Blog: Heres one political cause veterinarians can support wholeheartedly
Congressman and veterinarian Kurt Schrader needs your help in his reelection campaign.
It's hard to think about any political topic other than the presidential primaries these days. The two-year race for party nominations dominates the political landscape in unprecedented ways: money, media, phone calls, office conversations-however you measure it, it's off the charts.
But there is something else going on of real concern for veterinarians, so with your indulgence please remove the presidential blinders for a moment and consider this.
The veterinary and animal health industry has no greater champion Congressman Kurt Schrader, DVM, of Oregon. Kurt is a successful veterinarian and embodies the classic idea of a citizen legislator. He was a leader in the Oregon state legislature and now represents a truly bipartisan philosophy in Congress at a time when bipartisanship is in short supply-perhaps even dying.
U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader, DVMKurt has stepped up time after time for animal welfare, veterinarian rights when under attack from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or big-box retailers, and on behalf of practical, sensible reforms for the Food and Drug Administration and other federal agencies responsible for regulating animal health in this country. Although he is in the minority party and only in his fourth term, Congressman Schrader has had an outsized impact for his district and our industry.
Kurt now faces a very liberal challenger in the Oregon Democratic Primary on May 17. Suffice it to say that Oregon is a very blue state, and despite Kurt's popularity and broad base of support, he cannot take this challenge lightly, nor should his supporters in the veterinary profession. The political highway is littered with good leaders, all too often the moderate or pragmatic legislators who seek bipartisan solutions and who suffer defeat in partisan primaries from single-issue candidates.
Now you are free return to the presidential hunting grounds.
Mark Cushing, JD, is founding partner of the Animal Policy Group, providing government relations and strategic services for various animal health, veterinary and educational interests. He maintains offices in Portland, Ore., and Washington, D.C., and is a frequent speaker at veterinary conferences.