Friday, February 08, 2013

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent readers of this blog know the true path to happiness leads through the forest of rationalization...erm...we mean know that we here in the marbled halls of IM Central often like to delve into the deep questions of life. Can something come from nothing? Is there a purpose to existence, or is it an end in itself? Have we lost Twinkies to the ages? Why is it that no matter what we search for, one of the hits always goes to a Kardashian? Heavy stuff.

Well, we tell you this by way of introducing a question that occurred to us as we perused this article and that question is: who watches the watchers?
On rare occasions, mere citizens gain a glimpse behind the curtain, allowing us to see how government really works. Just such a peek occurred recently, when the Weekly obtained cozy email correspondence between members of the Arizona Racing Commission and Tucson Greyhound Park.
OK, we have to pause here, because situations like this require an obligatory joke referencing Casa Blanca. What? You mean there are aspects of the racing industry that aren't completely on the up and up? We are shocked we tell you SHOCKED!!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

There have long been accusations that the Racing Commission—and the Arizona Department of Racing, for which it sets policy—are more like drinking buddies than stern taskmasters when it comes to monitoring South Tucson's greyhound track. "Hey, when your job is to monitor a 'sport' that's as depressing, inherently cruel and soul killing as greyhound racing, you're going to tip up a few from time to time," said ADOR Director Bill Walsh. "And since I'm involved in greyhound racing, normal people won't associate with me, so who else am I gonna drink with?"

Now, that is a point Mr. Walsh. Still rules are rules and you're a state employee working for a state agency funded by taxpaying citizens of the great state of Arizona, so you can see how hanging out with the people you're supposed to be regulating could send the wrong message to your bosses, right?
State lawmakers recently yanked department funding, forcing the ADOR to rely solely on revenues from the very racing industry it's charged with overseeing.
Oops. Too late. OK, who's buying the first round?
The roots of this unseemly symbiosis date from November 2008, when the citizens of South Tucson voted to outlaw the track's practice of feeding greyhounds with raw meat from diseased animals. Their ballot initiative also forbade the dosing of female greyhounds with anabolic steroids. The steroids keep females from going into heat, but are also believed to cause severe health problems.Ever since, track officials have done their best to weasel out of those restrictions.
Overlords not obeying local rules? Not putting the welfare of the dogs first? See earlier reference to Casa Blanca.

It appears that Greyhound Park manager Tom Taylor knew last spring where things were headed. "Do you have any suggestions as to how we can beat this?" he wrote in a May 7 email to ADOR Director Bill Walsh and Racing Commissioner Rory Goreé. "My plan is to approach South Tucson City Council for an exemption or a grandfather clause because somebody is bound to have a grandfather senile enough to come out to the track and shoot up the dogs."

In a follow-up email to Walsh, Commissioner Goreé waxed indignant. "First they went after birth control hormones, the food the greyhounds are fed and now this," the commissioner wrote. "What's next, treating them like dogs?" Goreé then urged Walsh to check with the Arizona Attorney General's Office. "I would like to see this resolved as expediently as possible," he wrote, "Because I'm all about doing the expedient thing, especially when it involves the units."

While Goreé did not return numerous emails and phone calls from the Weekly, his penchant for online verbosity is impressive even if his command of the language isn't. His blog regularly savages groups opposed to greyhound racing, occasionally in complete sentences. And in March, he sent a lengthy article to Walsh describing how groups like Grey2K will leverage dog-track injuries to end the sport. This recalls a similar dust-up last year when, as a newly appointed commissioner, Goreé publicly apologized after making vulgar sexual references to Grey2K president Christine Dorchak on his Facebook page.

OK, now while we fully understand the reason this reporter gives us an extended description of Mr. Goreé in an article about the Racing Commission is to draw out the connection between an agency that's broken and probably operating illegally having a staff of Neanderthal misogynists, but we feel obligated to point out, as we did last week, according to overlord RosieO, Mr. Goreé did not write the aforementioned essay, a conclusion we can support as we have read the piece and didn't find near the amount of misspellings in it we would have expected were Mr. Goreé indeed the author.
Carey Theil is Grey2K's executive director. To him, the emails signal an agency that has lost its way. "When you have a racing commissioner openly strategizing with track executive Tom Taylor about how to defeat a local ordinance," Theil says, "I think it's very clear that the commission is effectively protecting Tucson Greyhound Park instead of regulating the track."
Ha! That Carey Theil. He's a pretty polite guy, huh Venus? How would you describe the situation?  Whoa! Hey! Calm down there girl. We can't write that! This is a family blog.

Venus Von Bones is a sweet, affectionate girl that craves attention. She loves to go for walks, but pulls a little bit on the leash although she is getting better. Venus can’t live with kitty cats. She doesn't mind going in her crate. She loves everyone she meets. Venus would do well in a home with a working family or if someone is home all day. She would do well with older, well-behaved children. She would do best as an only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

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