STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, SEPT. 10, 2009……Less than four months before a voter-approved ban on dog racing is scheduled to wipe out 1,300 jobs at racetracks and affiliated businesses, lawmakers on Thursday pleaded with their colleagues to permit dog racing for two more years or allow tracks to continue wagering without a live product.According to whom? There aren't anywhere near 1,300 jobs in the racetrack industry in Massachusetts. Not even close. I'd be shocked if there were 300 jobs in the industry at this point.
So who's propagating these lies and distortions?
Reps. David Flynn and James Fagan and Sens. Joan Menard, Thomas Kennedy and Marc Pacheco, all of whom represent the area around Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park, said that 1,300 workers face unemployment come January, when the dog racing ban takes effect.My question for the Reps and Senators, where the heck have you been while the dog track industry has been telling its workers not to accept state help and training to get new jobs? It would be awfully hard for the industry and its political supporters to be crying foul if sad stories of workers weren't at stake, right?
Bottom line: the people of this state voted, by a sizable margin, to get rid of the dog track industry. The people who supported that ballot initiative were beyond reasonable for the workers in the industry, by creating a 14 month gap before the bill would take effect, leaving plenty of time for people to find new work. Funding was also put aside for retraining, but that retraining was largely refused, because the industry thought it would hurt their efforts in thwarting the will of the voters. Maybe if Pacheco, Flynn and Friends were a little more worried about the workers and less about the industry's stakeholders, there would be no worries about the jobs anymore.