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Old 04-07-2015, 12:23 AM
 
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Money talks...
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Old 04-07-2015, 02:54 AM
 
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Exclamation Convoluted to a New Degree I Didn't Think Possible

Quote:
Originally Posted by bull dozer View Post
Otter's formal letter of objection clearly throws the off track facility at Idaho Falls under the bus. Not sure about Post Falls, either. Looks like the only place allowed may end up being in Boise. And you may have heard by now the Senate is going along with Butch, so no repeal. Limiting only to Boise may satisfy the Indians as that would take away both the northern and eastern Idaho instant racing sites that compete with their nearby casinos. Keeping this away from the Idaho Supreme Court and the constitutional issue is of vital importance for long term survival. Happy Indians would help. Think they should still give them their poker games for good measure.

Investigation Butch is calling for is also a bit scary. Those words, "imitation and simulation" are quite powerful.

Overall, I'm a bit surprised, but happy for horse racing. Now, they just have to figure out how to get enough horses to run a race meet this summer and all should be well for one more year. After that, who knows? Not the most stable (pun intended) industry in the world, ya know.
I read an article written ~ 20:00 on 04/06/2015. This bill has taken new twists and turns since ~ 16:00. First, bull dozer, how closely connected with the Senate or Otter staffers are you, in general terms? You've written things days ago that I truly didn't understand and tried to learn more how you could wonder about certain outcomes that didn't appear to me and others as plausible. I think you may have access to some you haven't told us about. I'm okay with that as long as our views went back to those who needed to hear them. Otherwise, am I to assume it was your Vegas and race track experience and understanding of betting that gave you insight to what may happen?

This has been a sticky, twisted mess, throughout the 2015 Legislative Session. This will probably be in the papers on Tuesday, but it was NOT out on Monday night. Did anyone here know the Senate took a vote to see if they had the votes to overturn the veto? Most of Monday was spent behind closed doors with the Senate discussing this. When a vote was taken, six senators had changed from voting for repeal to voting against it. The Senate vote was 19 to repeal (pass the bill and override the veto) and 16 voted against. To have a 2/3 majority 24 votes needed to overturn Otter's veto- the Senate didn't have it.

I can deal with the Senate taking another vote. I've tried hard to "honor the offices even if I don't agree with the people holding them believe or how they do their jobs." I was so happy to read Mike ' s post about watching the discussion and noticing how many were operating from their personal beliefs or memories not facts. I had proof weeks ago this was happening, but did not include it in this discussion on purpose. I felt so validated to have another person write what I knew was occurring.

From what I read on Monday night, I see four issues that fall all over each other, from actions on Monday. And I learned new information which no one has even addressed.

I have never seen personal feelings enter a bill or law like they did with this one especially with the senate. Perhaps a few senators need voted out of office so those who will vote for what their constituents want can serve their constituents. That is issue # 1 - not enough due diligence as senators intent on learning the truth vs. finding support for their personal bias. They knew how they were going to vote, why waste their precious time researching facts?

Issue # 2 - Gov. Otter stood his ground when the Senate and maybe house had some members talk about suing the Gov. Their argument was he didn't veto and return the bill in the appropriate time frame. Three letters were written and delivered to Otter saying many senators questioned the Constitutionality of his veto. To his credit at least IMO, Otter stood his ground saying he wasn't the one who sets the schedule for the Legislature. They chose to end on Thursday and not return to work until Monday afternoon. As Gov, he Vetoed the bill in the time frame allowed. If we could figure out Otter had made his decision on Friday, how come the senate couldn't also see the same? I have zero empathy for any of them saying this. And those talking of suing him, this is beyond crazy and more proof they voted their personal views, IMO! Gov. Otter worked at least a half day or more on Good Friday, but the Legislature didn't. Otter has a spokesman who said he tried to return the bill to the Senate on Friday, but all the senators and staffers were gone on a work day, during normal business hours.

The three letters were from the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders as well as the Senate Secretary stating the Gov. did not return the Vetoed bill by April 4, 2015 when it was due. How would they know when he returned it, the Senate was GONE. Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill said the Senate will not sue; however, their letters entered into the Senate record are now available for anyone who wants to sue, such as the special interest group who brought this issue off of the reservation near Couser d' Alene and took it to Boise.

Update: Early Tuesday morning news is quoting those named below as confirming Gov. Otter informed them on Friday he had Vetoed the bill.
The Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Sen. Brent Hill, Sen Pro Tem and other Senators were contacted on Friday by Otter. The Lt. Gov. was working, at least a few hours. He is the person in charge of the Senate. Does his knowledge of the veto constitute the Senate knowing on Friday?

Issue #3, I read an article in the Spokesman-Review on 4/6 that provided more info than I knew. We're you all aware that Gov. Otter filed a lawsuit against the same organizers and reservation that pushed the repeal bill? A NID judge upheld the May, 2014 lawsuit, which will be argued in District Court. Holy @#$&! They are being sued by Idaho's Gov. for video poker on the reservation, and in turn they are the original driving force to get the historical racing repealed?!?! Hello northern Idaho, how come someone didn't tell the rest of this complex situation to those of us elsewhere in the state? Or did you even know?

Which members of the Legislature bothered to connect the dots of the 2014 Otter lawsuit against the Court 'd Alene tribe and them leading the effort in 2015 to have historical racing end by repealing the 2013 law????

How much more twisted can this get?

As for the Post Falls terminals, I don't know where the closest active race track is from them. I have read some who are invested in the Boise historical racing terminals group are also invested in the Post Falls facility. I don't know if that is true or not. As for Double Down in Idaho Falls, Otter's target, I have a hunch what the attorneys consulted told the Idaho Falls owners confirming they were following the law. Since I'm not an attorney, I'll not write that here openly. But they may have more legal standing than some think. Smart and experienced horse racing people opened Double Down, let alone their work with racing horses. If the law allowed what I think it may, the appearance of the machines is the smallest problem on the list.

Issue #4, and the last for this post, both the Legislature and Gov. Otter are responsible for having a non- functioning Racing Commission. People were named to it, but they didn't know there were potential problems. I can easily see how any owner of the terminals can argue in court they checked the laws multiple times (which Double Down did), but there wasn't a functioning Racing Commission who would come and visit let alone tell them yes or no. A functioning Racing Commission could have helped a lot, IMO.

I don't think a skilled novelist could have written fantasy and included a more confusing, twisted and bizarre set of circumstances about one bill.

What do all of you think?

MSR

Last edited by Mtn. States Resident; 04-07-2015 at 04:10 AM..
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:15 AM
 
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This is the reservation ' s formal response.

CdA Tribe calls on lawmakers to override Otter's instant racing veto | The Spokesman-Review

This links to the lawsuit Idaho filed against the group in NID.

Idaho sues CdA tribe over poker at casino - Spokesman Mobile - May 2, 2014
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Old 04-07-2015, 05:43 AM
 
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Link to Otter's letter of objection- http://media.spokesman.com/documents...racingbill.pdf


Unfortunately, this is far from over. Destined to head to court- for a couple of reasons. Perhaps that was Otter's plan all along? Very puzzling as to why he didn't step into this process long ago. And very puzzling as to why he did not return veto decision to Senate within prescribed time period. Also, based on formal letter coupled with public statements from Otter, the racing industry may not be all that pleased with the potential restrictions placed on the historical racing operation. There is a simple way of making the terminals compliant with the intent of the original bill, but also makes them unprofitable. So, more to come.

Live racing at Les Bois still has serious issues. There aren't anywhere near enough horses to run a decent race meet. Still an industry with major problems.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:25 AM
 
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Why did Otter wait over the weekend, then, before saying anything (even if he did allegedly take action before Monday)?

I don't necessarily have strong views with regard to this issue, but the way this whole thing went down just reeks of the type of government maneuvering we should all be VERY worried about, on behalf of the Senate AND the governor. In that sense, I do hope they get sued and put on notice that we don't tolerate this sort of manipulative governing.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boisefan88 View Post
Why did Otter wait over the weekend, then, before saying anything (even if he did allegedly take action before Monday)?

I don't necessarily have strong views with regard to this issue, but the way this whole thing went down just reeks of the type of government maneuvering we should all be VERY worried about, on behalf of the Senate AND the governor. In that sense, I do hope they get sued and put on notice that we don't tolerate this sort of manipulative governing.
Good question.
You may have answered it in your further thoughts. I'm pretty sure there was a lot of maneuvering going on by all sides, with Otter in the middle, doing some maneuvering of his own.

Butch got a lot of criticism during his second term, from within and without his party, for slacking off and being too much of an inside player. His closest friend and assistant, Mike Gwartny, and his mentoring Tom Luna to become Director of Education both came to disastrous ends with major scandals in our privatized prison system and our state education, and this term is his last.

I think a part of his decision may have come from thinking of the legacy he will leave; for such a long career in Idaho politics, Butch hasn't accomplished much of any value, but he's been involved in one financial disaster after another. This is all going down in the history books, and he is facing a very difficult last term if he can't get out in front as a strong leader. Governors do think of such things as their legacies and reputations.
He's a de facto leader of Idaho's old guard conservatives, and they are all facing strong leadership challenges from a younger new breed of conservatives, and that may have played a part, too.

I doubt he will explain his decision very much, if at all. That's never been his style.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:53 AM
 
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Yes, the wait is very confusing. Speculation would be someone with some power needed a couple of days to deliver the needed votes. The workings of government does not always have the most ethical appearance. I was told first hand by one of the Treasure Valley Racing owners that monies would be offered when they met with Butch last week, and I've no doubt that played a role in all of this. Still at a loss as to why Otter didn't insert himself in this a whole lot sooner. If this was always going to be the final outcome, all the legislative mumbo-jumbo was a total waste.

Follow up will be what happens to the lawsuit involving poker in the Indian casinos. Wouldn't be at all surprised to see them get their card games as a trade off. Fairly certain Idaho Falls will lose their racing machines, and wouldn't be a total surprise if Post Falls does, too. Perhaps if only Boise has them the proposed investigation into the machine's proper operation will turn a somewhat blind eye to the imitation/simulation and the racing industry will have their needed cash cow.

Do understand, I very much want horse racing to survive and thrive in Idaho, and I'm for the legalization of any and all forms of gambling, but this deal, from the very beginning, has been a black mark on our state. As has been so often said, "oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." There may still be a whole lot of untangling to come.
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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You learn something new every day. I didn't know there was a poker problem in the Indian casinos.

That's very odd to me; there has been a running poker game in an I.F. bar for 100 years, and another I know of in Boise that is even older, and I'm sure there is at least one bar in every larger city in this state that has a similar long-running game. The bar owners provide the cards and chips, holding the cash until the game ends, from the bar. A table fee from the players probably comes out of a game, but the owners don't directly run the game with a house dealer, and as far as I know, no poker games use shoes, like Nevada does with 2-deck blackjack.

Maybe the last two items are the ones under dispute?

I wonder just how much unofficially sanctioned gambling goes on in all the sports bars. Folks like to bet on games, so it seems natural a bar's owners could get involved in similar fashion to the ancient poker games.

Gambling is part of human nature. Since Idaho's lotteries and sanctioned gambling are cash cows for the state, it seems that our Legislators are attempting to walk a very faint and wobbly line with this racing issue.

Montana seems to have successfully found a middle ground; they allow casinos, but restrict some games. Maybe their system could be one Idahoans could live with.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:15 AM
 
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This gets more convoluted with each passing day. As Mt. States said, a work of fiction wouldn't be this strange. A bit of research reveals Otter returned other bills on Saturday as protocol dictates, but not this bill. Why? Seems anyone can now contest the validity of the veto and SB1011 repealing the machines becomes law. So why are the Indians not immediately jumping on this? Have they been offered something? Did Otter veto only to appease cronies then not return that veto in a timely manner so the repeal would eventually become law? This couldn't be any stranger.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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meh.
Strange goings-on is a way of life in the Capital building.
We once had a Senator who tabled bills he didn't like by packing them out to the parking lot and stashing them in the trunk of his car as soon as the paper was placed in the hopper. He did it for years. Out of sight, out of mind.

In house physical communication between our 3 branches has never been good in the Capital. Face to face communication is also very sketchy sometimes as well; there have been many grudges that rise up in all ways, and they tend to become factionalized once in a while.
The grudge between Mike Simpson and Bill Sali was probably the most famous grudge of recent times. Simpson got so mad at Sali one time that he threatened to throw him out a 3rd floor window.

I'm thinking Otter is hanging on to the paperwork until the session ends. Then, when everyone goes home, he'll do something with it afterwards. After decades in various offices, Otter knows all the ways to the back doors.
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