Letter to Senators

13499 Biscayne Blvd Suite M-1-S
North Miami, FL 33181

Dear Senator Lamar Alexander, Kelly Ayotte, Tammy Baldwin, John Barrasso, Michael F Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Roy Blunt, Cory A Booker, John Boozman, Barbara Boxer, Sherrod Brown, Richard Burr, Maria Cantwell, Shelley Moore Capito, Bejamin L. Cardin, Thomas R. Carper, Robert P Casey Jr, Bill Cassidy, Daniel Coats, Thad Cochran, Susan M Collins, Christopher A. Coons, Bob Corker, John Cornyn, Tom Cotton, Mike Crapo, Ted Cruz, Steve Daines, Joe Donnelly, Richard J. Durbin, Michael B. Enzi, Joni Ernst, Dianne Feinstein, Deb Fischer, Jeff Flake, Al Franken, Cory Gardner,
Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, Orrin G. Hatch, Martin Heinrich, Heidi Heitkamp, Dean Heller, Mazie K. Hirono, John Hoeven, James M. Inhofe, Johnny Isakson, Ron Johnson, Tim Kaine, Angus S. King Jr., Mark Kirk, Amy Klobuchar, James Lankford, Patrick J. Leahy, Mike Lee, Joe Manchin III, Edward J. Markey, John McCain,
Claire McCaskill, Mitch McConnell, Robert Menendez, Jeff Merkley, Barbara A. Mikulski, Jerry Moran, Lisa Murkowski, Christopher Murphy, Patty Murray, Bill Nelson, Rand Paul, David Perdue, Gary peters, Rob Portman, Jack Reed, Harry Reid, James E. Risch, Pat Roberts, Mike Rounds, Marco Rubio, Bernard Sanders, Ben Sassse, Brian Schatz, Charles E. Schumer, Tim Scott, Jeff Sessions, Jeanne Shaheen, Richard C. Shelby, Debbie Stabenow, Daniel Sullivan, Jon Tester, John Thune, Thom Tillis, Patrick J. Toomey, Ton Udall, David Vittter, Mark R. Warner, Elizabeth Warren, Sheldon Whitehouse, Roger F. Wicker, and RonWyden,

I want to thank you for passing the Cecil act quickly. For animal activists all around the world it was important for congress to act fast on this bill.
On the early morning of October 24, 2015, in four areas of Florida, 3,900 hunters, many from out of the state, began killing over 300 Florida black bears, a hunt which was sponsored by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission and approved by Governor appointed commissioners. This bear hunt will go down in Florida’s history as one of the most horrific animal cruelty cases ever and one of the worst unjustified killings of a wild animal in US History.
For over six months scientists, biologists, animal activists around the world, and numerous organizations such as the U.S. Humane Society testified before the FFWC conservation commissioners that the Florida black bear hunt was absolutely and unequivocally unjustified and if the hunt went forward it would be a completely useless slaughter of a wild animal that was recently taken off the endangered species list.
75% of the voters of Florida made it crystal clear that they were against this hunt and thousands of voters sent letters while men, women and children testified before commissioners stating their disapproval of the slaughter of a wild animal. I also testified and asked their legal counsel if they can reverse their decision. I pleaded with the commissioners to reconsider their decision and they ignored everyone and allowed this bear hunt to take place. I wrote a letter to the Governor of the state of Florida one week before the hunt took place suggesting he reign in the commissioners and use his power as governor (that the voters of Florida had given him) to overturn and reverse the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commissioners decision to allow this black bear hunt to go forward until the state could get more data and review more facts. He did not respond back.

The people of Florida peacefully protested from our capital in Tallahasse to almost every city in Florida all the way up to the day of the hunt that began on 10/24/15. The people of Florida insisted that volunteers would be positioned at over 30 checkpoints where hunters were bringing in the killed bears to be weighed in by the Florida Fish & Wildlife game officers. TV and news reporters from around the state, the country and the world that were at these checkpoints could barely take pictures due to the horrific conditions of the bears being brought in.
The FFWC has stated that only 292 bears were killed in over two days but the figures by experts estimate that the amount of bears killed could be well over 700, which could be almost half of the bear population in Florida. If you go to the internet and look under Florida Bear Hunt you will find numerous articles from major newspapers and you will see the pictures and some of the facts from both sides of the issue and it’s my belief that after seeing this you will come to only one conclusion, that this was a politically and money motivated (with a hidden agenda) state sponsored hunt by public officials and private trophy hunting companies involved with this Florida Bear Hunt. A lawsuit was filed by a non profit organization in the first circuit court of Florida in Leon County in Tallahassee to stop the bear hunt. One major trophy hunting organization filed an amicus brief which argued not to stop the hunt for it would affect the hunters that were members of that hunting club. Our late president Theodore Roosevelt was an avid hunter, yet even he stated that he would never hunt or kill a bear.
Long after these six commissioners and the Governor of the State of Florida are gone and out of office, the people of Florida will still feel the pain and their hearts will still be broken. This tragedy will be embedded in Florida’s history and it is my hope that Congress will consider holding congressional hearings to be able to hear testimony from all sides. It is my hope, as well as the hope of many others, that Congress will pass a federal law that will allow a federal agency such as the U.S. Forestry Department to override any state governor or state agency that approves the killing of a wild animal, whether on endangered species list or not, when it is unjustified.
I have sent a letter to the honorable Katherine Fernandez Rundle who is the Miami-Dade County State Attorney to consider opening an investigation into animal cruelty laws under Florida statute 828.12 Title XLV1 animal cruelty. If any laws were broken in the state of Florida by any public official, private person or organization, they should face justice in the courts because no one is above the law. I have also sent a letter to the U.S. Justice Department sending them a completed package with all of the facts and urging them to open up an investigation into any possible laws that were violated by any public officials in the state of Florida. I also sent the President of the Unites States a copy of my letter to the Justice Department.
I want to close out this letter by telling you that I know deep in my heart that each and every one of you did not enter public service for financial gain, you entered public service because you were born with the self-motivation and burning desire to help make life better for human beings in your own country and around the world. This includes protecting America’s wildlife, environment and natural habitats. The American people owe you a great amount of gratitude because without you, our lives would not be the same. No one can be right all the time, and that includes Congress. All we can do work hard every day and learn from our mistakes which will make each one of us better human beings.
Any presidential candidate that makes a statement that we must make America great again is, in my opinion is absolutely wrong. I believe that America is the greatest country in the world and we, the American people and Congress, work every day to make our country greater. Any presidential candidate that insults any member of congress is not speaking for the majority of the American people and it is the belief of this senatorial candidate that said candidate should never get the nomination or the presidency.
Any presidential candidate that would insult any past congressman obviously does not understand the fundamental principal that a president must work with congress day in and day out in order to move the country forward in the vast amount of issues that face our country on a daily basis. The congress cannot work with any president that has insulted and shown the ultimate disrespect to each and every one of you.
It is my hope and prayer that you will allow the greatest body for justice in the world, the U.S Congress, to hold hearings on this very serious subject which affects our entire country’s natural habitat and wild animals.
God bless the people of Florida, the American people and the U.S. Congress.

Howard Knepper
Senatorial Candidate –R-