The Boston Herald reported in October that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ Kenneth Feld paid Massachusetts lobbyist Robert Rodophele almost $150,000 since 2001 to lobby against bills that might impact or ban circus performances in that state.
The Herald notes that State Sen. Robert Hedlund introduced a bill this year that would have banned circus animals in the state, but that the bill was killed by the state House’s Criminal Justice Committee. Rodophele made contributions of at least $100 to seven Democrats who sit on the committee, including the maximum $200 donation to committee chair Sen. Thomas McGee and committee member Sen. Michael Morrissey. Feld himself donated an additional $250 to McGee.
The Herald reports that Feld’s wealth is estimated at upwards of $775 million.
Circus chief gave $$ to lawmakers for letting show go on. Dave Wedge, Boston Herald, October 8, 2004.