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Dennis Shulman and Daughter Julie: Fighting For Animal Rights

6.thumbnail.jpgIt’s Father’s Day, which makes it the perfect day for Dennis Shulman and his daughter Julie to join us in the comments and talk about his House campaign and animal rights opponent he’s running against. Please welcome them — jh

Dennis Shulman is the blind rabbi and psychologist who is running for the House seat in NJ-05. He’s rumored to be Nancy Pelosi’s favorite candidate, and after having lunch with Dennis a couple of weeks ago, he may be mine.

Over Hunan food, Dennis proved himself to be an ebullient, compassionate, funny and wise man. We spoke about many things, not the least of which was the fact that as a war opponent and a rabbi, Dennis would instantly become a high profile go-to voice in the press for getting us out of Iraq. That’s reason enough to donate to his campaign.

But Dennis really lit up when he started talking about his two daughters — Holly, who is working in Texas as Rick Noriega’s press secretary, and Julie, who is in her third year at the University of Chicago where she’s studying international public health issues.

Julie and Muffin

Julie and her dad share a passion for animal rights, and I asked them to join us on Father’s Day to talk about it. It’s safe to say that Dennis’s opponent, Scott Garrett, doesn’t see things the same way:

  • Garrett was one of 23 Representatives (and basically the only one in the northeast) to vote against this post-Katrina act that Bush signed into law. The act required municipalities to also include plans for household pets and service animals in disaster planning. It wasn’t even a funding act, so Garrett’s vote was strictly on principle.
  • He also voted against a bill that upgraded penalties to felony-level for illegal transportation of fighting dogs (the crime Michael Vick was charged with); it also banned interstate and foreign commerce in cockfighting. The bill passed 368 to 39 in the House and unanimously in the Senate.
  • He voted against the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which passed 263 to 146.
  • He voted against HR 3824, which including the deauthorization of “critical habitats” for endangered species.
  • He voted against HR 249, which restored the prohibition on commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses and burros.
  • He voted against HR 2643, the Polar Bear Protection Act, which would have banned federal funding that enables imports of sport-hunted polar bear trophies from Canada. The bill failed.

As Blue Jersey notes, Garrett has received a 17 out of 100 on the Humane Society Legislative Fund’s most recent scorecard, up from 14 for the last one.

Folks who have been around here a very long time will remember that our first fundraising effort in 2005 was for the Humane Society’s effort to rescue animal victims of Hurricane Katrina. Gandhi famously said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Scott Garrett is a symbol of the moral decay of the Bush Administration, and his barbaric voting record on animal rights is almost unique in the northeast, a reflection of his own savage views.

Fortunately, we have the antidote with us here today — Dennis Shulman, who wrote his postdoctoral psychoanalytic dissertation on the relationship between two of his blind patients and their guide dogs.

Please join him and his daughter Julie here with us in the comments.

You can donate to Dennis’s campaign here.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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