Imagine you hold public office at the federal, state, or local level, and a lobbyist comes into your office. That’s nothing notable—but if he tells you his group has 11 million supporters nationwide, you’re going to sit up in your chair and listen to what he has to say. It certainly may push you off the fence on an issue.
HSUS is waving a big stick in front of lawmakers’ faces. HSUS claims that it has 11 million “members and constituents” and, in one recent instance, that it is “backed by” 12 million Americans. Any organization should be expected to engage in a good bit of puffery, but this is ridiculous.
That’s because HSUS’s own fundraising material demonstrates that the organization has a mere 1.2 million actual members. And HSUS’s tax returns show that its All Animals magazine, which is included with a basic $25 HSUS membership, only has a circulation of 450,000.
Here’s our question: Is HSUS engaging in a little creative accounting?