(Editor’s Note: Interview Invitations were extended last week to HSUS CEO Mr. Wayne Pacelle and to Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY). Mr. Pacelle declined through his representative, and no response was forthcoming from Congressman Whitfield’s representative)
WASHINGTON, DC – A www.billygoboy.com reader following the Multi-Part series “WHY THE PAST ACT DIDN”T MAKE IT” has advanced a theory:
“The blocking action came in the form of money from the lickers to McConnell, Alexander, and Boehner. Yes, Boehner received thousands from known lickers not even from his own state. No doubt he was made aware of the reason for their donations. While not closely associated with lickers, Boehner is loyal to big donors. The ethics charges were the tool that they used to stop the PAST Act in the House. All it needed in the Senate was one senator to put a block on the bill before it came to a vote. Because we didn’t get 60 co-sponsors till the very end of the session, it was easy to stop it until nothing could be done. Perhaps Pacelle could s, because he knew the House had become a lost cause. Those ethics charges were probably enough to scare off some co-sponsors and certainly enough to keep Whitfield from pushing for the bill in the last few months. The taint of ethics charges is a very effective tool. We will likely never hear more from Pacelle or Whitfield about specifics because they have nothing to gain from giving specifics, and in Whitfield’s case, a lot to lose. Unfortunately tortured horses isn’t (yet) enough to possibly give up their influence or even their seat over. But the more we can get the public’s attention on the issue of soring, the more we can embarrass politicians about associating themselves with it.”
BGB – THE FACTS:
The Lickers made contributions to House Speaker John Boehner, but by Washington standards, the contributions were not that large. A contribution does not mean you have the Speaker’s vote. A donation to the Speaker makes sure that your position will be heard.
Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) was no “stranger” to House Speaker John Boehner. Whitfield had a 20+ year friendship with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). Their states adjoin. Ed Whitfield and was one of Boehner’s trusted Committee Chairmen.
Insiders viewed the main obstacle to the PAST ACT as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) who was apparently ‘smitten’ by the influence of Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). And House Majority Leader Cantor was often mentioned as a rival to John Boehner as House Speaker and a constant thorn in Boehner’s side.
Then on June 10, 2014, the impossible happened when an unknown Randolph Macon political science professor Dave Brat dramatically upset House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The election shook the House of Representatives. Cantor decided to resign early and PAST ACT friendly Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was set to take his place on July 31, 2014.
When the lightly regarded “WALK ON WASHINGTON” was coming to town on June 18, 2014. the PAST ACT was “In Play” in the House with 289 co-sponsors.
“WOW” was a grand slam home run, and the PAST ACT’s national presence soared upward. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) said:
“All We Need Is A Vote“,
and it became the Battle Cry of the American Public who did not realize at that time that Wayne Pacelle and Ed Whitfield weren’t going all the way with them.
Following “WOW”, with the work and push of the All American Walking Horse Alliance, the House supporters immediately jumped to an unprecedented 300 co-sponsors (70% OF HOUSE) by July 11, 2014,
The PAST ACT cried out for a Floor Vote.
“ALL WE NEED IS A VOTE” – REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D-IL)
Then the July 17, 2014 article and the blockbuster picture hit:
And on July 31, 2014, Congressman Ed Whitfield apparently “Caved In” to House Speaker John Boehner’s “currently refusing” to allow a Floor Vote. From that day until now, Congressman Whitfield has never said another public word protesting the PAST ACT not getting a House Floor vote.
Then Ed Whitfield got on the bus with Mitch McConnell.
Did Speaker Boehner and Congressman Whitfield cut a deal in late July?
If so, what was it?
Did Speaker Boehner make Congressman Whitfield an offer he couldn’t refuse?
No doubt, Mr. Wayne Pacelle knew what was going on.
Even after Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA) satisfied the “Hastert Rule” on November 21, 2014, Congressman Whitfield made no push for a PAST ACT Floor Vote.
When Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) became #60 on November 19, 2014, Mr. Wayne Pacelle did nothing. By then, the Republicans took over the Senate, and he knew that lame duck Majority Leader Harry Reid was the last chance for the PAST ACT.
WAYNE PACELLE, CEO, THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES
Regarding the Senate, Mr. Wayne Pacelle wrote on Dec. 16, 2013,
” “¦ I’d really like to get to 50 in the Senate, and then we have an ironclad case to make for moving it, with majorities in both chambers. If Commerce passes it, then Reid, if we give him enough time, can do a cloture vote on it. We’ve got enough ins with him that we just might get it done.”
On Dec. 16, 2013, the PAST ACT had 38 Senators.
One of Mr. Pacelle’s requirements was met on March 13, 2014, when the PAST ACT reached 50 Senators.
On April 9, 2014, the other requirement was satisfied when U. S. Senate Commerce Committee unanimously approved the PAST ACT. http://www.billygoboy.com/2014/04/09/past-act-prevent-all-soring-tactics-act-unanimously-approved-by-senate-commerce-committee-historic-step-toward-ending-the-soring-of-tennessee-walking-horses-banning-of-pads-and-chains-gets-huge/
A mere 13 days later, April 24, 2013, the OCE (Office of Congressional Ethics) investigators, deposed Congressman Ed Whitfield’s Chief of Staff Cory Hicks, Press Secretary Marty Irby and Scheduler Emma Hydlauff.
The next day, April 25, 2014, the OCE investigators took the sworn deposition of Constance (Connie) Harriman-Whitfield, wife of Congressman Ed Whitfield and HSUS employee who reported directly to Wayne Pacelle.
So if Mr. Pacelle was true to his December 16, 2013 words, he would have started in April 2014 setting up the Cloture arrangements with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in when both of his requirements were met.
Regarding the reader’s theory that Mr. Pacelle didn’t use his “INs” with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for Senate Cloture because the House was a “lost cause”, the House had over 70% of its members co-sponsoring the PAST ACT. Nobody was getting off the Bill because of the OCE investigation. Why would they? They had gone “on the record” to end the animal cruelty to Tennessee Walking Horses. Just because there was an OCE investigation would not have changed that enough to make any difference. It takes 218 to pass a Bill, and the PAST ACT had 308. The PAST ACT in the House was far from a “Lost Cause”. It was an entirely winnable proposition.
If Mr. Pacelle had started making the Cloture Vote arrangements with Majority Leader Reid in April 2014, the PAST ACT would have most likely gotten a House Vote.
Here’s how it would have worked:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated on June 10, 2014, and resigned effective July 31, 2014. Cantor was no longer obstructing the Floor Vote, and his replacement Incoming Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was “PAST ACT” friendly. Insiders felt it was a “done deal” once McCarthy took over. If the PAST ACT cleared the Senate on a Cloture Vote, then along with McCarthy’s ascension, the Blackburn obstruction was no longer a worry. Congressman Whitfield could have rallied pubic support for a PAST ACT Floor Vote, and the Boehner would have then known it was time to “fold them”.
Mr. Pacelle did not go forward with Majority Leader Reid when his “two requirements” were met by April 2014.
Congressman Whitfield didn’t do what he led PAST ACT supporters to believe he would do.
Congressman Whitfield urged the American Public to go all out for the PAST ACT.
They did, but sadly, Congressman Ed Whitfield did not.
Mr. Pacelle’s knew the Cloture procedure in the Senate was the only chance for the PAST ACT to make it. He knew there was a strong likelihood the Republicans would take over the Senate on Nov. 4, 2014. Mr. Pacelle made a policy judgement that the interests of the Humane Society Of The United States not being caught up in an Ethics Probe far outweighed the importance of the golden opportunity to end the sore Big Lick by passing the PAST ACT.
If Mr. Pacelle had used his “INs” as contemplated on December 16, 2013, it would have set the PAST ACT up for victory.
And if the PAST ACT passed the Senate, then Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) owed a duty to the “American Public” and “The Horses” to go all out, ethics investigation or no ethics investigation.
And there is a serious question if Ed Whitfield didn’t owe that any way even if the PAST ACT didn’t pass the Senate first.
Arguably, with 308 supporters and 118 Republicans, Congressman Ed Whitfield should have put it all on the line for the PAST ACT to receive a House Floor Vote so it could become law.
Instead, Ed Whitfield decided it was in his best interests to get on the bus with Senator Mitch McConnell.
Congressman Ed Whitfield could have become a “Profile In Courage”.
Ed Whitfield chose not to do so, and then he strangely left town without even communicating directly with the supporters of the PAST ACT.
Sadly, Congressman Ed Whitfield now appears to be “tainted and radioactive” where the PAST ACT is concerned.
Mr. Pacelle and Congressman Whitfield know there is no forseeable future for the PAST ACT in the 114th Congress. The Senate will be controlled by U. S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and the House is in the hands of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
The PAST ACT‘s golden opportunity was 2014.
When HSUS CEO Mr. Wayne Pacelle and Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) decided that other interests were more important and dear to them than protecting “The Horses”, that was “all she wrote” for the PAST ACT.
Nephew Eugene says Mr. Smith would have gotten it done.
*Ms. Constance (Connie) Harriman Whitfield is a Stanford graduate [Phi Beta Kappa], Juris Doctor ““ UCLA Law School; Masters of International Law ““ Georgetown University/ Law School; She served as Assistant Secretary ““ U. S. Department of Interior in the George W. Bush Administration overseeing the National Park Service; Director U.S. Export/Import Bank; Former Vice Chair of Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, and Senior Policy Advisor reporting directly to Mr. Wayne Pacelle, CEO of The Humane Society Of The United States)