Carole Baskin, well-known to “Tiger King” enthusiasts as “Carole Explicative Baskin,” and her current husband Howard Baskin donated to Sen. Cory Booker’s, D-N.J., failed 2020 presidential campaign.
According to FollowTheMoney.org, a non-profit promoting “accountable democracy,” Carole Baskin donated $1,000 to Booker’s campaign.
Howard Baskin donated a total of $1,550 to Booker’s campaign as well.
The Carole and Howard Baskin listed on FollowTheMoney.org are identified as Founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue.
The Baskins own and operate Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary for big cats which aims to end the abuse of big cats in captivity and prevent their extinction. The irony of Big Cat Rescue’s operation is that it was created by Carole Baskin’s first husband to breed and showcase big cats — an ideology the Baskins are largely opposed to now.
As a New Jersey senator and self-proclaimed vegan, Booker prides himself on co-sponsoring “Nosey’s Law,” a bill which bars the use of elephants and other exotic animals in traveling animal acts such as carnivals, circuses, parades, and petting zoos. “Nosey’s Law” passed in December of 2018, making New Jersey the first to implement a state-wide ban on exotic animals for-profit.
The Baskins political spending is somewhat bipartisan. They appear to donate money to candidates who favor legislation that they believe protects big cats.
In 2019, Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., introduced the “Big Cat Public Safety Act” which puts additional requirements governing the trade of big cats. The bill also restricts direct contact between the public and big cats. The bill passed with wide bi-partisan support in the House of Representatives.
In the Senate, the bill was co-sponsored by Booker and several others including three Republican senators: Martha McSally of Arizona, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Susan Collins of Maine.
There were two other prominent Democrats that co-sponsored the “Big Cat Public Safety Act” in mid-2019, Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. It appears Booker’s state work on “Nosey’s Law” in New Jersey helped garner the presidential support, and cash, of the notorious Baskins.
Booker’s office did not respond for comment in time for publication.