not believed to be under way in New Jersey, but the bill would have barred the door to businesses possibly seeking to relocate from states that already have banned it.

In his veto statement, Christie said he was balancing the humane treatment of pigs with the interests of farmers trying to protect their livelihoods.

He said proper authority over the matter rests with the Department of Agriculture, which he said would take measures it deemed necessary.

Stewart is having none of that.

"Gov. Christie decided to veto the bill after hearing from out-of-state (read: Iowa) pork interests,'' Stewart writes.

"I urge you to reaffirm your support for this common sense legislation and vote to override Gov. Christie's regrettable veto,'' Stewart writes to the lawmakers.

She points out, as Lesniak and advocates did earlier this year, that the bill has drawn support of 91 percent of state voters, large companies such as Costco and McDonald’s have sworn off using gestation crates in their supply chains, and nine states as well as the European Union have banned the practice.

The letter is on Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia letterhead and is addressed to the Office of Legislative Services Office of Public Information.

Lesniak, a prime backer of the confinement ban bill,  said he was pleased to hear of Stewart's support.  "Her support for it certainly lends a lot of credence to the issue of unnecessary cruelty to animals," he said.

"It was always a national issue to me,'' he said, reiterating his belief that the only reason for a veto was to cater to Iowa interests.  Christie is rumored to be a presidential contender in 2016.

Kathleen Schatzmann, N.J. state director of the Humane Society of the United States, said that “Martha is a proud advocate and stepped up when she heard about the importance of New Jersey’s effort to ban gestation crates for pigs.”

Previous story:

Lesniak: Christie veto of pig confinement bill was nod toward Iowa

The Back Room

National progressive group backs Watson Coleman in CD12

The Progressive Democrats of America Co-Founder and National Director Tim Carpenter and State Chair Mary Ellen Marino today endorsed Bonnie Watson Coleman for the Democratic nomination in the 12thCongressional District.

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 24, 2014

Organization to honor Gov. KeanAn event next month for Community Options, Inc. will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the organization's founding and honor Governor Tom Kean, Sr., a was an advocate over 25 years ago for bringing individuals with developmental disabilities out of state institutions into small group homes.Robert...

Op-Ed

How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >

Contributors

(4-23-14) Bridgegate Witnesses Not "RATS" if Testimony is Forced -Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision last week was covered in most newspapers and blogs as an affirmation of the... more »
(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is the only Tea Party group that endorsed Mitt Romney. These guys are the Vichy French of the Tea Party movement. They're the guys who say 'Viva la France,' and then you can't find them when the fighting starts. Come on." - GOP strategist Rick Shaftan, on the Independence Hall Tea Party group.

- PolitickerNJ.com

Poll

Who would you back for Governor of NJ in this 2017 general election dream match-up?:

Resources

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources