Amendment 13 backer calls claim that dog racing ban could threaten hunting ‘outrageous, false’
Photo: Van Abernethy

Greyhounds, Southland Park

A backer of the Nov. 6 ballot issue to ban greyhound racing in Florida called an opponent’s statement outrageous, false, and fully-refuted by the Florida Supreme Court after the NRA Political Victory Fund circulated a warning Tuesday that Amendment 13 could one day threaten hunting and fishing rights.

Carey Theil, senior advisor for the Yes on 13 campaign, was replying Tuesday to the alert put out by Marion Hammer, past president of the NRA and executive director of the United Sportsmen of Florida. Her alert to members charged that the amendment’s language declaring “the humane treatment of animals is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida” could lead “extreme animal rights organizations” to “immediately begin work to ban all hunting and fishing.”

“Those groups even claim that animals shouldn’t be owned as pets because it’s inhumane. In short, Amendment 13 is not really about greyhound racing, it’s a front for much more,” Hammer wrote in her alert to the USF and NRA members and friends mailing list. The alert was then circulated Tuesday by opponents of Amendment 13.

Theil responded that the claims are outrageous, fear-mongering, and false, that the amendment is entirely and exclusively about greyhound racing, and that the Florida Supreme Court has agreed with that after hearing similar assertions in court hearings and filings challenging the amendment this summer.

He said claims such as Hammer’s contention that hunting and fishing were at risk were explicitly refuted earlier this month in the Florida Supreme Court decision to allow Amendment 13 on the ballot, when the court wrote that amendment value provisions such as the one she cited have no force of law.  “Amendment 13’s fundamental value provision is devoid of any legislative or judicial mandate: it bestows no rights, imposes no duties, and does not empower the Legislature to take any action,” the court wrote.

“It’s now clear that opponents of Amendment 13 are incapable of debating the merits of commercial dog racing. In recent days, they have started to circulate a series of falsehoods,” Theil said in a written response.

Jack Corey, spokesman for opponents of Amendment 13, notably the spokesperson for the Florida Greyhound Association, replied that the Supreme Court decision is only the opinion of the current court. He asserted it could be changed after a new court, with new members, takes office.

Corey also said he welcomed support from the NRA or “any organization in the state of Florida.” He also charged that the amendment was being pushed by out-of-state political action committees, largely connected with the Massachusetts group GREY2K USA, for which Theil also serves as executive director.

Amendment 13 backers have made the same charge about the Amendment 13 opponents’ Committee to Support Greyhounds, contending that its chair lives in Texas and its treasurer in North Carolina.

Amendment 13, placed on the ballot by the 2017-’18 Constitution Revision Commission, would outlaw the racing of dogs and wagering on such races. Amendments need at least 60 percent approval to be added to the state constitution.

Corey added that he considered the Supreme Court’s statement to be moot, considering he expects the question to lose in the Nov. 6 ballot.

The proposal also would allow other gambling at tracks, such as card games, to continue even after dog racing ends.

If approved, the amendment takes effect immediately but allows greyhound racing to continue through the end of the year 2020.

In Florida, live dog racing is still conducted at 12 tracks.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Babycat

    September 25, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    Pretty sure we all know Amendment 13 is about ending dog racing.
    Folks are concerned that if THIS made it on the ballot and has the possibility of making it into Florida’s Constitution then there is a real possibility that their sport, hobby could be the next target.
    Can you blame them?

    • Eric Jackson

      September 25, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      This amendment is all about greyhound racing and nothing else. There’s no reasonable way to connect Amendment 13 and any other activity.

      • Rita Rice

        September 26, 2018 at 4:27 am

        Yes – which means it can also be used to end amateur dog sports such as lure coursing, which have nothing to do with professional dog racing.

        There’s more to this than meets the eye. Why enact a constitutional amendment for one dog activity?

      • Andy

        September 26, 2018 at 9:29 am

        Says the guy who represents a group known far and wide for lying, has a proven liar as president, in bed with racketeers, implicated in blackmail, and aligned with terrorist organization Animal Liberation front

      • LTR

        September 26, 2018 at 12:50 pm

        I cannot agree. this amendment is written in a very tricky way. It will ban LIVE dog racing. Simulcast will still be allowed. if it gets placed on the Florida constitution it opens a whole can of worms that extremist animal rights groups will use as leverage for their agenda to end animal entertainment. It is slippery for sure. I suggest you read the full amendment carefully.

      • Susan

        October 6, 2018 at 10:42 am

        If it was only about greyhound racing why doesn’t the amendment limit it to just greyhounds instead of adding “or other dogs”.

    • Jen

      September 25, 2018 at 9:51 pm

      Totally agree. It’s not just Grey2K backing the amendment… The National Humane Society and PETA. If they get results from Florida voters they’ll definitely target horse racing, dog hunting, and any other working/sport animal in the state. That includes show dogs as well

  • Dick Ciampa

    September 25, 2018 at 5:48 pm


    Debating the merits of greyhound racing is what you keep saying you want and John Parker keeps accepting the challenge. So far all you have done is either not answered him or when he accepted your challenge on G2K’s FB page you deleted his challenge and banned him.


    just say you don’t want to debate John Parker because you can’t allow the truth to come out and John will stop answering your challenge.

    You throw down the gauntlet so your followers think you know what you are talking about, but when the challenge is accepted you never accept and have your followers wondering what you have to hide.

    It is the truth you have to hide and in a real debate you can’t control the truth from coming out. You have no control over the media in a live debate and you always have to control the media when you don’t have the truth on your side.

  • Tyson Twilleger

    September 25, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    I love the debates on Florida Politics about this amendment. Screaming into the void!

  • steve grabarczyk

    September 25, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Mr. Parker has challenged you, Carey, and called you out to debate several times, but for some reason you always disappear and issue no response and go into hiding. Hiding? it’s what you and the FAKE Dog protectors do best. So why wont you debate Parker? maybe you could give Jim Rosica a list of reasons why you continue to hide from debate in the issues?

  • Kelly Faircloth

    September 25, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Actually, Mr. Parker has also been stating that this amendment is about greyhound racing, and only that. Appreciate your honesty there, John, although it makes your comment here a bit… odd.

    At any rate, John used the phrase “chicken littles” to refer to all of the people who are panicking about their non-parimutuel dog activities, including hunting. His words. But, maybe the sky really is falling, because this one time, and probably only time, we are in agreement!


    • Joe T

      September 26, 2018 at 10:24 am

      this coming from a group that tried to kick service dogs out of a public event . Kelly is nothing but a sheep following the fools she supports, lying and deceit is what Grey2k is known for yet people that cant see thru the BS support them, they say suckers are born every minute and Kelly seems to be one of them

  • LE Pitman

    September 26, 2018 at 12:03 am

    The wording is vague enough (“dogs” instead of “greyhound”) that even those that do want to end greyhound racing should VOTE NO if they have dogs they want to do fun things with. This bill is undoubtedly at risk for being a Trojan Horse with implications that cannot be seen now.

    Don’t forget the judge that called it outright TRICKERATION!

  • Sherry Mangold

    September 26, 2018 at 12:57 am

    And the judge was overruled by the Florida Supreme Court. The only “trickeration” is coming from you John Parker. Ending the cruelties of greyhound racing has nothing to do with the NRA or hunting. You’re losing it fella ….

  • Todd

    September 26, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Then is the amendment and I quote ( have no force of law. “Amendment 13’s fundamental value provision is devoid of any legislative or judicial mandate: it bestows no rights, imposes no duties, and does not empower the Legislature to take any action,” the court wrote.) basically no teeth to have it enforced then there is no reason to even allow it on the ballot. So might as well vote no on it since it does nothing and cant be enforced. Also without it having stated in it that is can NOT be used against fishing and hunting I will not be voting for it. Some aspects of it are vague and could be twisted to be used against other things. We have seen to many things passed that are so poorly worded that have been used for things that they said they would use it for in the past. So until they word it It must be exactly specific for its use for example only for US for dog and horse racing only and that hunting and fishing and other things that have nothing to do with racing are stated exempt I will NEVER vote yes.

  • Teddy

    September 26, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Amendment 13 gets a no vote from me.

  • Vera Rasnake

    September 26, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Amendment 13 should not be on the constitution in the first place. The Floridians will be stuck with the cleanup of the horrific mess this will bring. Everyone knows the greyhounds are being used so casino gaming can expand. The animal extremists want you to believe all greyhounds are mistreated and it’s a dying sport. Lies, Lies. I am a responsible greyhound trainer and this breed is like no other because of their care. As far as a dying sport, it is thriving on the internet; where most businesses have seen their customers go. I have been involved since 1978. I work with adoption groups as well. Trying to shut down an industry based on many lies to hurt the FL economy and force thousands of greyhounds that are being cared for into overcrowded shelters is a travesty-this would be a terrible mess to rip them out of caring environments and thrust them into shelters. My racing greyhounds spend their days full of activity in a climate controlled kennel monitored by security, when not outside playing, racing, walking or sprinting. The greys spend most of their early years with their littermates and kennel buddies-in a similar setting as an athlete in training camp. I know how much the greyhound breed thrives in a kennel environment during their high school competitive years and why they are sought out as great companions when they retire because of their care and interactions. I for one would like to see Mr. Theil debate Mr. Parker. I believe the Florida voters should see this educational debate. Florida voters know many of us trainers personally, have been to our kennels, know our children and families and see the scam. No on 13 “paws down.”

  • Jennifer Newcome

    September 26, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    And lets not forget that Christine Dorchak, President of Grey2K USA has openly admitted that she indeed wrote the proposal. Tom Lee as the “sponsor” simply accepted a check and signed his name under her verbiage. That in itself is unethical and disingenuous. As is every single word that comes out of the mouths and off of the fingertips of the Yes on 13 proponents. Amendment 13 has awakened a sleeping wolf, and the radical activists days are numbered. Starting on November 6th, when Florida votes #NoOn13

    • Andy

      September 26, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      Yes, let’s not forget that all of them, as proven by being in bed with racketeers, never tell the truth. PETA is where Dorchak got her start, long live the NRA!!!!

  • Gloria Nova-Fuson

    September 26, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    It should also be noted that greyhound racing is subsidized by Florida taxpayers, according to a study done 5 years ago, in 2013, $1.1 to 3M per year.

    • Andy

      September 26, 2018 at 6:17 pm

      Not true

  • Sherry Mangold

    September 26, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Andy, “Not true” doesn’t prove anything and it certainly doesn’t reflect the public records. Ms. Nova-Fuson is simply stating a fact. And, you clearly don’t have an answer when facts are used against your opinion. In a desperate attempt to influence those who hunt and get the backing of the NRA, anti-Prop 13 people will say anything. The name calling, the language used in their posts, the total lack of acknowledging the facts says a great deal about who you are, and what you are willing to say and do to get your way. I suspect Grey2K USA Worldwide is not responding to John Parker’s challenge because Parker wants to debate issues that have absolutely nothing to do with what Prop. 13 calls for…..Carey’s time is spent for the greyhounds and eliminating in Florida the cruel industry that uses and abuses them to make money.

    • Andy

      September 26, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      Here are some facts for you. 1. HSUS was fined 15 million dollars for paying a witness to LIE 2. Grey2k’s president is a PROVEN LIAR 3. Grey2k is aligned and supported by a terrorist organization ALF, Dorchak’s picture is right there on their website and she speaks at their meetings 4. Grey2k has been implicated in trying to blackmail a West Va gubernatorial candidate in 2012 5. Dorchak got her start with PETA. 6. Grey2k brings in 600k a year and the 2 head liars pay themselves over 100k of that and give less than 1 percent to any greyhound

      They are liars and fraudsters of the highest order, Thiel won’t debate because he is a lying coward. NRA is 100 percent correct. We have NASCAR and now the NRA on our side, you have terrorists and racketeers on yours, that says it ALL

    • Andy

      September 26, 2018 at 7:12 pm

      Imagine that, you’re a board member of the scam group, Fred has already proved himself to be a liar, I suspect you are the same along with Eric. You do realize you people are lunatic fringe weirdos

      Most people are rational, and MANY are NRA members, far more than you lunatics

    • steve grabarczyk

      October 6, 2018 at 4:40 pm

      From the 3820/2018 CRC meeting::::

      CHAIRMAN BERUFF: A follow up question. I
      did call the Secretary of DPBR, something like
      that, that one, to ask the question of the
      financial impacts on the State because I was —
      I took, you know, I listened to the audience as
      they spoke and how it costs us more to regulate
      than what it generates and so forth.
      And I was — his answer was, we take in
      more revenue than it costs to regulate that
      industry. So it is a little bit different than
      the — what you have said. So I am — and I
      had this discussion, what is today, today is
      Tuesday, I must have had it Thursday of last
      week or Friday, so it is very fresh in my mind.
      So there is a disconnect between what you
      say and what I saw, so what how, what do you
      attribute that to?

  • Sherry Mangold

    September 26, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Andy, your word choices speak for themselves about the type of person you are: “fraudsters” “terrorist” affiliation, “blackmail” “scam group” “Fred….a liar” me, a liar? Eric a liar? we are “lunatic fringe weirdos?” salaries over $100,000? 1 % to the greyhounds???
    And again….you bring the NRA and NASCAR into this. ? Desperate and pathetic….
    Just as I said before…You refuse to deal in facts. I am not going to continue this conversation with you any further. Keep up your rhetoric and you will continue to bury yourself and your cruel industry.

    • Andy

      September 26, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      Of course you aren’t going to continue with it, you are going to run and hide like lying cowards do. Every FACT I stated is true.

      For people reading, see for yourself Google ” Christine Dorchak Animal Liberation Front” Google ” HSUS racketeering”, google ” grey2k blackmail. All one needs to do is look at the pie chart to see the 100k is true. It isn’t us that is going to get buried Nov 6, it is you.

      Notice how they have no problem throwing out their endorsers, such as the murdering ” humane societies” here in Florida, but object to us doing the same with legitimate groups, all american groups, who have never been charged with racketeering by the way.

  • AV

    October 1, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Gotta love how all the comments have no actual mention of the full amendment. Here it is:

    “New Section of Article X

    Prohibition on racing of and wagering on greyhounds or other dogs.—The humane treatment of animals is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. After December 31, 2020, a person authorized to conduct gaming or pari-mutuel operations may not race greyhounds or any member of the Canis Familiaris subspecies in connection with any wager for money or any other thing of value in this state, and persons in this state may not wager money or any other thing of value on the outcome of a live dog race occurring in this state. The failure to conduct greyhound racing or wagering on greyhound racing after December 31, 2018, does not constitute grounds to revoke or deny renewal of other related gaming licenses held by a person who is a licensed greyhound permitholder on January 1, 2018, and does not affect the eligibility of such permitholder, or such permitholder’s facility, to conduct other pari-mutuel activities authorized by general law. By general law, the legislature shall specify civil or criminal penalties for violations of this section and for activities that aid or abet violations of this section.

    New Section of Article XII

    Prohibition on racing or wagering on greyhounds or other dogs.—The amendment to Article X, which prohibits the racing of or wagering on greyhound and other dogs, and the creation of this section, shall take effect upon the approval of the electors.[6]”

    All of this fear mongering on ending dog sporting activities and hunting is false. Any other dog sporting can still happen AS LONG AS you’re not betting on the outcome. And under no circumstances will any other gaming licenses by those casinos be affected, nor will any other dog sporting events that don’t have gambling/betting involved. Unless you all are betting on your amateur dog racing or agility tracks or whatever else (or betting on your dogs while hunting?), you will still be able to do those things. Don’t just take any one organization or person’s word for it, go directly to the source.

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