(Editor’s Note: Interview Invitations were extended to HSUS CEO Mr. Wayne Pacelle and to Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and to Mr. Marty Irby. Mr. Pacelle declined through his representative, and no response was forthcoming from Congressman Whitfield or Mr. Irby)
THETA, TN – Marty Irby was a lifelong “Licker”, and now he’s a born again “Flatter”.
His makes his living as Press Secretary for Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY).
When the PAST ACT died on December 11, 2014, Mr. Irby shared his thoughts with a number of PAST ACT supporters:
MARTY IRBY COMMUNICATION – DECEMBER 11, 2014
“Good morning everyone! Today is the last day the House of Representatives is in session, and there is obviously no vote scheduled for the PAST Act. In addition, as I am sure you all know there is at least one unidentified Senator who has put a hold on the bill in the Senate. It is extremely disappointing that the pro-soring coalition’s money carries more weight in Washington, DC than the overwhelming majority of the American people, 307 U.S. Representatives, and 60 U.S. Senat…ors. This morning I had the good fortune of riding the Senate train in with Senator John Thune from South Dakota. He was a champion for the PAST Act, and the ranking Republican member on the committee of jurisdiction. He is the Chairman of the Republican Conference in the Senate. It was good for me to see him because it reminded me of all of the good people in Washington. Everyone has worked so hard over past few years to further the PAST Act, and stop soring. I believe great strides have been made and the big lick crowd, the Celebration, and TWHBEA will never recover from PAST Act. This is a good thing, and I know everyone will keep fighting and pushing to save the Walking Horse. Yes, we do have to start over in 2015, but not from scratch. We will start with the largest base and amount of support this cause has ever had. Last week a bill named the ABLE Act passed. It had 380 cosponsors and was first introduced in 2006. Don’t be discouraged. We will get there, and it will be because of each and everyone of you and countless others. The horses owe you all a debt of thanks, and I truly believe that by working together and continuing down the path the Walking Horse will finally be saved from soring! God bless you all and the horses too!
- Mr. Marty Irby knows that the PAST ACT is not viable in 2015 (114th Congress) because Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is unalterably opposed to it.
- Mr. Irby also knows, in all likelihood, that Congressman Ed Whitfield is through with the PAST ACT. Congressman Whitfield has been damaged by the messy Ethics Investigation which has not yet been resolved. Congressman Whitfield is essentially “Radioactive” regarding the PAST ACT.
- Based on the OCE disclosures, the PAST ACT has a “HSUS – Republican” problem. Mr. Irby informed Keith Dane, HSUS VP Equine Protection of this in January 2014:
- Ms. Connie Harriman-Whitfield, wife of Congressman Ed Whitfield and HSUS employee, also told the HSUS repeatedly that Republicans don’t co-sponsor Bills with which the HSUS is prominently associated.
- As Congressman Whitfield’s Press Secretary, Mr. Irby in his remarks assumed that he will continue to lead the charge if the PAST ACT is reintroduced.
- That is in doubt because It remains to be seen what role, if any, that Congressman Ed Whitfield will play regarding the PAST ACT, if it is reintroduced.
- If Whitfield is no longer the Bill’s Sponsor, then Mr. Irby’s job responsibilities will not allow him to spend hardly any time on the PAST ACT.
- Informed observers believe that Mr. Irby has also seen there is a world outside the Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse sphere, and that it might be in his professional and career best interest to move on and see if he can achieve his potential in the new opportunity that has been presented to him.
- On December 11, 2014, Mr. Irby voiced the “Party Line” that an “UNIDENTIFIED (REPUBLICAN) SENATOR” put a “Hold” on the Bill in the Senate. It has since been made clear that the “Unidentified Hold” was an apparent HSUS spin attempt to blame Republicans, rather than hold Mr. Wayne Pacelle accountable for not playing the “Harry Reid” card
- Mr. Irby talks about “riding the train” with Senator John Thune (R-SD). That sounds good, but in reality, no U. S. Senator came to “WALK ON WASHINGTON” to speak for the PAST ACT. Noticeably absent from “WOW” was Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) who was the Senate PAST ACT sponsor. Senator Ayotte “disappeared” from the Senate advocate role shortly after Senator Mitch McConnell weighed in on the issue. And that was before McConnell became Majority Leader of the United States Senate.
- Irby is correct tha American Public rallying around the PAST ACT has damaged the sore Big Lick.
- Irby tries to make the ABLE Act comparable to the PAST ACT, but they are not comparable. The ABLE Act (Achieving a Better Life Experience Act) allows people with disabilities to save money for future needs tax free by creating accounts for that purpose. The PAST ACT is a “boutique animal cruelty bill” dealing with a specific breed of horse. Those opposed to the ABLE ACT have not been paying the Majority Leader of the United States Senate since 1988 to personally look after their interests.
- Irby has quickly learned Washington ways in placating people by inferring that the PAST ACT is a viable bill in 2015 when his better judgement tells him that it’s simply not.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MR. MARTY IRBY
BLUE RIBBON AT TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE CELEBRATION
MARTY IRBY – PAST ACT MAP – 63% “YES” FOR THE PAST ACT
MARTY IRBY TESTIFYING FOR PAST ACT BEFORE CONGRESS – NOV. 13, 2013
HSUS AUGUST 2013 PRESS CONFERENCE – BRENTWOOD, TENNESSEE
WALKING HORSE REPORT EDITOR JEFFREY HOWARD CAPTURING FORMER BIG LICK TWH LEADER MARTY IRBY SWITCHING SIDES
Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) clammed up about the PAST ACT on July 31, 2014, and he hasn’t spoken to the public about it since.
For whatever reason, Congressman Whitfield didn’t even thank the supporters of the PAST ACT when the Bill died on December 11, 2014.
It will be interesting to see what role, if any, Mr. Marty Irby will now have regarding Tennessee Walking Horses.