It seems that some circus industry folks—including Feld Entertainment, Ringling’s parent company—have donated more than $40,000to certain Chicago aldermen and their respective ward organizations in an apparent attempt to derail efforts to pass an ordinance to prevent some of the worst cruelty that is inflicted on elephantsin circuses. And—what do you know?—a large amount of that money went to the ward organization of the same alderman (*cough* Willie Cochran *cough*) who blocked the vote last week—long enough for Ringling to set up shop in the city.
Now, before our lawyers take a bullhook to me, I should add that there’s no absolute proof that these donations are causing these aldermen to have, shall we say, a certain lack of enthusiasm for the ordinance. I’m just saying ….
Y’all do the math, OK?
My favorite bit in this story is this: “Feld spokesman Stephen Payne said he had ‘no knowledge of’ the campaign contributions.” I mean, it’s so easy to just lose track of hundreds of dollars, isn’t it? Maybe it just slipped through a hole in their pockets.
Of course, anyone familiar with those sterling and upright folks at Feld (and, yes, I’m being sarcastic) won’t be at all surprised by this latest apparent indication of their complete and utter lack of scruples. After all, this is a company that hired operatives to infiltrate and spy on PETA and other animal protection groups, illegally recorded conversations, removed confidential documents, and so much other creepy, slimy stuffthat I can’t list it all here.
When we sued, Kenneth Feld, chair and CEO of Feld Entertainment, got off the hook by claiming that all the spying was done by his staff, and that he didn’t know about it or all the money spent on it. Not a very observant bunch over there, are they? Trust me on this, though—PETA is paying very close attention to Feld, Ringling, and this ordinance.
Written by Jeff Mackey