US Senate Candidate (R) endorsed States Rights if not Cockfighting Legalization



Cockfighting is gamecock farming and sports.


The last legal cockfight in the Mainland of the United States was on August 2008.


Cockfighting is legal in the Territories of the United States; where it is a booming chicken farming industry as well as chicken sports industry.

– Gameness til the End


Let others, who likes chicken meat, enjoy chicken meat.

Let others, who likes dog meat, enjoy dog meat.

Let others, who are church-going Christians, enjoy the blood and body of their man-son-god.

Let others, who are passionate about the sports of cockfighting, enjoy cockfighting.

Let others, who are passionate about the sports of dogfighting, enjoy dogfighting.

McConnell Challenger Bevin: The Founding Fathers Were ‘Very Involved’ In Cockfighting



AP Photo / Stephen Lance Dennee

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin continued to address his presence at a rally for supporters of legalizing cockfighting by saying America’s Founding Fathers were very involved in the cockfighting world too.

“But it’s interesting when you look at cockfighting and dogfighting as well,” Bevin said in an interview on the Terry Meiners Show on Louisville’s WHAS on Thursday. “This isn’t something new, it wasn’t invented in Kentucky for example. I mean the Founding Fathers were all many of them very involved in this and always have been [sic.]”

The comments come less than a week after Bevin attended the rally. He’s since said that he thought the rally was actually for supporters of states’ rights. Bevin’s presence there has also provoked the Humane Society Legislative Fund to call for Bevin, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), to withdraw from the Republican Senate primary.

In the same interview Bevin said he’s never “been to a cockfight” and doesn’t “condone cockfighting.”

“I’m going to defend the right of people to freely gather and discuss whatever they want to,” Bevin said. “I’m a believer in the Constitution and in the First Amendment,” Bevin also said. “Not just for raising money but also for freedom of speech.”

(H/t: Phillip M. Bailey)

Clarification: the Humane Society Legislative Action Fund, not the Humane Society, called for Bevin to drop out of the race.

This post was updated.

Listen to Bevin’s remarks below:


Cockfighting group sponsors event; campaign says it was to promote states’ rights

By Kevin Wheatley, Published: April 3, 2014 9:14AM

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin’s decision to speak Saturday at a Corbin rally organized by a pro-cockfighting group raises questions about his campaign’s judgment as the May 20 primary nears, a Western Kentucky University political science professor and chairman of the Warren County GOP said Wednesday.

The Corbin News Journal reported Wednesday that Bevin spoke to a crowd of about 700 at The Arena in Corbin during an event closed to the media and sponsored by the American Gamefowl Defense Network to promote the legalization of cockfighting in Kentucky. Bevin’s itinerary, emailed to the press Friday, listed the Corbin event as a rally for states’ rights.

Bevin, reached by The Corbin News Journal at a Lincoln Day dinner that evening, told the newspaper he was unaware of the event’s link to cockfighting.

“They knew I was here,” Bevin said, according to the newspaper. “They asked if I would be interested in speaking. I’m a politician running statewide; any chance I get to speak to a few hundred people I’m going to take it.”

Bevin’s spokeswoman, Rachel Semmel, did not return messages from The State Journal. She told The Louisville Courier-Journal, “It was not a cockfighting rally, it was a states’ rights rally.”

But a statement posted to the American Gamefowl Defense Network’s Facebook page by David Devereaux, the group’s director, appears to contradict that message.

The event was held “for the purpose of unifying and uniting gamefowl enthusiasts around the principle of using the democratic process to change the law, not break the law,” Devereaux said in the statement.

Devereaux, of Tacoma, Wash., did not return messages from The State Journal seeking comment.

“The American Gamefowl Defense Network chooses to not participate in any interviews that concern any questions related to political races, political candidates, or issues not directly related to gamefowl,” he said in the statement, which adds that such matters are “nonpartisan.”

His group seeks the legalization of cockfighting in Kentucky and other states, which would negate a new federal law within the 2014 Farm Bill against attending such events.

The Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act exempts states that allow cockfighting as long as no out-of-state roosters are brought for events. Cockfighting is illegal in every state and a Class A misdemeanor in Kentucky.

Scott Lasley, an associate professor of political science at WKU and chairman of the Republican Party of Warren County, said Bevin’s appearance at the rally to legalize cockfighting in Kentucky could do more harm than good for his bid to unseat Republican U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Bevin likely found a receptive audience at the event, but he risked alienating moderate GOP voters, Lasley said, describing cockfighting as a “such a trivial issue” with far more prominent problems facing the country.

“I think it hurts in the broader audience because he’s trying to build from a pretty narrow base,” Lasley said. “… I can’t imagine that this helps beyond a relatively very narrow audience and probably works against him in the grander scheme.”

Pleading ignorance of the rally’s intent “doesn’t say much about the campaign,” he said.

“They can sit there and say, ‘We never talked cockfighting, we didn’t know there was cockfighting,’” Lasley said. “Sometimes in politics there’s guilt by association.

“Either they were totally unvetted and unprepared for it, which says a lot about the campaign and its ability to compete at this level, or, I don’t think Matt Bevin at the end of the day is probably in favor of cockfighting, but clearly I think that they think that message is going to be receptive. Otherwise you don’t go there.”

Allison Moore, McConnell’s campaign spokeswoman, was more direct.

“Only Matt Bevin would go to a cockfighting rally and claim he didn’t know what they were doing there,” Moore said in a statement.

But Craig Davis, chief executive officer of Americans Watching Washington and president of the Kentucky Gamefowl Breeders’ Association, said Bevin’s speech at the rally would resonate with rural Kentucky voters. Americans Watching Washington is the sponsor of the American Gamefowl Defense Network, according to the latter group’s Facebook page.

Bevin spoke for about half an hour at the beginning of the rally and then left for another event, Davis said, noting the candidate made no mention of cockfighting.

“They’re tired; they’re fed up,” Davis said of rural Kentucky voters as roosters crowed in the background on his Leitchfield farm. “Every time they turn around, the federal government’s stepping on their rights.”

He added later: “It’s not just about the Farm Bill, but this Farm Bill is one of the things that actually brought it to the attention of not most, but some of the Kentucky constituents, and we’re just fed up with the federal government taking our rights away from us.”

The Kentucky Gamefowl Breeders’ Association rented The Arena in Corbin for the rally, according to the Courier-Journal report, and Davis appeared with Bevin during a March 21 campaign event in Radcliff on the United Kentucky Tea Party’s Unbridled Liberty Tour.

Davis himself was running for state representative as a Republican in the 18th District, but he discovered last week he was a registered Democrat, according to a report by cn|2 Pure Politics. He told The State Journal he has since dropped out of the race.

Bevin’s talking points at the rally centered on the U.S. Constitution, tradition, heritage and culture, said Davis, who attended Saturday’s rally and has endorsed Bevin’s candidacy. He bristles at the “nasty” term cockfighting, preferring “rooster fighting” instead.

“We can’t take and be so judgmental on a person standing up for our constitutional rights and the culture and heritage for which the United States was based on or built off of,” he said.

Matt Bevin attended cockfighting rally

Joseph Gerth, 10:42 p.m. EDT April 2, 2014, The Courier-Journal

Matt Bevin.jpg

(Photo: Michael Dossett/Special to The Courier-Journal)

U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin took part in a rally Saturday planned to support the legalization of cockfighting in Kentucky.

Bevin’s campaign, however, described the event at the Corbin Arena in Corbin, Ky., as a “states’ rights rally,” and said that Bevin, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in the Republican primary in May, didn’t know that it had any ties to cockfighting.

“It was not a cockfighting rally, it was a states’ rights rally,” said Rachel Semmel, a Bevin spokeswoman.

But the event’s organizer told the Corbin News Journal that the sole purpose of the rally was to gain support for legislation to legalize cockfighting in Kentucky. The newspaper reported that about 700 people attended.

“The movement is about changing the law, not breaking the law,” said David Devereaux, director of the American Gamefowl Defense Network.

Devereaux, who lives in Washington state, didn’t return calls to his cellphone seeking comment, but in an electronic message said the event was held “for the purpose of unifying and uniting gamefowl enthusiasts around the principle of using the democratic process to change the law.”

In cockfighting, two game birds, outfitted with sharpened spurs, are tossed into a ring, where they fight to the death. Spectators bet on the birds.

Michael Markarian, president of the Humane Society of the United States’ Legislative Fund, said cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states and is a felony in 41.

He said it’s a brutal sport in which people will sometimes suck blood out of an injured bird’s throat and lungs to allow them to keep fighting.

It’s a misdemeanor in Kentucky to take part in a cockfight and is punishable by up to a year in jail.

Craig Davis, president of the United Gamefowl Breeders Association, also attended the event. He said the issue of states’ rights was discussed but “cockfighting was definitely a part of it.”

He directed further questions to Devereaux.

It’s the second time that cockfighting has made its way into the Senate race.

In February, Davis told the Lexington Herald-Leader that his group would “destroy Mitch McConnell” because he supported the federal farm bill.

That bill, in addition to setting agricultural policy and appropriating money for federal subsidy programs, also made it a federal crime punishable by a year in jail and a $100,000 fine to attend a cockfight or a dog fight.

The farm bill also makes it a crime punishable by three years in jail and a $250,000 fine to take a child to a cockfight or dog fight.

Bevin refuses to take a position on cockfighting, saying, through Semmel, only that it should be left up to states.

When the farm bill passed in February, Bevin criticized McConnell for supporting it but, in a news release issued at the time, didn’t mention the cockfighting component as a reason he opposed the measure.

Markarian criticized Bevin for attending the event, saying that he has sided with lawbreakers.

“There are a handful of states where the penalties are very weak but a small, but vocal, group of cockfighters continues to engage in criminal activity,” Markarian said. “But most politicians have left them behind.”

Bevin’s campaign wouldn’t provide information about who invited him to speak at the event or provide emails or letters suggesting the event was a broader states’ rights event rather than one geared solely toward legalizing cockfighting.

Rhonda Moore, the box office manager at the Corbin Arena, said it had been rented out by the Kentucky Gamefowl Breeders Association.

In a statement, Semmel said, “Matt spoke to a large gathering of folks at a states’ rights rally this weekend where he introduced himself to many Eastern Kentucky voters, and encouraged those with widespread McConnell fatigue, that he’s the best option to represent Kentucky in Washington.”

After attending pro-cockfighting rally, Senate candidate Matt Bevin says it’s a state issue

BY SAM YOUNGMAN, April 2, 2014,

Matt Bevin, left, is challenging incumbent Mitch McConnell in the race to be the GOP’s nominee in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race. Bevin attended a pro-cockfighting rally over the weekend and afterward said he believes the issue should be handled by state governments. HERALD-LEADER

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin believes the legality of cockfighting should be decided by states and not the federal government, his spokeswoman said Wednesday following a news report that Bevin attended a pro-cockfighting rally over the weekend.

“Matt doesn’t believe this is a federal issue, and the state government can handle it,” said Rachel Semmel, Bevin’s spokeswoman.

The News Journal in Corbin reported Wednesday that Bevin, who is seeking to defeat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the May 20 primary, spoke to about 700 people at an event in Corbin last Saturday that was organized by (David) Michael Devereaux, director of the Gamefowl Defense Network.

Bevin told the newspaper that he didn’t know he had attended a pro-cockfighting rally, although organizers told the paper there was “never any ambiguity” about the purpose of the event, which was to rally support for changing laws that outlaw cockfighting.

Bevin said he thought the event was a rally for states’ rights. He spoke to the crowd in the morning before attending the county’s Lincoln Day dinner that night.

“I was the first person to speak and then I left,” Bevin said. “They knew I was here. They asked if I would be interested in speaking. I’m a politician running statewide, any chance I get to speak to a few hundred people I’m going to take it.”

Semmel’s statement about Bevin’s belief that cockfighting is a state issue came in response to a question about whether the candidate supports the controversial practice, in which two roosters often fight to the death in a ring called a cockpit. She did not respond to a follow-up question asking again whether Bevin personally supports the practice.

The McConnell campaign, which has repeatedly accused Bevin of dishonesty, was skeptical that Bevin didn’t know the purpose of Saturday’s event.

“Only Matt Bevin would go to a cockfighting rally and claim he didn’t know what they were doing there,” McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said.

As the Herald-Leader reported in February, McConnell enraged cockfighting enthusiasts when he voted earlier this year in favor of farm legislation that contained an amendment making it a federal crime to be a spectator at an animal fight. In response, a McConnell spokesman said a representative of the senator’s would be willing to sit with the group and hear their concerns.

The new law makes attending a cockfight or dogfight a federal misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and $100,000 fine. It makes bringing a minor to such fights a federal felony, punishable by up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The penalties included in the new federal law put serious teeth into what is already criminal activity, although Kentucky law enforcement officials have rarely cited individuals for the misdemeanor offense.

U.S. Senate candidate speaks at pro-cockfighting rally

Dean Manning and Trent Knuckles | April 02, 2014 |

U.S. Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin’s itinerary listed a Saturday’s morning event at The Arena in Corbin as a “states rights rally,” but event organizers say the sole purpose was to build support to legalize cockfighting in Kentucky.

Bevin addressed the crowd of about 700 people at the event, which was closed to the media.

“The movement is about changing the law, not breaking the law,” said (David) Michael Devereaux,  Director of the Gamefowl Defense Network, the organizer of the event. He said the entire rally dealt with how to use the democratic process to do so.

Under current state law, cockfighting is illegal and is a misdemeanor offense and is seen by advocates as one that is not enforced enough.

After attending the 66th Annual Lincoln Day Banquet later in the evening, Bevin said he did not realize the event had anything to do with cockfighting.

“I was the first person to speak and then I left,” Bevin said. “They knew I was here. They asked if I would be interested in speaking. I’m a politician running statewide, any chance I get to speak to a few hundred people I’m going to take it.”

Bevin, a businessman from Louisville, is challenging incumbent U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in the Republican Primary. McConnell serves as Minority Leader in the Senate.

Bevin said it was his understanding that the gathering was focused on “state’s rights” and the concern by Kentucky citizens that the federal government has become overreaching.

Organizers say there was never any ambiguity about why they were meeting.

Devereaux said a new federal spectator law criminalizes not only those who participate in cock fighting, but any spectators at the event.

However, wording in the federal law states that if cockfighting is legal in the state and none of the fowl have crossed state lines, the federal law is moot.

“The basic argument is that the people of Kentucky have the right to determine how this issue is dealt with in their state,” Devereaux said.

Very clearly, the state doesn’t want to crack down,” Devereaux said, noting several attempts to amend Kentucky Law to make cock fighting a felony have failed.

Devereaux said those who raise fighting cocks have done a poor job advocating their position to the public and telling their story. As a result, public perception equates cock fighting to dog fighting.

The largest issue is that while dogs are raised to be companions to people and dogs are not predisposed to fight one another, more than 8 million chickens are consumed in the United States, annually.

“Commercial poultry lives about six weeks as opposed to two years for a game fowl,” Devereaux said.

In addition, because of breeding, Devereux said gamecocks are predisposed to fight if they get near each other, similar to male beta fish that are put into the same tank.

Devereaux said gamecocks are not just thrown in the trash. The fowl are edible. In addition the feathers are used for fly-fishing lures and for decoration.

Advocates don’t just want the state to legalize cockfighting. Devereaux said they want the state to regulate all aspects of it, including the health of the fowl the process, and, especially the gambling.

“Once you regulate it and bring it out of the shadows, you eliminate the other issues such as the drugs that are sold at some of the events,” Devereaux said.

Devereaux said the movement has at least one friend in the Kentucky Legislature.

State Rep. Richard Henderson, D-Mt. Sterling, attended the event and offered his support on the legislation.

While there is no bill in the 2014 legislative session, Devereaux said those at the event and those who support the effort are asked to contact Henderson to thank him for his support and to contact their own legislators in an attempt to generate a bill and support for that bill in the 2015 legislative session.

“Let’s send a thousand emails and make a thousand calls and show Representative Henderson that we are willing to vocally stand up and fight for our rights using the democratic process,” Devereaux stated on the American Gamefowl Defense Network Facebook page.

poultry gamefowl chicken gamecock


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