Modal close

Hi there,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose government and corporate abuses of power. This month, Democracy Now! is celebrating our 23rd birthday. For over two decades, we've produced our daily news hour without ads, government funding or corporate underwriting. How is this possible? Only with your support. Right now, in honor of Democracy Now!'s birthday, every donation we receive will be doubled by a generous supporter. This means if you give $30 today, Democracy Now! will get $60 to support our daily news hour. Please do your part. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else. Thank you! -Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Porkbarrel Politics: The Bush Administration Overrides Another Democratic Vote: This Time Hog Farmers Fightingagribusiness

StoryMarch 09, 2001
Default content image
Close circle
Media Options

When President George Bush arrives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, today to pitch his tax plan, he will be met by a demonstration of angryfarmers. They charge that the Bush administration is continuing a tax that was voted down by a majority of hog farmers and that raises norevenue for the federal coffers.

The tax is a mandatory check-off paid by farmers each time a hog or a cow is sold. Almost all of the millions of dollars collected everyweek goes directly to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council. Family farmers andenvironmentalists argue that the money goes to support the corporate takeover of agriculture.

Over the last few years, a rural advocacy coalition, the Campaign for Family Farms collected enough signatures to call an election amongthe country’s 90,000 hog farmers. The farmers voted to repeal the check-off tax, despite the fact that the Pork Producers Council spentmore than $4 million to defeat the referendum. That’s when Secretary Of Agriculture Anne Veneman stepped in and overrode the democraticelection.

While the USDA has refused to meet with the Campaign for Family Farms, the pork and beef trade organizations that stood to lose hundredsof millions in revenues if the tax was revoked had access to the Bush administration. It turns out that the head of the Pork Producers,Al Tank, was on the Bush transition team and Dale Moore, legislative director the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association was appointed asVeneman’s chief-of-staff.


  • Rhonda Perry, Program Director, Missouri Rural Crisis Center.
  • Barb Determan, President-elect, National Pork Producers Council.

Related Story

Video squareStoryMay 20, 2015Sgt. James Brown, 26, Survived Two Tours in Iraq Only to Die Begging for His Life in Texas Jail
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop