Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The push for pull-tabs gains a little momentum | IndyStar.com

The push for pull-tabs gains a little momentum IndyStar.com: "By Michael Pointer
michael.pointer@indystar.com

Developments at the ballot box during the past two years have pull-tab machine proponents feeling a bit more optimistic than usual.

In 2004, state Sen. Lawrence M. Borst, R-Greenwood, was defeated in the primary. This year, Sen. Robert Garton, R-Columbus, was handed a primary loss.
Both men opposed the racing industry's attempts to add pull-tab machines to the state's tracks -- and could do something about it.
Borst was the powerful head of the Senate Finance Committee. Garton is winding down a 26-year tenure as Senate President Pro Tempore and will leave the legislature in January.
'I think it definitely changes the dynamics,'' said Dwayne Ruhle, a horse owner and trainer from Pendleton and vice president of the Indiana Standardbred Association.
Ruhle is hopeful the Republican-controlled Senate now will at least be given a chance to vote on pull-tab legislation.
But Jerry Walker, a horseman who has lobbied state officials, said another change probably needs to take place during the November elections.
'I think we have a whole lot better chance if we get a Democratic-controlled (House),'' said Walker, a longtime thoroughbred owner and former head of the Indiana Horse Racing and Breeding Coalition.
A Democratic-controlled house passed pull-tab legislation in 2004. But Garton assigned it to a rules committee in the Senate, guaranteeing it wouldn't get a full hearing. Republicans regained control of the House in November's election that year, and pull-tab legislation hasn't come close to passing since.
Even if it were to, there is no guarantee it would become law. Gov. Mitch Daniels has been non-committal on the subject.
'He's general"
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