SAVING OUR HORSE INDUSTRY -by Edward McNelis

SAVING OUR HORSE INDUSTRY

The horse owners in our State do not understand what an economic and political force they are. Many legislators do not realize this either. Fortunately some key legislators understand and appreciate the Horse Industry and its huge economic impact on our State. This is not lost on our Governor or Lt. Governor.
Representative Ken Andrus of Lava Hot Springs carried Senate Bill 1011. He adamantly supported the repeal of Historic Racing. It was puzzling why he opposed this Bill as he related a personal story of huge success at the races. While spending a day at the Kentucky Derby he started with $2.00 and by the end of the day increased it to $200,000.00. He might consider selling his sheep and moving to the track where he could sell tip sheets and bet on the horses.
Representative John Vander Woude of Nampa made patronizing comments toward the Horse Industry. His mocking of the Horse Industry gave no indication of his family’s involvement in the retail business in Meridian that relies on horses and owners for their business. He gave two passionate speeches against the Horse Industry and voted to repeal Historical Horse Racing. Perhaps his legacy will be built on his understanding of tanning booths and methane gas from cows.
Senate Bill 1011 to repeal Historical Racing came to the House of Representatives for vote on Thursday, March 26th. Passing of this Bill will have a huge negative impact on our economy, schools, youth programs and the entire Horse Industry. The huge response from horsemen and business went unnoticed by legislators who appeared unfazed by facts and economics.
Pompous Representatives invited the public to hurry and file lawsuits. Let the
Law suits quickly begin was their stated position. They clearly were in the camp with the Indians who have a gaming monopoly and share no money with our State or public schools. They turned a blind eye on the Horse Industry that keeps all the money at home in the State, supports a huge industry, public schools and youth programs.
The sharp stick in the eye of those who voted them into office could have long range implications. Canyon County had representatives on both sides of the issues. Christy Perry who is a rising star in the Legislature and Rick Youngblood a savvy
Legislator with solid business credentials fought hard for the horsemen and constituents.
Gayle Batt has worked hard on the issue to overturn the legislation passed two years ago. She not only voted to repeal Historical Horse Racing, but was involved in the repeal process. She is credited with the term “Duped” and for starting and building the momentum of the recall movement. She went at it with a vengeance.
One is never sure about Representative Crane who voted for the repeal. Mr. Crane is quite clever and no one knows for sure what his agenda is or what he might be doing behind the scenes. He always comes late to meetings and is disruptive then leaves again. This time, although late, he stayed most of the meeting but did not take the floor supporting the bill as he usually does. He had his newspaper and phone that occupied him.
Senate Bill 1011 is an Indian bill. The Indians have a gaming monopoly in our State and were bold enough to attack one of the basic industries. Their effort to kill Historic Racing gives further evidence of their plans to grow and expand their gaming programs in the State. The Indians rake in millions of dollars from our citizens yet give nothing back to public education or taxes to our State. This was a well orchestrated plan that started with the election of Representative Jordan of Plummer. Paulette Jordan’s day job is Indian Gaming both in our State and nationally. She is a lobbyist in reality and did her job well.
This bill has passed both the Senate and House and will go to the Governor’s desk for his review. Hopefully the Governor will not rush to judgment, but will allow Due Process to work. The Governor clearly understands the huge economic impact of the Horse Industry. He values the Horse Industry and the part it plays in our State.
The Horse Industry is a 1.6 Billion dollar industry that touches all parts of our State. It attracts horses and owners from across the Western United States. We enjoy the highest per capita horses to people in the world. There are over 400 days of Rodeo and we have a vibrant Horse 4H Program. Our State is poised to be the Kentucky of the Northwest. The climate, agriculture products and open spaces makes it ideal for this industry. Horses and their owners create a huge economic impact that ripples across our State creating jobs, opportunities and value.
Should this Bill become law, it would have a devastating impact on the Horse Industry, agriculture and rural communities. The bright future for the Horse Industry would disappear.
Thousands of our citizens would be seriously injured financially. No one fully understands the contingent liabilities that have been created and the damage that would be done by passing this bill.
We are extremely fortunate to have a Governor who understands our State and its people. One can only hope he will veto Senate Bill 1011 and stop this emotional rush to judgment.
Your voice counts. Contact Governor Otter and urge him to veto this Bill. Be very clear, courteous and give solid information to support your request. Time is Critical. YOUR VOICE IS IMPORTANT.

 

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