Anti-Covance ad on radio
G. Gordon Liddy speaks out for PETA
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 17, 2006
A Phoenix radio station is running a commercial recorded by national talk show host G. Gordon Liddy in support of the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, prompted by drug-tester Covance's plans to build a facility in Chandler.
Covance has fired back, claiming, "PETA has turned to a convicted felon and an expensive advertising campaign to spread misinformation about our company."
Meanwhile, Chandler City Council members continue to receive e-mails from all over the world protesting Covance's plans and demanding the council stop the company - even though no zoning request has come before the city on the issue.
"I'm reading a lot of e-mails lately," Councilman Bob Caccamo said. "Even though the number of e-mails from PETA is outnumbering those from the other side, there are a lot of duplicates and mass produced e-mails."
Caccamo, whose father is an immigrant from Italy, joked, "I saw one from Italy and I was going to answer him in Italian. . . . but I (only) speak enough Italian for people to make fun of me when I go to Italy."
Councilwoman Donna Wallace agreed there is a campaign under way.
"The PETA group is far-reaching and very passionate about what they believe, but nothing has come before us yet," Wallace said.
Covance bought 38 acres on Price Road between Germann and Queen Creek roads and plans to appear before the Chandler Planning and Zoning Commission. No date has been set.
In the 30-second ad running on KFYI-AM (550), Liddy mentions what he calls abuse of monkeys in another lab run by Covance.
"Please help us put an end to this nightmare that these monkeys endure in this laboratory every day," says Liddy, who refers listeners to PETA's Web site, CovanceCruelty.com.
"These intelligent and social animals cannot speak for themselves, so we must be their voices," he says.
Covance cites Liddy's role in the Watergate burglary during the Nixon administration, for which he served prison time.
"This (ad campaign) should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the smear tactics and media stunts this group is known for," Covance said.
The ad is scheduled to run through Wednesday but that may be extended, a PETA spokeswoman said.
Liddy was unavailable for comment, but PETA research associate Alka Chandna said Liddy is a member of PETA.
"He's been a longtime friend of animals, and he's particularly disturbed by what goes on in laboratories."
Liddy has done several public service announcements for PETA and has had PETA President Ingrid Newkirk on his radio show several times, Chandna said.
Chandna said Liddy "reaches an audience that we normally have a difficult time reaching. It's fantastic that he's sufficiently courageous to use his voice to speak out for those who don't speak for themselves."
Republic reporter Edythe Jensen contributed to this article.