Agricultural opponents of a General Election ballot proposal in Arizona, which would criminalize generally accepted housing practices for gestating pigs and veal calves, have asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate threats against the leaders of the “No on 204” campaign.
According to an Oct. 10 campaign statement, coalition members and staff have been the targets of threats, intimidation and acts of vandalism committed by individuals who in some cases have identified themselves as supporters of Proposition (Prop) 204.
“The radical elements that have been pushing 204, better known as the ‘HOGWASH initiative,’ continue to say and do anything to achieve their political agenda to end meat production in Arizona,” said Jim Klinker, chairman of the ‘NO on 204’ coalition. “What began as a political smear campaign has escalated into a campaign of threats and intimidation, acts of vandalism and destruction of property.”
The ‘No on 204’ campaign is a coalition of Arizona farmers and ranchers representing over 3,000 farm families in cattle, dairy, pork, and poultry production.
The three incidents reported to the FBI include: receipt of written threats against the personal safety of campaign officials and staff; the defacing of homes belonging to campaign allies; and extensive damage to the commercial property of a coalition member.
“Interestingly, the incidents we have detailed for the FBI arose when the ‘NO’ effort began to dominate the political landscape and resonate with voters,” Klinker said. “Clearly, supporters of 204 are desperate to muzzle the voices of law-abiding farmers and ranchers, but in the process stepped way over the line from political discourse to criminal conduct.”
Prop 204 will appear on the Nov. 7 Arizona ballot.
The ‘No on 204’ campaign is spearheaded by the Campaign for Arizona Farmers and Ranchers, a group funded by the Arizona Pork Council, Arizona Cattle Feeders Association, National Pork Producers Council, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, Arizona Cattlemen’s Association, United Dairymen of Arizona and the American Farm Bureau Federation.