I joined a beautiful polar bear and a group of activists on the streets of Highland Park Thursday to call attention to an Assembly candidate’s dubious connection to the “harvesting” of the beleaguered and beloved creatures. Jimmy Gomez, running for the 51st district seat, has accepted money from a National Rifle Association (NRA) lobbyist who is working to weaken the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and allow the import of polar bear trophy skulls and pelts.
Gomez has taken nearly the maximum allowable contribution from this Washington, DC special interest operative. Do you want our district to stand for the slaughter of polar bears? I don’t.
Our group chanted on the sidewalks and in front of the Gomez campaign office in support of the bears and passed out well-documented information to responsive passersby. Nobody from the office cared to respond just as Gomez has had no comment as to why he accepted financial support from somebody so far afield from our values here in the 51st.
Our district cares about animals and has a history of representation by their strong advocates. Our support of animal rights is not for sale to the highest bidder.
It is no secret that the Gomez campaign is funded almost entirely by lobbyists and special interest donors from outside the district, as Gomez himself is from outside the district. If he knew about the residents he hopes to represent he would know we do not support the trophy hunting of any animals. However, with a complete lack of local support, Gomez should not be expected to know where we stand, which is exactly the problem.
We have one candidate, Luis Lopez, born and raised in the district and endorsed by the League of Humane Voters for his work on behalf of animals, and another who will take money from anyone to get elected, even if it runs counter to deeply-held views of the community.
The polar bear at our demonstration took off her suit and safely returned home when it was over. Her friends in the Arctic Circle may not be so lucky, and their stuffed heads may be showing up soon on a wall near you if Jimmy Gomez has anything to say about it.