ABC newsman Sam Donaldson, who owns a sheep ranch in New Mexico, was criticized by New York's Republican senator for receiving thousands of dollars in farm subsidies.
Donaldson said that he dislikes the subsidy system but that it's part of staying competitive in the sheep business.
In a Senate speech Friday, Sen. Alfonse D'Amato read from a Wall Street Journal article that Donaldson was the third-largest recipient of wool and mohair payments in Lincoln County, N.M.
In the last two years, $97,000 in subsidies have gone to Donaldson's address in Virginia, the article said.
"Now there are plenty of other examples of absentee landlords receiving these farm subsidies, but it is particularly glaring that millionaire Sam Donaldson is getting this taxpayers' money," D'Amato said.
Donaldson, in a telephone interview, said he has talked frequently about his farm. He was raised on it, has been adding to it over the years and plans to retire to it, he said.
Donaldson said subsidies are necessary because they are built into the price of sheep.