Pay to play in Congress and the horse slaughter bill

Milt Toby, writing for The Horse blog, analyzes the monetary contributions that influence politicians, and why or why not certain pieces of legislation pass quickly and easily, and some, like the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, languishes year after year in Congress, often not even getting a vote.

Toby opens with:

Eight out of 10 American voters oppose slaughtering horses for human consumption according to a new poll sponsored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), one of the country’s leading advocates for animal welfare. This overwhelming opposition to slaughter crosses gender lines, geography, political affiliation, and whether people live in the country or in the city.

With that much voter support, passing antislaughter legislation should be a slam dunk in Congress. But it isn’t, never has been.

So why does federal anti-slaughter legislation stall every year?

It’s a puzzling question, without an easy answer.

Toby concludes with this question:

Do campaign contributors exert too much influence on decisions—good or bad—made by Congress?

His analysis is interesting, but admittedly it looks at only one aspect of political cash manipulation, the transactions “above the table”.

We like this comment from Monica:

Clearly our system isn’t working when the pay to play can so effectively skew legislative action on an issue with such overwhelming consensus in this country. We need to find ways to expose this legal form of bribery and ensure legislators are actually representing the will of the people, not the well-funded special interest lobbies.

and this from MonicaW:

In addition to this generally accepted practice, the ugliness extends beyond the legislative chambers to committees and to individual actions of committee members. This past November, three individual members of a joint committee acted unilaterally, fully silencing the voices of their peers on the Appropriations Committee, and ultimately, the voices of hundreds of their peers on Capitol Hill. Well, after all, that’s the only way that horse slaughter could ever continue in America.

Shame on Senators Kohl and Blunt, and Rep Kingston. It wasn’t right, it wasn’t honest, and it’s not defensible.

Worth a read. Full article here >>

5 thoughts on “Pay to play in Congress and the horse slaughter bill”

  1. Great post. Thank you for this information. Every fact helps and I use it for advocacy for ending slaughter.


  2. I do see some hopeful signs in the comments on horse slaughter articles. A year or so ago, you mostly saw pro-slaughter or just plain ignorant comments. Now I’m seeing more anti-slaughter comments by well informed antis who can answer the pros questions and hold their own with any of them. There really has been a change.

    Let’s hope it will continue and do our part to see that it does. I just hope it can be used to good effect. I was planning to send my own useless Senators and Rep in DC that poll and ask them if they are planning to be reelected.


  3. I’ve been talking about this for months. I’s not the House of Reps that seems to get very much bribery money it all goes to the Senate. The House members only get about $5000.00 dollars and some don’t get that much or nothing. The Senate on the other hand gets anywhere from $20,000.00 and up depending on how much clout they have over the bill. Because no bill can be passed without the Senate. Paula is right on all points. This in a nutshell is whats wrong with our government. These politicians are like members of the Mafia with payoffs under the table and out in the open as with lobbyists. Just like the racing industry has hired a lobbyist paying that person $50,000.00 to work against both anti-slaughter bills and this is only the beginning of the flow of bucks to these crooked politicians. One lobbyist was paid $9,000.00 to represent a horse slaughter plant in Canada.


  4. well said, Paula. When I contacted Hutchison’s office a few years ago, I was all but laughed off the phone. Cornyn’s office was slightly more discreet, but both made it clear that they are pro-slaughter. Texas is great for many reasons, but no one is ever going to convince me that this form of evil is, in any way, necessary.
    I think getting more folks in the general public ‘hands on’ with horses in some way, whether it’s riding, brushing, or photographing or whatnot, is going to ultimately be the most effective path to understanding how inherently cruel horse slaughter truly is.


  5. This does not come as a shock to this Texan. Texas has always been known as the pay to play state. It is rather easy to track through internet sites the “above the table” donations to these Legislators that subvert the will of the American People. One of “my” Senators ( Cornyn) took over $600,000 from pro-horse slaughter companies.. Many AG related, but also pharmacological corp. and oil and gas interests that are particularly interested in Killing Mustangs to get them out of their way in the West. But that is just for starters. What used to be back-room secret contributions ( pay-offs), are now completely legal through secret PACS. I hated the above the board PACS, blatant buy-outs, but at least you knew who they were, and could challenge their standing. but now…no such openness. So what are the voters to do? How do we use 80% of the population who are on our side to our advantage? Media, exposure, calling on the carpet in public. don’t be nice. Take a cue from Political ads, and Sue Wallis ranting rebuttal of the Poll. I personally am going to post on my Facebook pages all of the Legislators who have Co-signed the Bills Banning Horse Slaughter in the House and Senate. Starting with President Obama who co-signed when he was in the Senate. If everyone who cares, asks for the public voter to support the Legislators who come out AGAINST THE BIG BUCKS SUPPORTING SLAUGHTER by voting for those CO-SIGNERS, we could make a difference.


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