I will be honest that I am not exactly a circus guy, political circus maybe, but for the most part the whole circus thing never really did much for me.

Over the holidays I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about a large settlement between Feld Entertainment, producer of Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus and the American Society for the Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The settlement was for $9.3 million and was paid by ASPCA to Feld Entertainment.

A little history, 12 years ago the ASPCA and other activist organizations joined with a former Ringling employee to sue the company under the Endangered Species Act. The claim was that Ringling was abusing elephants. The litigation went on for nine years and a federal court found that the plaintiffs had no standing to sue under the Endangered Species Act and the the former Ringling Employee was “not credible” and was essentially a paid plaintiff and fact witness. And the former employee was on the payroll of the animal rights groups.

Mr. Feld stated that the $9.3 million is less than half of what his company has spent on defending itself against the “manufactured litigation from the activists.” And he is continuing his litigation against many of the other groups who pushed this case against them. He said the whole situation goes way beyond economics. He believes it is about harassment and trying to tear down an American institution.

Just as I finished reading about that settlement I noticed in the New York Times that the City of Los Angeles is considering a ban on elephants performing in circuses within its city limits. Councilman Paul Koretz might not have read about the settlement and maybe he does not care, but he has introduced the ban. Elephants have been performing in Los Angeles since 1919.

In addition to banning the practice in Los Angeles, Mr. Koretz would like to see it banned nationally. I just found it amazing that after 12 years of litigation that Ringling and Feld Entertainment win, Mr. Koretz’s response is to ramp the issue into the headlines again. Like LA does not have better things it could be doing.

Jobs and the economy should be the focus of the City of Los Angeles. What’s next, the Ice Capades?