Pete Montgomery, who was government affairs chief for BP North America and staffer at Blanc & Otus tech arm of Hill&Knowlton Strategies, is leading that push. He also served as a staffer in the Golden State’s Senate.
Since the death of a trainer, who drowned after pulled into the tank by a killer whale at SeaWorld’s Orlando facility, and the ensuing “BlackFish” documentary on CNN, SeaWorld has been in a defensive crouch.
The California bill would outlaw killer whale performances at SeaWorld San Diego, bar captive breeding and forbid the import/export of the mammals.
The public display of orcas would not be disallowed by the measure.
SeaWorld opposes the bill, saying that it is a “global leader in the zoological and animal welfare world” staffed with world-class scientists, research, marine biologists, conservationists plus caring employees.
It claims to engage in “business practices that are responsible, sustainable and reflective of the balanced values all Americans share.”
On the Washington front, SeaWorld spent $600K in 2013 in advocacy fees connected with the Animal Welfare, Marine Mammal Protection and Endangered Species Acts.
OB-C Group, the home of the Democratic operative Larry O’Brien, was its top lobbyist with fees of $150M. O’Brien is a veteran of both Democratic Senate and House Campaigns Committee and a member of Pelosi Team I00 operation of the former Speaker and San Francisco Congresswoman.
Bryan Cave was firm No. 2, earning $120K of SeaWorld’s largesse..
The company also runs a theme park in San Antonio.