His mom just happened to own a kennel. In the 82 years that Democrats controlled the Legislature, coincidence was a daily occurrence.
Now as governor, Tomblin may oversee the demise of these subsidies -- which gave his family more than $2 million over the years. Having finally put Republicans in charge of the Legislature, voters are getting more change than a piggy bank holds.
Hoppy Kercheval reported last month: "A WVU study found the greyhound industry had a $31 million economic impact on the state in 2012, but state subsidies that year totaled $29 million."
The Wheeling Intelligencer editorialized last fall to rid the state of these subsidies:
At one point, nearly $90 million a year in gambling proceeds was going to the dogs (and horses) in the Mountain State. As legislators scrambled during recent years to balance budgets, the subsidies have been reduced.
And West Virginia has not been alone in doing that. According to an Associated Press report, officials in other states have cut or plan to reduce subsidies. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in 2011 eliminated $30 million in subsidies poured into racing from casinos in Atlantic City.
Much of the sales pitch dog- and horse-racing interests used to gain their subsidies in the first place was a plea to prop up declining businesses and thus preserve jobs.
But here in West Virginia and in other states, many types of businesses have suffered during recent years. No one offers a cut of the casino take to the coal industry. No one suggested preserving Ohio Valley steel mills might be worth diverting a few million dollars from gambling machines instead of letting it flow where it belongs – to the state treasury.I love that last paragraph.
The state has an $847 million hole in its budget. Subsidizing an industry that is cruel to animals should be automatic.
Especially now that grown-ups are in charge of the Legislature.