Horseless Racing Dead Heat At The Wire

As of 1:30 p.m. today, it looks like the politicos are whipping a dead horse over repeal of the so-called instant racing bill.

The Guv apparently vetoed the repeal bill in secret Saturday and waited until Monday to reveal his decision. BETSY RUSSELL has a story which indicates the horseless racing issue is down to a “photo finish” and may even be a dead heat.

The short version is Idaho law requires the Guv to deliver his veto to a clerk or other member of the originating house (senate) within the period specified by law. This specifically applies even if that house is not meeting, but the legislature is still in session. All reports indicate the race may be over, but no one knows the winner since the delivery date seems to have been missed.

Meanwhile, Russell reported that Gov. Butch Otter was paid $92,000 by the horsemen over the past few years while the Indians paid him less than a quarter of that amount, $22,000. The payment amounts come from campaign records.

UPDATE 3:15 p.m.

Otter now says he signed the veto on Friday afternoon. In the veto message, dated April 3 and sent to Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Otter calls for leaving exclusive rights to the horseless racing slot machines in the hands of the three horseman groups who currently hold licenses. Read the Guv’s letters HERE.

He has also asked the Racing Commission to limit the slot machine activities to existing machines with no increases in the number of terminals and said he would look favorably on a “gaming commission” to regulate all gambling in Idaho.

The Coeur d’Alene Indian tribe immediately issued a STATEMENT asking legislators to override the veto.


Senate will not challenge veto after Repubs caucus. Look for some court action

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Are you say in Butch can be bought? Lol.. he can be bought for a lot less than 92k..

  2. Just a couple of days ago, the Governor announced, with great detail and transparency, the exact time he signed the teacher salary increase legislation. Apparently, he was proud of that action.

    To sign, in secret, legislation on a three-day legislative weekend would seem to indicate that he was not proud of that action.

    To a regular citizen, my question is, “Why not let horse racing die, in Idaho, if it cannot survive without the injection of charity from third parties?” I would “bet” that the player/citizens at Les Bois Park are not actual horse racing enthusiasts, owners, or trainers but people with really strong right arms from pushing the “Spin” button.

  3. I fully support the Coeur d’Alene tribe as well as the other tribes in Idaho.

    I do not support Clement LeRoy Butch Otter never have and never will. It is way past time he left Idaho politics.

  4. Grumpy ole Guy
    Apr 6, 2015, 9:24 pm

    What is that expression the politicos keep using these days – Oh, yeah, “Transparency in Government”

  5. What would a big hat, pointy booted hombre like Butchy be if he didn’t stick up for his horseman buds. Aw shucks, it’s the cowpoke way!

  6. J Smith,
    it’s the cowpoke way… yeah, it is also the employment way.
    There are a lot of regular people employed by Les Bois park for the race season. Venders, cashiers, maintenance, operators, etc.

    What would you like to say to those people otherwise getting laid off in July?

  7. What Brad said!!

    Meanwhile, Russell reported that Gov. Butch Otter was paid $92,000 by the horsemen over the past few years while the Indians paid him less than a quarter of that amount, $22,000. The payment amounts come from campaign records.

    That right there is the “executive summary.” Paleface in State House want more wampum.

    Once again, the cowboys beat the Indians!

  8. The Gov’s veto may not stand. He may not have done it in time. Ask the AG.

  9. Rod in SE Boise
    Apr 7, 2015, 11:18 am

    The governor did the right thing but for all the wrong reasons, as is common.

  10. They say that money can’t buy happiness, not true in Idaho, just ask the backers of the instant horse racing, CCA, Century-Link and ENA.

  11. Is there some way to prevent those on any form of welfare from gambling? Other than that concern, why should the Indians and the Lotto be the only people in Idaho making a buck off of foolish spenders?

    However, Garden City or whoever owns that patch of prime land where the track is?? They need to raise the rent up to what they could be making from an office park / apartment complex / entertainment complex / car dealership.

  12. Grumpy ole Guy
    Apr 7, 2015, 8:56 pm

    Money talks louder than horse sense.

  13. chicago sam
    Apr 7, 2015, 9:03 pm

    Betsy Russell whether intentional or not is giving a very slanted view of political contributions to candidates by only mentioning Gov. Otters receipts from the Indian tribe compared to the horse hide contributions.
    Nearly every legislator has received amounts ranging from $250 to $1,000 or more in each election cycle for several years from the Indian tribes. Wampum greases the wheels for the legislators too. You don’t think those legislative votes were not tainted and they suddenly wanted to uphold the Constitution?

  14. Zippo – The track is owned by Ada County, and the lease agreement for the actual live racing is done with Ada County. I don’t remember the details of the lease that was made for the racing, but I am sure it is public record.

  15. This is a no win for every one in the State of Idaho. Our politicians seem more corrupt than they probably are…???? The horse racing folks have stooped so low that they have to go to slot machines to save a dying industry…Citizens of Idaho are wondering why we have a Constitution when it can be bought off….and no doubt the schools are going to be hurt because folks will play slot machines rather than lotto… ( pay out to schools is bigger on lotto.)

    And the real losers are the folks that go down to Les Bois and play those machines. They are supporting a sport that can’t make it on it own.

    I will make one bet in this whole deal. You will never see the owner of Les Bois or your Governor down there playing slots. They understand they can’t win.

  16. The Last House On The Block
    Apr 8, 2015, 6:36 pm

    If people want to waste their money- let them. They’ve been doing it for 30 years with those stupid scratch offs and lottery sales.

    The tribe, like government, just hates the competition.

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