SeaWorld scored a big win this week when a bill targeting the company was sidelined – but the park’s influence extends far beyond Sacramento.
The company’s political action committee has funneled more than $100,000 to federal candidates and national lobbying groups since 2012. In the same two-year period, the company itself has sunk another $12,500 into the political arms of the Lincoln Club of San Diego County, the California Restaurant Association’s local chapter and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Its executives also wrote checks to city politicians including Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council President Todd Gloria totaling more than $5,000.
SeaWorld’s local influence doesn’t just come from donations. SeaWorld San Diego executives serve on the boards of some of the region’s most influential groups. Here are some of the most notable ones.
SeaWorld’s local political and community investments aren’t outside the norm for a company of its size.
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SeaWorld is a wonderful jewel in the crown of San Diego. They have been great corporate citizens in our community for almost 50 years. One left-wing activist video by a Hollywood liberal should not be the basis of legislation!
@jilleeeebean SHUT SEA WORLD DOWN
yea right, seaworld "cares" only about who they can pay off, I am glad at least TWO have changed their tune to seaworld and KUDOS to Lorena for not taking ONE RED PENNY!! seaworld, more and more the truth about you comes out as the sleepers awaken. Common Sense should come into play with these animals, not profit!
Nothing new here, this is what anyone, any company; any organization does to protect its interest and promote itself and/or mission. SeaWorld is like many other companies and organizations and uniquely contributes to the local economy through generation of employment and tourism both of which benefit San Diego. SeaWorld is a good corporate citizen and has changed over the years and will continue to do so - as a homegrown San Diegan I wholeheartedly support SeaWorld and hope they are here for years to come. I am more concerned with the small loud minority of fruitcakes that want to control and direct my life, don’t tell me what to eat, drive and wear . . .
It's called "buying buddies" and is an old San Diego tradition. Special interests give politicians big "campaign donations" in return for the politicians doing favors for the special interests. In other arenas this is called "bribes", but in the political world, its just business as usual. And don't expect politicians to ever voluntarily change the system, since they profit from it.
Much harder to influence the courts. Today, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. lost its appeal in US Court of OSHA's ban on waterwork -- e.g. SeaWorld trainers in the water with the orcas, not behind a physical barrier.
"Abatement is “feasible” when it is “economically andtechnologically capable of being done.” Baroid, 660 F.2d at 447 (citing Am. Textile Mfrs. Inst., Inc. v. Donovan, 452 U.S. 490(1981)). After Ms. Brancheau’s death, SeaWorld required that all trainers work with Tilikum from a minimum distance or behind a barrier, and “waterwork” ceased with all of its killer whales. As in ConAgra, Inc., McMillan Co. Div., 11 BNA OSHC 1141, 1983 WL 23849 (No. 79-1146, 1983), implementing the ordered abatement is feasible because it would involve extending these practices to all killer whales and into the future. See id. at 1145, *5. As the ALJ noted, SeaWorld had not argued the Secretary’s proposed abatement was not economically or technologically feasible and had already implemented abatement for at least one of its killer whales and needed only to apply the same or similar protective contact measures it used with Tilikum to other killer whales.
"Consequently, the Secretary was not required to specify the precise manner in which abatement should be implemented. That the ALJ subsequently granted SeaWorld’s request for a six-month extension of the abatement deadline, in view of SeaWorld’s difficulty in scheduling two consulting experts, does not undermine the substantial evidence that SeaWorld could feasibly abate the hazard. SeaWorld does not dispute that the Secretary’s abatement measures would materially reduce, if not eliminate, the hazard killer whales pose to its employees during performances. SeaWorld’s use of protective contact with Tilikum, the three-year moratorium on “waterwork” after Ms.
Brancheau’s death, and repeated temporary cessation of “waterwork” with all killer whales or particular killer whales after other incidents support the finding that these changes were
feasible and would not fundamentally alter the nature of the trainers’ employment or SeaWorld’s business." https://www.courtlistener.com/cadc/eFzv/sea-world-of-florida-llc-v-thomas-perez/
"This is a high-profile case that was argued Nov. 12, 2013, at the Georgetown University Law Center, with SeaWorld's legal team including Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP's Eugene Scalia, son of U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia." http://ohsonline.com/articles/2014/04/11/osha-wins-seaworld-case.aspx?admgarea=news&m=1
Much harder to influence the courts. Today, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. lost its appeal in US Court of Appeals of OSHA's ban on "waterwork", or SeaWorld trainers being in the water with the orcas, or not behind a physical barrier. "This is a high-profile case that was argued Nov. 12, 2013, at the Georgetown University Law Center, with SeaWorld's legal team including Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP's Eugene Scalia, son of U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia." http://ohsonline.com/articles/2014/04/11/osha-wins-seaworld-case.aspx?admgarea=news&m=1.
This ruling renders moot SeaWorld's open threat to CA Legislators on Tuesday that if AB 2140 enacted, it moves its orcas out of state. They can't do waterwork ANYwhere in U.S. ALSO, that SWE made same argument to this Appeals Court about removing waterwork fundamentally impacting its business model. Court didnt buy it.
Our fascist government working for corporations. Is the people who are to blame for they allow the 2 corporate parties to be in power. RepubliCrats! both parties are one and the same. Until people revolt and overthrow this fascist government, things can only continue to worsen.
When one party dominates the elective body you seek to influence, you WILL contribute to the officials of that party ... in CA, that's Democrats. In Florida, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc's contributions are overwhelmingly to Republicans who control the FL Legislature. Big Business 101.
Martha. You realize
In the long view you've won.
Blooms bill amounted to a shot across the bow and the issue was "shelved" not killed.
Sea world management I would imagine will indeed start to steer their business plan, for San Diego/west coast, away from orca shows.
More than likely they will move them unless they can figure away to make Sea pens profitable.
Mr. Giffin: I agree with your assessment. I'm not sure though that this is just animal activists versus Sea World. I think it is more of a case of adjusting a business model to avoid over-reliance on any one element. There are probably plenty of people who don't consider themselves animal activists who might adjust their theme park attendance based on perceptions. Sea World probably should have seen this coming and diversified earlier, but over the past five years or so Sea World was being used by Blackstone as a short term investment vehicle and they were not really focused on the long term. Now that the company is public and Blackstone is exiting, perhaps Sea World management will focus on longer term horizons.
Thank you for pulling back the curtain on SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.'s influence-buying, as another mega-corporation seeking to thwart the changing norms of society. The boards of organizations that SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. executives sit on, and to which SeaWorld contributes money, were the 2 dozen supporters who showed up at the mic in Sacramento on Tuesday to oppose AB 2140, along with SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. management. This paled in comparison to the hundreds of supporters for the bill who traveled from around the state, nation and world to pack the 100-seat hearing room and overflow the adjacent hallway outside. All of them weren't allowed to file through the standing-room only hearing room to the mic to express their support for AB 2140, but over 100 of us inside and outside of the room did.
As Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee Chair, Anthony Rendon, said -- the purpose of AB 2140 isn't financial nor economic, it is moral and ethical. ALL of the opposition arguments presented by SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. and its dead-enders were financial and economic. History always sides with morality and ethics. SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. can delay change, but it can't stop it. The sooner it recognizes this, the sooner it can secure its financial future AND do the moral and ethical thing by the orcas who have given their lives for it.