ANALYSIS – WHITFIELD ETHICS ISSUE EFFECTIVELY OVER – SORE BIG LICK FAILS IN EFFORT TO HAVE FULL SCALE ETHICS INVESTIGATION OF CONGRESSMAN ED WHITFIELD – FULL SPEED AHEAD ON PAST ACT

THETA, TN – The Ethics Inquiry against Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY)  effectively ended today,  November 10, 2014.

REPRESENTATIVE ED WHITFIELD (R-KY)

REPRESENTATIVE ED WHITFIELD (R-KY)

Some news outlets reporting on the matter have confused the issue.

Politico  got the lead (gives the reader the main idea of the story) right.

An AP Associated Press) reporter got it wrong.

The correct lead is as of November 10, 2014, there is not going an Ethics Investigation into Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY).    The deadline for the House Ethics Committee to decide to go forward with an Investigation was November 10, 2014, and it decided not to go forward.

The Press Release from the House Ethics Committee said there may have been some questionable contact between Whitfield’s wife who is a registered lobbyist and the Congressman’s staff members,  but the House Committee will not conduct an ethics investigation into Congressman Ed Whitfield. Politico reported that the House Committee decision today effectively concludes the matter.

The timeline of the alleged Whitfield Ethics Matter:

  • Sore Big Lick PSHA Spokesperson Jeffrey Howard and Celebration Chairman David L. Howard‘s CEO Mike Inman along with PSHA Directors wrote a letter dated December 27, 2013 to the House Ethics Committee.   The letter should have been sent to the OCE (Office of Congressional Ethics)  The House Ethics Committee referred the Licker letter to OCE.
  • The OCE investigated the various allegations  of ethical wrongdoing regarding Congressman Whitfield to determine IF an Ethics Investigation should be initiated by the House Ethics Committee.
  • OCE provided the House Ethics Committee with its Report.
  • November 10, 2014, was the deadline by which the House Committee would decide whether or not to open a full-scale investigation into possible ethics violations by  Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky).
  • On November 10, 2014,   Politico reported that the House Ethics Committee decided NOT to open a full-scale ethics investigation regarding Congressman Ed Whitfield.  Politico further reported that based on ‘past episodes’ the matter is most likely concluded.

It is no longer an impediment to the passage of the PAST ACT.

———————————————————————————————

POLITICO

Ethics Panel Extends Probes of Rush, Whitfield

Updated  

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/ethics-probe-ed-whitfield-bobby-rush-112754.html

“The House Ethics Committee has declined to open a full-scale investigation into whether Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) improperly aided his wife’s lobbying work even though congressional investigators found that Whitifield’s office helped set up “as many as 100 meetings” for his wife’s organization.”  … “The announcement on the Whitfield and Rush cases were made on Monday by Reps. Michael Conaway (R-Texas) and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), the chairman and ranking member on Ethics.  Technically, Conaway and Sanchez will continue to review both matters on their own authority, and the Ethics Committee could vote to take action in either case at future date. But there is little likelihood of that happening, at least based on past episodes.”

——————————————————————————

Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative Ed Whitfield

NOV 10, 2014
Pursuant to Committee Rule 7(g), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee
on Ethics (Committee) determined on November  10, 2014, to release the following statement:
On June 10, 2014, the Committee on Ethics received a  referral from the Office of Congressional  Ethics (OCE) regarding Representative Ed Whitfield. Pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(b)(8)(A)  and Committee Rule 17A, the Chairman and Ranking Member jointly  decided on July 25, 2014, to  extend the Committee’s review of the matter. In order to gather additional information necessary to  complete its review, the Committee will review the matter pursuant to Committee Rule  18(a).  The  Committee notes that the mere fact of conducting further review of a referral, and any mandatory  disclosure of such fu1iher review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occmTed, or  reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee.
In order to comply with Committee Rule 7 regarding confidentiality, out of fairness to all
respondents, and to assure the integrity of its work, the Committee will refrain from making
further public statements on this matter pending completion of its initial review.
Pursuant to Committee Rule 17A, the Committee hereby publishes OCE’s Report and Findings relating  to allegations against Representative  Whitfield and Representative  Whitfield’s  submission to the Committee.

——————————————————————————-

An AP reporter Matthew Daly misreported the lead (gives the reader the main idea of the story)  in his article.

Ethics Panel Extends Probes of Rush, Whitfield

The House Ethics Committee said Monday it is extending separate ethics investigations into actions by two veteran congressmen who were re-elected last week, Democrat Bobby Rush of Illinois and Republican Ed Whitfield of Kentucky.Below are source

 

———————————————————————————–

THE TENNESSEAN ARTICLE – JULY 28, 2014

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2014/07/28/ethics-complaint-derail-soring-bill/13297325/

Ethics complaint could derail soring bill

“The ethics complaint arises as Whitfield has been talking to House Republican leaders about getting a floor vote for the PAST Act, which would beef up federal inspections of horse shows and outlaw various “action devices” used in soring.

Widely seen as cruel, soring involves using caustic chemicals, chains, special pads and other devices on a walking horse’s legs and hooves to inflict pain and create an artificially high step, referred to as the “Big Lick.” Whitfield’s bill has 305 House co-sponsors “” 70 percent of the chamber “” as well as the endorsement of former Tennessee Republican Gov. Winfield Dunn. An identical Senate version has 57 co-sponsors, three short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

But the Kentucky lawmaker acknowledged the ethics complaint could poison the bill’s chances of getting a vote.

“I think there is a possibility it will derail the PAST Act,” he said.

Whitfield said he’s sure that was the point of the complaint, as opponents watched it continuing to gain momentum.

He said the complaint originated with numerous individuals, many from Tennessee, who are involved in the walking horse industry and oppose the bill.

In a statement, the Kentucky lawmaker listed them as Jim Cortner, Jamie Hankins, Mike Inman, Doyle Meadows, Duke Thorson, Terry Dotson, Gayle Holcomb, Bruce MacDonald, Mickey McCormick, James Linton Griffith, Jeffrey Howard, Lee Wall McGartland and Buddy Stasney.

“These individuals have a cumulative total of 53 violations of a federal law called the Horse Protection Act, and a number of those have occurred this year following the filing of the complaint,” Whitfield said.

The Horse Protection Act of 1970 was the original anti-soring law.

Several of those Whitfield listed hold prominent positions in associations fighting the PAST Act. Inman, for instance, is CEO of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

Inman at first denied involvement in filing the complaint. Later he said, “I did sign a draft of a possible complaint. I don’t know if it’s been filed.”

Whitfield also blamed Jeff Speaks, lobbyist for the Performance Show Horse Association.

The Kentucky lawmaker said “this group of people have resorted to these types of tactics because they cannot win their argument based on evidence.”

——————————————————————–

http://www.billygoboy.com/2014/07/29/gannett-washington-bureau-chief-paul-c-barton-homes-in-on-tennessee-walking-horse-story-and-sore-big-lick-credibility-congressman-ed-whitfield-r-ky-calls-pshas-jeffrey-howard-and-raises-him/

On  December 27, 2013,      PSHA Spokesperson/Walking Horse Report Editor  Jeffrey Howard,  son of Celebration Chairman  David L. Howard,  along with  Celebration CEO  Mike Inman, and the members of the PSHA Board of Directors which have  53Horse Protection Act Violations among themselves,  sent a letter to the U. S. House Ethics Committee Chairman asking that Congressman Ed Whitfield be investigated.

HERE IS THE LETTER:

PSHALTR01

PSHALTR02

So what’s wrong with this?

From what is readable,  absolutely nothing.

Every American has a right to send such a letter.

But this week,  things became rather  strange.

Gannett Washington Bureau Chief Paul C. Barton wrote a story on Monday,  July 28, 2014,  stating Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) said    “the complaint originated with numerous individuals, many from Tennessee, who are involved in the walking horse industry and oppose the bill.”

Reporter Barton wrote,  “In a statement, the Kentucky lawmaker listed them as  Jim Cortner, Jamie Hankins,  Mike Inman, Doyle Meadows, Duke Thorson, Terry Dotson, Gayle Holcomb, Bruce MacDonald, Mickey McCormick, James Linton Griffith,  Jeffrey Howard, Lee Wall McGartland  and  Buddy Stasney.

Jeffrey Howard  is PSHA Spokesperson/PSHA Board member and Editor,  The Walking Horse Report, and the son of Celebration Chairman  David L. Howard  who  has become a multi-millionaire with his horse publishing business centered around Tennessee Walking Horses.

Mike Inman  is CEO of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration which runs August 20 ““ 30, 2014.

On Monday,  July 28, 2014,  Mike Inman  at first denied to Reporter Barton his involvement in filing the complaint.  Barton persisted with the question and later Mike Inman admitted,  “I did sign a draft of a possible complaint. I don’t know if it’s been filed.”

Gannett Washington Bureau Chief Paul Barton then wrote a story on Tuesday,  July 29,2014, reporting that  “Jeffrey Howard,  sent out emails Monday night denying the involvement of the group and accusing Whitfield’s office of  “lies.”  He also denied that the individuals cited by Whitfield were on the board of the Performance Show Horse Association.

When asked about the redacted letter, Howard denied it was an ethics complaint. He said the Performance Show Horse Association was going to issue a statement refuting Whitfield. But as of late Tuesday afternoon,  no statement had been issued to the Tennessean Washington Bureau.”

Here are the  PSHA Directors  effective  July 29, 2014,    which includes the names and photos of Walking Horse Editor/PSHA Board member  Jeffrey Howard, and Celebration CEO  Mike Inman.

PSHA BOARD OF DIRECTORS ““ JULY 29, 2014

PSHADIRECTORS01 copy

PSHADIRECTORS02 copy

PSHA BOARD MEMBERS ““ HORSE PROTECTION ACT VIOLATION CITATIONS

PSHA Board Member
HPA Violations (www.hpadata.us)
Letters of Warning
(7060s)
 
 
 
Jim Cortner
1
1
Terry Dotson and daughter, Leslie
2
4
Bruce MacDonald and wife, Robin
6
1
James Griffith and wife, Delores
3
 
Mike Inman and wife, Karen
3
3
Mike McGartland and wife, Lee
2
 
Joe Buddy Stasney
3
 
Duke Thorson, wife    Rhonda and daughter, Allison
 
3
Jamie Hankins
3
 
Mickey McCormick
14
5
 
 
 
Total
37
17
 

So questions are begged,

  • Why Isn’t Jeffrey Howard manning up and admitting that he and his Pop’s  sore  Big Lick PSHA gang,  including hired hand Mike Inman,  put their names on the December 27, 2013  letter complaining about Congressman Ed Whitfield and asking the Committee to investigate?
  • Why doesn’t Jeffrey Howard print the December 27, 2013 PSHA letter in  The Walking Horse Report?
  • Does Jeffrey Howard not realize that this letter to a Congressional Committee requesting an Ethics Investigation is news?

Doesn’t this picture tell you everything you need to know?

Left to Right - Phil Osborne, Jeffrey Howard, Jeff Speaks

Left to Right ““ Phil Osborne, Jeffrey Howard, Jeff Speaks

  • Why is Jeffrey Howard afraid to admit to Reporter Barton that he put his name on the December 27, 2013 letter to the House Ethics Chairman complaining about Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and asking that he be investigated for possible ethical violations?

Nephew Eugene says when officials like Mike Inman and Jeffrey Howard try to  “shuck and jive”  a seasoned reporter like Paul C. Barton that they have seriously erred.

And why would they in the first place?

———————————————————————

So November 10, 2014, has come and gone.

There is not going to be an Ethics Investigation of Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY).

And now the PAST ACT needs to be passed.

BGBHEADSHOT01