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Texas Lt. Governor and Texas Legislative Leaders Taking in over $1.6 million in out-of-state money to destroy the Texas Racing Industry
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Texas Lt. Governor and Texas Congressional Leaders set to kill 3B$ / 100K jobs in Texas while taking in over $1.6 million in out-of-state money to destroy the industry.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and state legislatures including Senator Jane Nelson have received over $1.6 million dollars in "campaign donations" from neighboring state casinos and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas in the past year with the majority being in the past few months. No coincidence, Sen. Nelson and Lt. Governor Patrick recently voted to defund the Texas Racing Commission and ultimately only permitted a temporary funding of the Commission through November 30, 2015.
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The money these elected leaders are withholding is the racing commission's own funds. The Texas horse racing industry is 100% self-funded; not one tax dollar is used to sustain the sport. Texas racetracks actually gave the state of Texas over $3 million dollars last year.
The Texas horse racing industry has been in a long fight with these state legislators regarding their efforts to install historical racing terminals or "Instant Racing" machines. Instant racing is an expanded form of pari-mutual wagering which is already legal in Texas. These pari-mutual machines will allow the Texas racing industry to compete with the racing industries in our neighboring states by boosting the purse (prize) money for races through the monies bet on these machines. The neighboring casinos and race tracks scattered along the Texas border are pushing hard to keep these terminals out of our tracks and these legislators are helping them do it.
The Texas horseman and the Texas racing industry can no longer remain in business when they are fighting their own legislators and are forced to ship their horses and business to neighboring states where the purse money is much higher. Breeding farms in Texas have witnessed a 75% decline in mares bred and foals raised in Texas. The demise and destruction of our industry stands to have ripple effects on many sectors of the agriculture industry.
This November Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie will host the nationally recognized Bank of America Challenge Series of races. A series of races for which horse owners all over the United States, Canada and Mexico have competed all year long for a chance to run in the finals of these prestigious racing series. Horse owners from every corner of the country will travel to Texas in November for these races. How sad that our legislators would risk Texas missing out on the recognition, exposure and commerce of such an important event.
Legislative leaders being swayed by Lt. Governor Patrick and Sen. Jane Nelson, both of which have received huge donations from these out-of-state interests, have fought hard to defund the Texas Racing Commission with the intent of replacing the State Racing Commissioners and ultimately destroying the Texas racing Industry.
Timeline Surrounding Texas Racing Commission Passing Historical Gaming Terminals
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MONEY KEY Includes deciding members of Finance Committee, LBB, plaintiff to lawsuit and Senate members who spoke against TxRC: Lt Gov. Dan Patrick, Senator Jane Nelson, Senator Joan Huffman, Senator Paul Bettencourt, Senator Kelly Hancock, Senator Lois Kolkhorst, Senator Robert Nichols, Senator Charles Schwertner, Senator Kel Seliger, Senator John Whitmire, Rep. Matt Krause, Senator Craig Estes, Senator Donna Campbell
TOTAL EST. CONTRIBUTIONS: $387,074: EMPOWER TEXANS (Matt Krause plaintiff to lawsuit against TxRC, Amd #251 to abolish the TxRC.) $203,058: TILMAN FERTITTA & LOCKE LORD (700M Golden Nugget opened 12/8.) $175,000: KICKAPOO (Plaintiff to lawsuit against TxRC)
Mar 17 - Reports surface regarding passage of casino gambling in Texas and their positive effect on Texas horse racing.
Mar 26 - Dan Patrick: $10,000 Locke Lord
Apr 07 - Dan Patrick: $50,000 Tilman Fertitta
Apr 29 - Dan Patrick: $1,000 Locke Lord
May 01 - Joan Huffman: $1,000 Locke Lord
May 02 - Dan Patrick: $3,058 Tilman Fertitta
May 08 - Dan Patrick: $50,000 Tilman Fertitta
May 08 - Dan Patrick: $350,000 Empower Texans
Jun 08 - Reports surface the struggling Texas race tracks may amend the Texas Racing Act to include HRTs.
Jun 19 - John Whitmire: $25,000 Tilman Fertitta
Jun 17 - TxRC proposes to approve historical racing terminals at race tracks and requested a public opinion.
Jul 25 - Senate Republican Caucus voiced opposition to a proposal that would allow a controversial new form of betting on horse races in Texas: Brian Birdwell, John Carona, Kevin Eltife, Troy Fraser, Donna Campbell, Robert Deuell, Craig Estes, and Kelly Hancock.
Jul 27 - A total of nearly 13,000 comments were received during that period in the form of letters, emails, faxes and petition signatures. Approximately 9,900 comments (76 percent) were in favor of the proposed rules with around 3,100 (24 percent) opposed.
Jul 28 - Five Republican nominees for seats in the Texas Senate voiced opposition to TxRC: Paul Bettencourt of Houston, Konni Burton of Colleyville, Bob Hall of Edgewood, Don Huffines of Dallas and Van Taylor of Plano.
Jul 28 - State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa writes letter in support of the Texas Racing Commission.
Aug 06 - Dan Patrick: $10,000 Locke Lord
Aug 08 - Dan Patrick: $10,000 Kickapoo
Aug 28- Rep Matt Krause files suit against the racing commission.
Aug 28 - Joan Huffman: $25,000 Tilman Fertitta
Aug 29 - TRC votes to amend the Texas Racing Act to allow HRTs.
Sep 04 - Joan Huffman: $275 Locke Lord for "blast email service"
Sep 10 - Paul Bettencourt: $5,000 Tilman Fertitta
Sep 10 - Kelly Hancock: $10,000 Tilman Fertitta
Sep 15 - Jane Nelson: $1,000 Locke Lord
Sep 15 - Charles Schwertner: $2,500 Tilman Fertitta
Sep 16 - The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, Thompson Allstate Bingo Supplies, Inc., Moore Supplies, Inc. and a coalition of bingo groups sued the racing commission in Austin, Texas.
Sep 18 - Judge David Evans of Tarrant County dismisses Rep. Matt Krause's lawsuit against the TxRC.
Sep 24 - Dan Patrick: $25,000 Tilman Fertitta
Sep 25 - Dan Patrick: $50,000 Kickapoo
Sep 25 - Joan Huffman: $1,000 Locke Lord
Sep 25 - Craig Estes: $10,000 Kickapoo
Sep 26 - Matt Krause: $5,000 Kickapoo
Oct 04 - Judge Livingston declined to issue a verdict against the racing commission, court date reset for Nov 10th.
Oct 04 - Dan Patrick: $1,000 Locke Lord
Oct 06 - Charles Schwertner: $5,000 Kickapoo
Oct 13 - Kel Seliger: $5,000 Kickapoo
Oct 30 - Robert Nichols: $5,000 Kickapoo
Nov 01 - Jane Nelson: $10,000 Kickapoo
Nov 02 - Joan Huffman: $10,000 Kickapoo
Nov 04 - Texas primary election results show a significant shift in Republicans winning their campaigns.
Nov 07 - Jane Nelson: $2,500 Tilman Fertitta
Nov 10 - Judge Lora Livingston ruled the racing commission exceeded their authority and ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.
Nov 14 - Donna Campbell: $5,000 Kickapoo
Nov 19 - Matt Krause: $37,074 Tim Dunn - Empower Texans
Dec 08 - Tilman Fertitta opens $700M Golden Nugget casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Texans hold 50,000 to 60,000 player cards.
Dec 12 - Senator Craig Estes files Bill #364 to abolish the Texas Racing Commission.
Dec 12 - Lois Kolkhorst: $5,000 Kickapoo
Dec 13 - Dan Patrick: $50,000 Kickapoo
Dec 13 - Paul Bettencourt: $5,000 Kickapoo
Jan 29 - TxRC Chairman, Robert Schmidt submits the commission's 2014 Annual Report to Governor Abbot which outlines the 50% decline in total dollars wagered from the year 2000 to current date.
Feb 25 - Senate Finance Committee meeting with the Texas Racing Commission's President Robert Schmidt questioned for 40 minutes by Senate. Senator Nelson states you get "zero" funding = Rider 7.
Mar 28 - Rep Matt Krause introduces Amendment 251 to defund the Texas Racing Commission.
Apr 01 - Texas Legislatures pass the HB1 $220.9 billion budget. Rep. Krause was met with strong opposition from House members. His Amendment 251 to the TXRC budget was not successful. However, Senator Nelson's Rider 7 was passed but it was never voted on by all of the House members as a line item.
April 01 - Dan Patrick, with the help of Joan Huffman's bill is successful in defunding the Political Corruption Unit.
June 05 - Joan Huffman has ethics violation filed against her for not disclosing all of her and her husband's income.
Aug 13 - Sen. Jane Nelson issues statement against the TxRC stating members are rogue: "the Legislature can decide whether an agency should continue to exist at all".
Aug 25 - Texas Racing Commission has an open meeting to discuss the HRTs. The vote is 4 to 3 in favor of not repealing the amended rules passed on Aug 29th, 2014.
Aug 31 - Members of the Legislative Budget Board could not reach a decision. All race tracks in Texas close their doors. No formal vote was ever taken. Deciding members: Dan Patrick, Jane Nelson, John Otto, Joe Straus recused himself.
Sep 02 - The LBB has informed Texas Racing Commission Executive Director Chuck Trout that the agency has been approved to immediately resume operations for the next 90 days, or until November 30, 2015. This action by the LBB was subsequently approved by the Governor. All TxRC offices are now open for regular business hours.
Current Date - TxRC has not received 100% funding approval. The future of Texas racing is uncertain.