SeaWorld, drowning in scandal, is trying to buy political clout, if recent spending spikes are any indication.
The theme park spent 68 percent more on lobbying efforts so far this year than it did last year, the Associated Press reports. In California alone, where there's been push to ban orca shows and breeding, SeaWorld spent $140,000 on lobbying.
Determined to keep its orcas in tiny tanks at all costs, SeaWorld has turned to lobbying despite growing public disgust about orca captivity. Attendance tanked at SeaWorld's California location by 12 percent last year, closely followed by SeaWorld Orlando, which dropped 8 percent, and SeaWorld parks dropped 4.3 percent last year overall. That's a drop in attendance larger than any other major theme park's.
SeaWorld has also been steeped in scandal this year, from lawsuits claiming that the company's marketing has misled the public about the truth of orca captivity, to allegations that SeaWorld planted an undercover spy at animal rights protests.