New York Papers Bear Good Tidings: Combine Said to Have Been Formed Insuring Defeat of Anti-Racing Bills, Daily Racing Form, 1908-03-20


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NEW YORK PAPERS BEAR GOOD TIDINGS. Combine Said to Have Been Formed Insuring Defeat of Anti-Racing Bills. New York, March 19. — Here is the latest from Albany to an anti-racing organ, the Post: "Albany, March 19. — It was announced on seemingly unquestioned authority today that, as a result of a midnight conference between prominent senators, an agreement had been reached to defeat the anti-race track gambling bills- favored by Governor Hughes. Seventeen Democrats and fifteen Republican votes are said to have been represented at the conference. The discussion at this session, it is asserted by a senator who claims to have bi-en present, revolved about two propositions, namely, to amend the hills to take effect September 1. or to kill them outright. The decision reached, it is said, was to kill them outright. "There is a suggestion that certain senators, who oppose the governors direct nominations bill, have formed a combine with those opposing the race track bills. By the terms, of the conference of last night iKitb bills are now placed on this preseril ed list. It is possible to exaggerate the inqiortance of all this — the desire to defeat the bill has always i»een present — but the courage has ebbed and flowed and public sentiment is recogni/.eil to be very strong in the matter. Yet. it must be frankly admitted, that there has b en another veering of the weathercocks here, and a strong cuiviction that a well-organized plan to defeat the bills is afoot exists in well-in formed quarters. ""When it is reported in the resorts here tlwit a bet of 6 to 1 against the bills passage has 1m en offered and refused in New York, it is at least a straw to show that the racing men have not lost all confidence they have their friends among the legislators in both houses and if it was not for the power f al sentiment created throughout the state for the bills, and the governor, not only the senate, but the assembly would shelve the bills in a hurry." The senate judiciary committee reported favorably the bill amending the Percy-tiray law this morning. A dispatch to the Evening Telegram says: "Despite the action of the senate committee, the racing bills will be beaten, according t,o information given to the Evening Telegram by a senator who says he took part in a conference held last night at which a . ombinat ion opposed to the direct nominations and the racing bills is said to have been effected. "It is asserted that this combination has positively agreed to stand firm and that nothing the governor may do will change their votes. The bills, according to this program, will not be amended, but killed outright. It also became known that the racing interests during the past few days have shifted their fight to the home districts of the senators, where every influence has been brought to bear on local business men and prominent politicians. These have written or in most cases telephoned to the senators from their districts, and there has been a considerable reaction in consequence. "The list of twenty-eight senators opposed to the bills, as published in the Evening Telegram, is said to be correct with one or two changes brought about by the combination with those opposed to direct nominations, which enables the racing interests to let out several senators whose home districts were overwhelmingly in favor of reform. While the friends of the bills have seemed to be carrying things with a high hand. Senator Agnew and others have been suspicious that all was not going on as smoothly as appeared, but it is said that final agreement did not actually take place until late last night. When it became known that the governor intended to insist on the direct nominations bill several men who were informed of the racing changes became alarmed and made overtures to those in charge of the opposition looking to a conference. While there is little doubt that the conference occurred, and that there are at present enough votes to kill the bills, there Is. of course, the possibility of a popular uprising that will force the senate to , give in. The Jockey Club, however, is said to have able representatives scattered throughout the state ready to counteract anv such sentiment by accelerating opposition to the bills."

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