Written by JAMES R. CARROLL
WASHINGTON (May 13, 2012) — America’s horse industry has contributed more than $8.7 million to state and federal campaigns and political parties since 1989, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation.
Equine-related interests also have spent $2.2 million lobbying in Washington, the foundation said.
Political action committees connected to the Lexington, Ky.-based National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the American Horse Council, as well as horse breeders and owners, contributed to both parties, including the current president of the United States and his predecessor.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has collected more than $130,000 from the industry, making him the top recipient. Former President George W. Bush was second, with $129,000, and President Barack Obama is fourth at $72,000.
The analysis did not include contributions from the nation’s racetracks, including Churchill Downs, its other tracks and Lexington’s Keeneland, because Sunlight considered the tracks as parts of the gaming and casino industry. Read full report >>
:: Horse industry ponies up for political campaigns (report pdf)
— Ditch Mitch Kentucky, Tuesday’s Horse, Sept. 23, 2008
— Senator threatened USDA over horse inspections, Tuesday’s Horse, Sept. 9, 2008
— McConnell opposed USDA inspectors of sored horses, Tuesday’s Horse, Sept. 2, 2008