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Moon over Licking County

Country Crossroads by Matt Reese

The moon was out just after mid-day in Licking County last month after Lori Lawrence, an OCJ marketing specialist, confronted some signature gatherers at a Licking County Kroger.

Lori was leaving the store after getting some groceries when she spotted the two male 20-something paid signature gatherers roaming the parking lot. They were trying to drum up support for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) ballot measure this fall.

The group needs 402,275 valid signatures by June 29, which means they will likely need over 500,000 actual signatures, to have enough legitimate names on the list to get their measure on the ballot in Ohio. The group was off to a surprisingly slow start earlier this spring with signature numbers that were far below what HSUS was hoping for.

To remedy the problem, HSUS sued the state of Ohio over a statute that was written to make sure only Ohioans could gather signatures to change state laws. HSUS won the legal battle and then let loose with paid signature gatherers around Ohio to make a major push for the November ballot.

This meant that for much of June, these signature gatherers could be found around Ohio working to strategically gather signatures in the counties that they most needed them. In many cases, they ran into folks like Lori who were not so supportive of their cause. As Lori left the store with her two children, she was approached by the signature gatherers who asked, “If you support the humane treatment of animals in Ohio, could you please sign this petition?”

She had a few words for them: “This is my county and my home and what you are doing will affect my farm, so get out of here.”

After putting her two very embarrassed children in the car and telling them “do not get out no matter what happens,” Lori went and confronted the signature gatherers, again asking them to leave. The two young men again refused to leave the private property (owned by Kroger), so Lori went and talked with the manager of the store. She found out that this was the second time in two days that the signature gatherers had been asked to leave so the manager advised that Lori call the police, which she did.

Lori then called her husband who said, if needed, he would come bail her out. After that she went to again confront the two young men. For every person they would approach, Lori would explain that these people were not from Ohio and were trying to change our constitution in a manner that would cripple Ohio’s agricultural industry.

The two young men did not seem to like this at all. They offered Lori some choice phrases regarding her lips and where she should place them. Then, one of the young professionals proceeded to drop his pants and bend over to illustrate and offer clarity to his previous statement.

Shortly afterward, the police arrived and escorted the fine young men from the premises.  Lori returned victorious to her car to find her not-any-less-embarrassed children waiting for her and seemingly ready to head home.

We do not yet know if HSUS actually got the necessary numbers for the ballot, though many assume that they will courtesy of the assistance of such fine young people trying to make a difference. Similar stories (minus the mooning) were popping up all over Ohio in town squares, DMVs, public libraries and other places. The signature gatherers are permitted to be present on any public property and it sounds as if they had a fair amount of success.

Only time will tell the end result this November, but either way, it seems that we have all lost a little something if tactics such as these are permitted to make a mockery of our laws and state constitution. If you don’t believe me, just find an HSUS signature gatherer and ask them where — top or bottom — they think Ohio’s agricultural voters rate. Maybe they will show you.

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9 comments

  1. Tell me who they are….

  2. My, this should make Hilary@H$U$, Sarah and their other colleagues do proud!

    Thank you, Lori for standing up to these punks!

  3. My admiration for Lori knows no bounds!!

    My state does not allow for ballot initiatives like this, thank goodness.

    It is somewhere between absurd and outrageous that any organization wealthy enough to meet the payroll can hire non-residents to shill for its proposals, accosting people with misleading statements and responding crudely when challenged.

    The caliber of the people HSUS hires to represent it in this effort is remarkably similar to the worth of its endeavor to hamper agriculture (and several other legitimate enterprises).

    Good luck to Ohioans, and others who are dealing with this form of special interest lawmaking. I hope you are able to overcome the HSUS juggernaut.

    • It is amazing of the dishonesty from HSUS and their paid signature collectors. I have another story about a past mayor of the City of Pickerington. While going into our local library she was approached to sign ones of their petitions. The paid collectors called the police because she confronted them. The police came to the scene; the former mayor who was in her golden years and not much over 5ft tall asked the policeman if he was going to put her in jail. The policeman then proceeded to call her by her first name and said “fat chance”. These individuals trying to push their out of state agendas just do not know what kind of ties we have in our communities.
      Matt Reese

  4. A reader said “…this should make Hilary@H$U$, Sarah and their other colleagues so proud!”

    Another asked, “Tell me who they are.”

    Hilary and Sarah are the screen names of some of the HSUS staff employed to post messages countering all the uncomfortabe truths published about HSUS – its mission, program, and tactics.
    They spend their time searching for blogs, news articles, and OpEd pieces that say something – anything – unfavorable about HSUS, and submit comments claiming the facts stated by others are either not true or are misunderstood. The only facts they present, though, are couched in misleading terms that obscure the reality pointed out by the critic. Their job is to pump the internet as full as possible with the HSUS version of reality, criticizing their critics so as to draw attention away from uncomfortable facts about HSUS.
    They imply, if not outright claim, that people who don’t support HSUS are engaged in evil enterprises such as “factory farming” and “puppymilling.” They often describe HSUS critics as exploiters and abusers that care nothing for the well-being of animals but are motivated only by the vast filthy profits they make raising food animals or pets.
    When you see posts in blog and news comments from Sarah and Hilary, remember that they have been hired to promote the HSUS party line.

  5. I think I love Lori.

    This past weekend I was approached twice in the space of three days in separate regions to sign this. In the second case we were approached on the beach at a State Park. When I questioned the signature gatherer if this was the HSUS petition she was evasive stating that it was “by Ohioans interested in animals.” Only when I insisted she answer whether this was the HSUS petition did she concede that they “endorse” it.

    While I applaud anyone who feels strongly enough about an issue to beat feet and gather signatures, in this case at least one of the signature gatherers is, at best, misinformed or at worst, flat-out lying about the nature of this petition.

  6. Lori deserves a freakin’ medal. I cannot believe they won their court case. What a disgusting miscarriage of justice.
    I hope the media is doing enough to get the word out that these signature gatherers are nothing but HSUS-paid carpetbaggers.

  7. if they wanted to make a public spectacle they should have been charged with pulic indecency so everyone across the country could see.

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