Louisiana Politics and Pacing: All the Candidates Against the Small and Continuous Tracks, Daily Racing Form, 1907-12-18


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LOUISIANA POLITICS AND RACING. All the Candidates Against the Small and Continuous Tracks. New Orleans, La., December 17. Just now the eyes of both horsemen and public In Louisiana are foenssed on actual and possible developments of the anti-racing crusade that is being waged by some of the clergymen and by a few politicians seeking to ride Into office on the crest of a reform wave. The rival Democratic candidates for the governorship, Messrs. Sanders and Wilkinson, have expressed themselves on the question. Mr. Sanders does hot want to wipe out racing entirely, but advocates a law that will abolish the half-mile merry-go-rounds altogether and restrict and limit racing on the mile tracks with a state racing commission attachment. Mr. Wilkinson goes the whole hog. He wants racing abolished altogether, so his friends say, but in his recent speeches he impressed racing men like due hedging round the bush. He was not opposed, he said, to racing as it was carried on at the parish fairs, nearly all half-mile tracks, but he could not countenance the sport as conducted in New Orleans. He would not stand for the gambling end of it nor for a class of people which the races brought to the city. Wliile many economic and political Issues of importance will be before the people of the state at the election in April, Mr. Wilkinson is apparently side-tracking all these, and, as he stated, has "drawn his sword and thrown the scabbard away" in his fight against the race tracks. Of course Mr. Wilkinsons utterances are disquieting in some measure, 1iut as between him and-Mr. Sanders the latter has the Democratic machinery at his back, and this is a dyed-in-the-wool Democratic state. Mr. Phar, who will be the Republican nominee for governor, is also riding an anti-racing hobbyhorse, but his candidacy is not taken seriously. Mr. Wilkinson, in his recent speech here, quoted sections from the state charter, under which he claimed Mayor Behrman and Chief of Poiice Whit-taker could close the race tracks on the ground that they were common nuisances. Interviewed in this matter, Mayor Behrman wanted to know since when Mr. Wilkinson had qualified to run affairs in New Orleans or to give the mayor legal advice. His honor remarked that when he needed legal advice be would go to the city attorney for it. He announced himself as in favor of clean racing, and said that ho believed the sport as conducted at the Fair Grounds and City Park was clean and above reproach.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1900s/drf1907121801/drf1907121801_2_2
Local Identifier: drf1907121801_2_2
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800