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A Legacy Saved Yet Again: Conclusion

The Rest of "The Devil Made Me Do It" and Victimology Forever

Edi. Note: Last time, we continued explaining how R-CALF complained in Court that its budget was being damaged because it had to sue and fight against the checkoff -- “The Devil Made Me Do It” -- and what is and isn’t “government speech.”

The Montana Beef Council was severely crippled all this time -- deprived of funding -- because of the District Court’s preliminary injunction many months ago. Besides all the time and money the CBB and QSBCs had to devote to backgrounding USDA attorneys, the effort and costs of NCBA and state cattlemen’s associations in supporting the legal response, (where is R-CALF’s reimbursement for all that “diverting of resources?”), the checkoff will have the added cost of reimbursing all of the government’s legal costs for fighting the R-CALF lawsuit.

Of course, R-CALF likely paid little of the costs of its lawsuit, despite their claim in court that their budget was so decimated by suing -- in effect --- the checkoff. Public Justice, the activist group funded by those attorneys always trolling for class-action victims, handled the legal work, likely pro bono. They have a mission to destroy mainstream agriculture, so they have a common cause with R-CALF.

The Memorandums Of Understanding between the QSBCs and USDA now spell out additional guidelines for USDA to use in evaluating all the materials put out by the QSBCs, above past review levels, requiring “much analysis” in the words of the Court. Since the checkoff reimburses USDA for every bit of expense it incurs in monitoring the checkoff, there will be substantially increased costs for the checkoff. Thank you, R-CALF, for “diverting” more checkoff money for increased red tape.

When ads or recipes come on television or radio, we’d be willing to bet not a single consumer debates whether or not that constitutes government or private speech. Yet R-CALF’s complaint alleged, in general, that because consumers viewed such ads as private speech, that meant it was no longer government speech and they should not have to pay for it through the checkoff. The Court held that SCOTUS had already ruled in 2005 that R-CALF members “enjoy no right not to fund government speech…whether or not the reasonable viewer would identify the speech as the government’s.”

In the end, the Court clarified and solidified the outlines of what is required and what is not, how cattlemen and cattlewomen can run things and legally color within the lines, what naysayers can complain about but not control. It was a hard-fought battle that should not have been necessary to fight but was absolutely essential to winning for the beef industry. All of the organizations, the USDA and Justice teams should be congratulated on fighting the good fight and winning.

If the beef industry had proper reimbursement from R-CALF for all the money expended over the last 22 years in fending off lawsuits, publicity campaigns, legislative attempts, and laws later ruled illegal, the industry would have a huge pot of money to use in promoting beef, underwriting research or educating consumers.

The checkoff’s lawyers had argued that R-CALF “cannot manufacture …injury [to itself] by incurring litigation costs or simply choosing to spend money fixing a problem that otherwise would not affect the organization at all,” citing precedent. However, the Court held that “R-CALF is not attempting to solve a problem that would otherwise not affect it but instead attempting to address a problem that would directly undercut its entire purpose.”

Manufacture…injury to itself…choosing. No wonder R-CALF gets along with the class of lawyers who troll daily for victims to use as pawns in suing corporations. Victimology is at the core of R-CALF’s philosophical view of the world, of the economy, of the marketplace

We recently drove along I-10 through the South, along the Gulf through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. We saw dozens and dozens of huge, floodlit billboards from personal injury lawyers, all trolling for victims, mile after mile after mile. That is like R–CALF, constantly looking for something on which they can claim victimhood, penalize or stop the marketplace, get revenge on someone, tear down what others have built, stop technology, stop progress.

Surely, surely, there must be some cattlemen and cattlewomen within R-CALF’s ranks who can come to the realization that their neighbors are not their adversary here. Impossible Foods just secured a half-billion dollars (that’s billion with a “b”) for another round of funding, for their mission ” to replace the world’s most destructive technology -- the use of animals in food production -- by 2035.” Also, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has sued the state of California for not including processed meat as a known carcinogen. These two notices were in just a single issue of a recent Western Livestock Journal (03/23/20).

Why, oh why are we suing each other, instead of defending our industry against those who want our destruction? Especially when that is the stated goal of R-Calf’s partners and allies – like HSUS and Public Justice -- in these attacks on NCBA and the mainstream industry!

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