Whose First Rodeo?

Posted March 29, 2012 at 1:47pm

There appears to be some horsing around at the American Continental Group.

The Washington lobby shop reported a new client Wednesday, the National Horsemen’s Association, a group that sells insurance to folks who run rodeos. Should a rodeo spectator get kicked in the face, NHA is there.

Since Jan. 1, ACG claims that it has lobbied Congress on behalf of the NHA on “issues of interest to horsemen,” including taxes and immigration.

But the horsemen hadn’t a clue they had hired them.

Shannon Stineman, who manages the two-employee National Horsemen’s Association based in Gouldbusk, Texas, said she has never heard of the American Continental Group and had definitely never hired a lobbyist.

“I don’t watch TV; I rarely get a chance to read the newspaper, and when I say we are in the middle of nowhere, I mean we are 30 miles from the nearest town,” a shocked Stineman told HOH Wednesday morning.

Turns out ACG, which counts Amgen USA and Toyota Motor North America among its other clients, made a bookkeeping error. They actually represent the National Horsemen’s Benevolence & Protective Association, an offshoot of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

Brian Fitzgerald, the lead lobbyist on the account, pointed out that the names of the two groups share three of five words. He said the firm is updating the filing today.

Three for five may work on K Street, but in horse racing, it’s a bad bet.