Word broke today that Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Republican from Kentucky and a staunch HSUS ally in Congress, is retiring. He will not seek re-election next year.
Whitfield is the subject of a Congressional ethics investigation relating to allegations surrounding the use of his office by his wife, Connie Harriman-Whitfield, a lobbyist for HSUS’s legislative fund. Politico reports that “The Office of Congressional Ethics found that Whitfield’s office helped organize ‘as many as 100 meetings’ for the Humane Society and that he held joint meetings with his wife ‘to promote [the HSLF’s] legislative priorities.’” That could be a big no-no. The House Ethics Commission launched a formal probe in March, after which Harriman-Whitfield moved to a position at HSUS.
In the meantime, word also broke that Kentucky’s agriculture secretary James Comer will run to replace Whitfield. Considering Comer barely lost a primary this year for Governor, he has name recognition and likely a network of supporters. And being ag commissioner, he will be no friend of HSUS, which is hell-bent on destroying agriculture.
In 13 months, an anti-HSUS legislator may have replaced a pro-HSUS legislator, while the latter may have been sanctioned following an ethics investigation. That’d be quite the turnaround in fortunes for HSUS on Capitol Hill.