Why did the Idaho Legislature rush through a bill to repeal historical racing with very little discussion and no negotiation with the interested parties? The Legislature was well-informed that the passage of this bill would ring the death knell for horse racing in Idaho. They even had the audacity to incorporate a statement that the bill would have “no fiscal impact”; although historical- and live-horse racing was annually contributing millions in state taxes and financial impact to local businesses.
The answer in politics should always be “follow the money.” Although the reservation Indians as individuals and their casinos pay no state/local taxes, they were able to write the bill repealing historical racing and thus preserve their monopoly on gambling in Idaho. How is this possible? The answer was clearly revealed by the Idaho Statesman’s article dated Sept. 6, that identified the Coeur d’Alene Tribe as the ninth largest political contributor in Idaho.
I hope the taxpaying voters in Idaho will rectify this travesty of justice next year by voting out the Legislature that does the bidding of non-taxpayers. Unfortunately, after 40 years of racing in Idaho, I will follow many others in raising and racing horses elsewhere.
Dudley Ward, Kuna