- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Congressman: Wife didn’t lobby on horse bill

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Republican congressman from Kentucky said his lobbyist wife did not improperly spur him to introduce a bill concerning the possible abuse of Tennessee walking horses and there’s no basis for an ethics complaint against him.

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, said in a conference call with reporters on Monday that he had planned to file the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act - the PAST Act - regardless of the role his wife played with her employer. His wife, Constance Harriman Whitfield, is a lobbyist with the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

The U.S. House Ethics Committee notified Whitfield on June 10 that it received a referral from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. That independent office makes referrals to the House Ethics Committee on which cases warrant further investigation.

“It’s not about any money. It’s not about any payoffs,” Whitfield said. “It’s not about taking a bribe or anything like that.”

Tennessee walking horses are shown throughout the United States. Soring - using an irritant to cause burning or blistering of the horses’ legs in order to accentuate their gaits - occurs only in a few areas such as Tennessee and Kentucky.

Whitfield’s proposal came after a 2010 Report of the Inspector General at the United States Department of Agriculture. In that report, the Inspector General concluded that the current program for inspecting Tennessee Walking Horses for soring abuse is not adequate because the inspectors are hired from participants in the shows.

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Clinton to make 2 appearances with Grimes

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Former President Bill Clinton will make two appearances in Kentucky next week with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Grimes’ campaign said last week that Clinton would join her at a rally in eastern Kentucky but didn’t announce where.

On Monday, the campaign said he would be at events in Lexington and Hazard on Wednesday.

Clinton, who twice carried Kentucky as a presidential candidate, appeared at a campaign event with Grimes in Louisville in February.

Grimes, who is trying to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, is the daughter of longtime Clinton friend Jerry Lundergan. She is in her first term as Kentucky’s secretary of state.

Kentucky’s Senate race is one of the nation’s most closely watched, with the outcome possibly deciding which party controls the Senate after November.

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