Gov. Hughes is Hostile to Racing: Recommends Repeal of Percy-Gray Law to New York Legislature, Daily Racing Form, 1908-01-02


view raw text

GOV. HUGHES IS HOSTILE TO RACING. Recommends Repeal of Percy-Gray Law to New York Legislature. New York, January 1. — Governor Hughes message to the legislature today altacks racing and asks the legislature lo take action for the repeal of the Percy -Gray law. He quotes Article 1. Section 9 of the constitution as amended in 1MI5, j roviding against bookmaklng, seals and lotteries and says that the legislature passed a law the same year permitting liookniaking it authorized tracks where no record of bets was kept. He also quotes a decision of Judge Cullen, technically upholding the law ami then goes on as follows: "A different question, however, is presented to the legislature in the exercise of its discretion ami that is the question of legislative policy and of a substantial, ami not a mere technical compliance with the explicit constitutional provision. The constitution makes it the duty of the legislature to enaet appropriate laws to prevent |mmi1 selling. Iiookiiir.kiiig and other kinds of gambling. Ex-lerieinc lias shown that the laws enacted have not iccomplislied the purpose which the constitution defines. The evils and demoralizing influences, and. It may be added, the economic waste at which the coiistiintiou aimed, exists under the law and. iu fact, are stimulated and increased through its provisions. The discrimination in penalties now existing rests on no distinction that is justified to the popular mind. Public sentiment is against such arbitrary distinctions, with the result that the laws against gambling outside of raee tracks have been «i"ti. il .• .,d thy administration of the law has he« n brought into contempt. "The constitution makes no exception of race tracks. I recommend that the legislature carry out the clear direction of the people without discrimination. In connection with the repeal of the existing exception, I recommend that the offences described in section 351 of the penal code should be punished by imprisonment, and that the alternative of fines should be abolished. "The racing law provides for a tax of five per cent upon the gross receipts at trotting and running race meetings, which, under the agricultural law. becomes part of a fund for distribution each year among various agricultural societies in pre-seribed proportions. In order that there may be no diminution of the support upon which these societies largely rely, appropriations may be made for their benefit to the extent necessary to secure to them amounts sul stantially equivalent to the sums they heretofore have received. It is better that they should be supported dicectly than that the state should derive a revenue for this purpose through an indefensible partiality in the enforcement of the fundamental law." This probably will bring np again the bill that was in the house last season, but did not get out. Some turfmen of influence regard this action of the governor as a serious matter and well calculated to break up the sport. Thoy regret that the governor has placed himself on the side of the "Aliens." the "Nigger Mikes" arid riffraff poolroom people, who are jubilant over his message, and with li4s en I ire disregard of the breeding interests and property values represented by the thoroughbred horse throughout the entire country. Other horsemen pooh-pooh the proposition and refuse to consider it as at all dangerous to the sport. One said: "It is not likely that W. K. Vanderbilt would be spending 30,000 this winter improving and beautifying Sheepshead Bay unless he felt pretty sure of where he stood." and there you are.

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1908010201_1_7
Library of Congress Record: