Greyhound racing ban inches closer to ballot - Florida Politics

Greyhound racing ban inches closer to ballot

A proposed constitutional amendment to end greyhound racing in the state is one step closer to securing a place on the November ballot.

The Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) approved the amendment (Proposal 67) in an 18-14 vote late Tuesday night, sending it to the influential Style and Drafting Committee for ballot preparation. It will still have to win the approval of 22 members of the 36-person panel charged with drafting amendments to revise the state’s governing document before being sent to the 2018 ballot.

Commissioner Tom Lee, a Republican state Senator from Thonotosassa, sponsored the proposal, which was amended on Tuesday night to extend language to also ban the “racing of” greyhounds. When the proposal was filed, it only banned betting on the dog races.

Lee said greyhound racing in the state is a “humanity” issue, rather than an economic one. He said that since 2013, 438 greyhound racing dogs have died.

“These animals are kept in cages, they are bred exclusively for the purposes of being used for profit in wagering,” Lee added. 

If the proposal makes it to the ballot and is approved by 60 percent of voters, greyhound racing would be phased out by June 30, 2020.

Commissioner Chris Smith spoke in opposition to the proposal before the vote, saying it should be up to the Legislature to regulate gaming and related issues.

When asked why he chose to push for a ban through the CRC, Lee cited three areas of the constitution that permit greyhound racing as his rationale for pushing a ban via a constitutional amendment.

“Since there is so much nexus to this issue in the constitution, I thought it was appropriate to do it here,” Lee told commissioners. 

Smith, a former state Representative and Senator, also asked whether the state would be obliged under the “Bert J. Harris Jr. Private Property Rights Protection Act” to compensate the racing facilities for the value of the racing dogs if the amendment is written into the constitution.

Critics of the ban say provisions under the act could result in the state doling out up to $500 million to greyhound racetracks.

Lee cited a legal analysis released last week that ruled the potential ban legally sound. He explained to commissioners that the dogs would not be considered lost property. He added: “Essentially the Bert Harris claims are for real property.”

“Clearly there are going to be some winners and losers,” Lee said of those who could be harmed economically. Though he added that phase-out period, which holds the ban until 2020, is intended to give those in the greyhound industry “time to make ends meet.”

Last week — before the proposal was amended to include banning the racing of greyhounds — a poll from Clearview Research showed 45 percent of voters approved of the idea, while 44 percent opposed it. Clearview attributed the lack of support for Proposal 67 to its language, which at the time provided a ban on the “wagering on” races and did not outlaw the actual tracks.

60 Comments

  1. So Sen Lee feels good about being concerned with the welfare of greyhounds racing in Florida. However he said today his intent was not to stop simulcasting racing which means you could bet on dogs racing in other states. Doesn’t the welfare of those greyhounds matter who are racing out of state? How can a Senator Lee say it’s okay to vote on racing in another state but you can not have racing in Florida? Aren’t you still sponsoring the inhumane treatment that Sen Lee says is occurring at FL tracks by placing bets thru simulcasting. I hope the citizens of FL will see the double sided proposal that is being pushed by people who say they are looking out for the greyhounds.

    1. Why don’t you go after animal shelters that put down over 100k per year? What about dog fighting? Abortions? Human Trafficking? Those how much higher numbers? Or just like carpetbagger Tom Lee , your ignorant/ how about how many people get cancer from cigarettes? People killed in DUI’s/ your worried about racing and simulcasting? Your a loon

  2. Because Tom Lee is crooked as the day is long. Needs to be impeached. He has no clue and no real statistics to back his position other than the manipulated, misrepresented data from the likes of Grey2k “The Worldwide Leader in Lies & Fraud” and HSUS who kills thousands of animals per year.

  3. This is certainly a good day for greyhounds. One step closer to escaping racing gulags. One step closer to a life that doesn’t place them in harm’s way on a regular basis. One step closer to running for fun instead of for someone else’s profit.

  4. Well stated, Fred. “Who benefits” continues to be the gold standard in evaluating motivations.

  5. Funny how he says nothing about horses, an industry that has the money to crush him, and Mr Barton is on the board of Grey2k, a scam organization who puts the majority of donations into salaries, and less than 1% on greyhounds. They twist the truth and flatout LIE.

    1. Unless I misread the article, the issue under discussion here is greyhounds, not horses. And as for your second point, the industry has been calling us liars, frauds, con-artists and so on for years, and yet we ended racing in Massachusetts; helped end it in Arizona and Wisconsin; and helped get the state out of it in Iowa. Not to mention other states where we’ve gotten anti-racing legislation enacted. Does it ever occur to you that your strategy of kill the messenger may not be working?

      1. sorry you didnt end it in wisconsin, another flat out lie from a GREED2K goon. like the Boston Herald reported Grey2K admitted fraudulent ads, they make a big mess and dont stick around to help clean it up , just go on to the next state and lie some more

        1. I didn’t sat we ended it, I said we helped end it, and I know that’s true because I’m one of the people who helped. Apparently you didn’t read the second part of my post, or it name calling your only strategy?

      2. Care to explain why Grey2scam uses 42% of donations on salaries Mr Barton and 2% of less to greyhound adoption groups? Of how your lying cohorts Dorchak and Stiel say ” we are a non profit organization but we pay ourselves over 100k a year”?. You are called liars and frauds because that is what you are. You are going to lose in Florida, because this isnt liberal Mass, but Trump country. The commisioners are catching on to your paid for shill Tom Lee. How do you explain the happy healthy greyhounds in the Paint the Trail videos if they are so ” abused” ?

        1. It’s pretty obvious you don’t know much about how non-profits operate. They have labor costs just like any other organization that employs people. Grey2K has received the highest rating from Guidestar. an organization that rates non-profits. We’ve received the 2017 Impact Award from Care2 and a rating of top non-profit from Great Non-Profits, another non-profit rating service.

          AS for the PtT videos, Google Potemkin Village.

          1. I know about fraud, Dorchak court case where she has ” no memory of the accident” not quite what she says in that bs video soliciting donations. I also know about The Boston Herald where Grey2scam admits to fraudulent advertising. As for Care2, no doubt another scam group like you.

          2. You know, I actually admire you folks. You have like three or four basic responses and you just keep passing them around like fruitcakes. Pretty sweet not having to ever actually come up with something new. What would really be efficient though would be if you just gave them numbers. Then instead of writing the same thing you’ve been writing for years, you could just say 32, and we’d all know that was the fraud response or 65 and we’d all know that’s the accident response. Save us all a lot of time.

          3. Thats right Fred, say nothing about the truth in the responses, once a liar always a liar. At least our responses are true, seems greed2scam says the same lies over and over too. Your website says prop 67 will be on the ballot like it is a done deal, another lie. Is one more vote left. The worldwide leader in lies. Your group cares nothing about greyhounds, its all about suckering people out of their money.

          4. Do you see the irony of your comment? The article we are responding to is about greyhound racing in Florida which, as I remember, is an issue you have yet to address. Or maybe you should Google irony.

          5. And you still will not comment on The lies that have been proven against your fraudulent organization, as far as Potemkin village goes, tell me Fred, I guess the greyhounds in the Paint the Trail videos were trained to act happy and healthy when the guy was at the kennel and then after he left they started beating and abusing them again, is that right Fred? Tell you what, why don’t you provide some proof of this ” abuse “? That shouldn’t be a problem, since it runs so rampant. The world is waiting…… care to comment on Greed2k trying to blackmail a West Virginia gubernatorial candidate im 2012 Freddie?

          6. I don’t comment because they’re irrelevant. We’re working as hard as we can to end greyhound racing using ethical and economic arguments. You’re working as hard as you can to change the subject because you have no response to those arguments.. For example, you ask for “proof” of abuse as if you haven’t seen a paper or a news report in that last twenty years.

          7. Explain how a documented, proven strategy of lies, deception, and fraud is irrevelant when you are using the exact same strategy in Florida as you did in Massachusetts. Also, you offer no proof of rampant, systematic abuse because you have none, you shyster, are you like Mr Steal, never had a real job, and scam people for a living? Did you need a safe space when your hero Hillary lost to our current great President? Hopefully the day comes when you need a safe space where you and your ilk belong, in prison.

          8. The only points being made is 1. Boston Herald article proves gtey2scam is a fraud. 2. Solicitation video and court documents prove Dorchak is a LIAR. 3. When Crooked Hillary reads about the President of the United States, it is referring to Donald John Trump, TRUMP 2020, keep making America Great AGAIN. Go ahead and rent a safe space with your fraudulently obtained money, because Trump will easily win reelection, libtard.

          9. OK. OK we get it. You’re not going to address the issue, even if it means bringing up Trump. What’s that got to do with greyhound racing? Oh, wait, nothing. And that’s why you mention him.

  6. Prop 67 is not a Constitutional issue, but a Legislative one. When Lee presented yesterday, it was clear that he had not properly vetted many aspects as well as using outdated info to suit his agenda. That was clearly pointed out when another committee member, who had done his own research, asked Lee about one of the otems he had stated reguarding revenue loss. While Lee, the sppnsor of the Bill, is using a letter from 2016, Chair Beruff had info that was less than a week old and contradicted what Lee stated.

    When he was asked questions that he did not know the answer to, he deflected back to the treatment of the greyhounds. I assure you that the spectators weren’t the only ones who noticed that.

    This Prop has no safety net for the greyhounds, it actually has the exact opposite effect as his claims.

    As one committee member stated “How do we know who was telling the truth? I wish we could swear everyone in to testify under oath.” Also stated was “If we as a committee do not have enough factual knowledge to know how to vote, how will the voters?” I couldn’t agree more…

    What it comes down to is that Prop 67 does not belong on a statewide voters ballot, it needs to stay in the Legislature where it belongs.

    #VoteNoOnProp67

  7. The least you could do for this article is use a photo of actual USA racing greyhounds with their plastic muzzles and not one from overseas with wire muzzles. We do not use wire muzzles here in the states. I agree that proposition 67 does not belong on the ballot or on our state constitution. It should stay in the legislature where it belongs.

  8. Fred Barton, I read most of your comments here, and see you have learned the art of lying well from your mentors in Massachusetts. I live in Iowa, and followed the legislation closely before one, of our two, greyhound tracks closed. You had NOTHING, ZERO, ZILCH, to do with the closing of Bluffs Run! Oh you were there, spewing your lies, but what happened was between the State of Iowa and Caesar’s Entertainment, and you didn’t “help” do anything, unless you count being a pain in the ass. Your audacity never ceases to amaze me. When someone asked you for proof of abuse to the greyhounds you said, “For example, you ask for “proof” of abuse as if you haven’t seen a paper or a news report in that last twenty years.” THAT is proof of abuse? Oh, you must be referencing the “Cocaine drugging of the dogs”. The levels in those test results were so miniscule that the dogs having contact with a human user is much more likely the case. The paper currency in your wallet would likely test higher than any of those dogs did. You wouldn’t want to see the truth, though, because the truth doesn’t bring in donations, and THAT is the main concern of your organization. Donations. Money, money, money. If this proposal would pass, and I doubt that it will, what will happen to the thousands of greyhounds in Florida? You haven’t a clue what it costs to feed those dogs. And where will they live? And most importantly, who’s going to pay for it? It will be a cold day in hell before you, and yours, will shell out a dime. You say you care about the welfare of the dogs, when in fact you will be inflicting more harm than they have ever seen if this ridiculous proposal should pass. I doubt you’ll be losing any sleep over it….as long as the money keeps rolling in.

    1. Hmmm. I did nothing, yet I was there “spewing my lies.” Well, looks like my “lies” were effective, huh? Oh, by the way, just because someone says something you don’t want to hear doesn’t make it a lie.

      1. Very well said Miss Foster, notice how the crook accuses me of not addressing the subject when he says past proof of fraud and lying is irrelevant.

          1. The issue, is the proven documented evidence of fraud and lies that your organizations is perpetrating on hard working individuals attempting to ruin their lives in an industry that is nothing like the image you project. Where is the proof of this ” abuse “, I have certainly never seem any in my years working in it. You say, ” in the papers “, which those stories represent little to no proof either. Lying thief Mr Steal is frequently quoted in those articles, which is dubious at BEST. Greed2scam attempts to make the public believe trainers give dogs cocaine to better performance, which reputable vets have stated as ridiculous, much like the steroid that simply keeps females from going into heat. Again, reputable vets have stated time and again this does no harm whatsoever to the dog, TRAINED IN THEIR FIELD, but of course you charlatans never mention that, I guess you and thief thiel and proven liar dorchak know more about greyhound health concerns than those that hold a Vet degree. You are a fraud and a liar, and truth will win out in Florida.

          2. Hmmm…I thought the article that started this thread was about Prop 67, but I guess if you can read the papers and not see the stories of dogs being electrocuted; not see the photos of abused greyhounds; and not see the articles about drugged dogs, you can pretty much see what you want to see. I guess it’s just safer to hide in your prejudices rather than face reality.

          3. You mean the photos of abused greyhounds from other countries that greed2scam publishes as if it is in Florida, eletrocuted greyhounds are the track’s fault, and they are in league with you because they want casinos, as for drugs, that is preposterous, dogs are not given cocaine, that is just a lie, simple as that, and I’ve already said that VETS, trained in their field, have stated REPEATEDLY, is does no harm to the dogs. But of course you won’t comment on anything that proves your allegations to be false, you are going to lose in Florida, and whem amendment 3 DOES PASS, you will be shut out of the Legislature with your crooked politicians. I bet you’re a girly man like Mr Steal.

          4. Fred Barton, you never answered my question regarding the greyhounds that will be in jeopardy if racing would end. Who is going to pay for their care, until such time they can go to an adoption group? The people who care for them now will be without income, and will be lucky to provide for their families. Since you would be responsible for putting the dogs in that position, it is my belief that you be responsible then as well. After all, you care so much about their welfare. At least that’s what you say.

          5. Racing has already ended in Massachusetts, Arizona, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Hampshire and Rhode Island and the dogs are fine. We have a lot of experience taking care of dogs when racing ends in a state. Don’t worry about it.

          6. He doesnt answer anything regarding his scam organization, the whole lot of them are con artists. Anything and everything to keep the donations coming in. They heckled pro racing speakers at the CRC meetings showing their lack of class. That they are a fraud is documented. Racing is not going to end in Florida, enough commisioners know that they are liars. And more are being educated every day. Do not put any faith in the polls that GREED2K sends out. Honest polls have it 45_45. They have even tried to get the public to believe it is already on the ballot when that isnt the case. Write the committee to urge a NO vote. When amendment 3 does pass, greed2k knows they cannot use their crooked paid for politicians to corrupt the legislature. Prop 67 is their last chance in Florida, but this isnt Massachusetts. After they lose fredwina and his girly pal Mr Steal can go in their safe room and cry and rip apart their barbie dolls, like they did when Crooked Hillary lost.

          7. Meh. Bit of a cliche’ don’t you think? Still, better than nothing I guess. By the way, you seem awfully hung up on that girly man thing. Not betraying any confused feelings of your own are you? You know, Methinks he doth protest too much stuff. Just asking.

          8. Not in the least, Fredwina, I have several bodybuilding trophies to my credit, of course it takes a lot of hard work. Mr Steal is so effeminate looking, I just wondered if you are the same. Physical fitness is hard work, which you 2 know nothing about, scamming people for a living as you do.

          9. Well all righty then. Bodybuilding huh? That can…umm…go either way if you get my drift. Just saying. By the way, for someone who knows nothing about me, you sure act like you know a lot about me. I guess it’s easier when your prejudices tell you what to think.

          10. Just like it’s easier to not comment than to attempt to explain the proven, documented evidence of the fraud that is grey2k and the proven, documented evidence the dorchak is a proven, documented liar. I know enough about you to know you are lying scum.

          11. You know, I’ve been reading about how you folks have documented evidence of fraud for as long as I’ve been doing this. OK fine. If you’ve got the evidence take it to the authorities, or shut up about it. As my old daddy used to say, “Defecate or removes yourself from the privy.”

          12. No Fred, you do not have experience helping the dogs in any way, shape, or form. Florida has thousands more dogs than any of the states you mentioned. The number of dogs that will be left with no one to care for them in Florida is unprecedented. Answer my question. “Don’t worry about it” is not an answer.

          13. There’s no doubt that Florida would be a challenge, but you must know not all dogs will be released for adoption. Some will go to other tracks and some back to the farms. Also, know that the state and casinos will be enlisted to help move the dogs to safety. It will be a big job there is no doubt, but if the racing industry puts the welfare of the dogs first instead of using them as hostages to intimidate anti-racing adoption groups it would be helpful.

  9. Fred Barton, I noticed that when you were delegating the duties of caring for the dogs, you never mentioned your organization. For the first time, you told the truth, even though it was by omission. The best dogs may find places at other tracks, but you’re looking at a few hundred, best case. There won’t be many going back to the farms, as breeding wouldn’t make much sense. You don’t seem to understand that this “what if?” scenario, should it ever come to pass, is unprecedented. Period! Furthermore, I don’t think the casinos know that you are expecting them to shell out money to care for the dogs, and I wonder how you will convince them. It’s very obvious that in your haste to put an end to racing in Florida you forgot to consider the welfare of the dogs, and what would happen to them. And don’t try to feed me more of your bulls@*t about being such experts at this. You know, as well as I do, you guys have done nothing to help rehome dogs after a track has closed. Why bother even saying that Florida would be any different. I see some walls closing in on the rhetoric of lies, and misinformation, that you have crammed down the public’s throat for years. It took way too long, but the right people, in the right places, are working to shed a bright light on that darkness. I can’t wait for the show to begin.

    1. It must be comforting to let your biases do all your thinking for you. The truth is we are involved in rescue. I volunteer with two rescue groups myself and I know several others members of the Board who do as well. I agree with you this will be a big job, but as in other states the legislature and casinos will get involved. The legislature will need t protect the people who will be transitioning out of the industry as well as the dogs. The casinos will get involved because they will be happy to see racing gone, just as they did in Iowa. The people will get involved as well, just as they did in other states. It would be a PR nightmare for the industry if harm came to the dogs still in their care, so they will have a very strong motivation to make sure things go smoothly.

      You know, if you really care about the dogs as much as you say you do, this will be a great opportunity for us to set aside our differences and work towards a common goal. What do you say? I’m willing.

  10. Are you actually suggesting that, if this fictitious scenario were to happen, the greyhounds’ handlers would do them harm? WTF? What planet are you from? Those people spend more time at the kennels, with the dogs in their care, than they spend with their families. Why? Because they love what they do, and care very much about each and every dog. I don’t expect you to understand, as you “let your biases do all your thinking for you” when it comes to that subject. I have never heard one of them deny that there have been “bad apples” who did some pretty horrible things to dogs. Those incidents are so few, and far between, when compared to the number of people working in this industry, and the number of dogs in their care. There are bad people in EVERY industry. There are even bad people running non-profit organizations who get their donations under false pretenses, because the truth wouldn’t bring in a dime. I DO really care about the dogs, but I don’t believe that we will ever have a “common goal”. We are polar opposites on this subject. By the way, volunteering for adoption groups is not the same as helping with all of the dogs who were displaced after a track closing. Not even close.

    1. I would certainly hope they woudn’t harm the dogs. What I’m saying is that the NGA is already using them as hostages to intimidate anti-racing adoption groups. That doesn’t bode well for the future if Prop 67 makes the ballot.

  11. The truth is greed2scam is so involved with rescue that they spend less than 2% of donations on rescue groups, far less most likely. But of course the 2 head thieves pay themselves over 100K a year, but of course Fred says this is ” overhead “, or “expenses “. He says they have a good rating from Care2, but if you google them you find they are a scam just like his group of scammers. 2 peas in a pod…

  12. Grey2scam admitted to fraudulent advertising in the Boston Herald article, not to mention the court transcripts where Dorchak has ” no memory ” of the train accident, she fecalls it quite well in the solicitation video. Don’t worry, quite a few are involved in attempting to alert the authorities to your fraud/scam, and will ramp up those efforts after you lose in Florida. Prison is hopefully the end result, greed2scam has ruined so many lives with their scam, all in the name of donations. I remember seeing a Ohio legislator correctly call your larcenous group fraudsters too.

    1. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Blah Blah. Heard it all before Andy boy. Boring. There is one good thing though: While you’re busy running around telling people who already agree with you what frauds we are, we’re busy changing laws, so thanks for staying out of the way.

      1. What laws have you changed in Florida Fredwina? Been trying for years to pass decoupling, hasnt happened. Same with birth control steroids. Now you are trying this back door prop 67. Not going to happen, my fraudster punk. Greed2scam fought against the Greyhound Safety Act, why? If you care so much about greyhounds you would support it. No doubt you were the kid in school who cried when the bullies picked on him instead of fighting back. Like Me Steal, a coward. No doubt a flabby body too.

        1. I wasn’t just talking about Florida, Andy boy. In case you haven’t noticed we’re worldwide now. We have representatives in Australia and England. We’re involved in the closing of the Canidrome. We were down in your state a couple of years ago hosting a worldwide conference of anti-racing groups just a few miles from the Palm Beach track. Not bad for a bunch of frauds, huh?

          By the way. We have changed laws in Florida. Check out the new reporting regulations in Seminole County. Your welcome.

  13. Now it’s IF prop 67 makes the ballot, last week your scam group said IT WILL be confirmed, lies, lies, and more lies….

  14. Hello to all the commenters above who profit from animal abuse. You stand out from a mile away.

    1. I supported greyhound racing until I saw some things and the big names in the industry who said they weed out the bad apples… well they look they other way. Good old boys club. I can’t ethically support this anymore.

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