On Oct. 10, the Humane USA political action committee hosted a showing of "crush" videos at a press conference in Marietta in an effort to draw attention to what they term Barr's "history" of opposition to humane treatment of animals.
"He has a zero rating with us," says Wayne Pacelle, chairman of the PAC and senior vice president of the U.S. Humane Society. "He couldn't be any worse."
Barr opposed a bill, which passed the House 372-42, that makes interstate and Internet sale and distribution of "crush" videos a federal offense. Crush videos usually depict scantily clad women in spike-heeled footwear killing small animals. Those shown by Humane USA showed "women in high-heeled stiletto shoes stomping and crushing small animals to death," according to a release sent to the media.
Pacelle says last year Barr also voted in support of taxpayer subsidies for trappers who use steel traps on National Wildlife Refuges to gather fur.
Barr's opponent, Democrat Roger Kahn, was unaware of the press conference, according to spokesman Mike Mickus.
But the Kahn campaign has been busy answering calls about Barr's opposition for the past two months. Mickus points out that it was a California Republican, U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly, who introduced the legislation to ban the videos. The bill was then shepherded through the Senate by Republicans Orrin Hatch and Bob Smith.
"Gallegly had been approached by state and local prosecutors who were having trouble prosecuting pornographers who produced these videos and sold them on the Internet," says Mickus. "Because they're sold on the Internet, it's interstate commerce and only Congress can regulate it."
Barr could not be reached for comment, but he has said in the past that the videos were already effectively banned by state and local legislation.