Candidate J.B. Powell calls for legalized horse-race betting

Former Augusta official J.B. Powell touts its benefits

Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010 11:19 AM
Last updated 5:26 PM
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ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Georgia could add as many as 20,000 jobs and an economic impact of $1 billion by legalizing betting on horse racing, according to one major-party statewide candidate who threw his support for it today.
J.B. Powell, the Democratic nominee for agriculture commissioner, brought reporters to an Atlanta-area horse farm to make his announcement. He said it is the first of five proposals he will unveil to boost the state's economy through agriculture.
Not only do the funds for building the $200-million tracks, the farms and training facilities come from private capital rather than taxpayers, the state's HOPE Scholarship program would also take in a share of the betting proceeds as a new source of revenue, Powell said.
"They'll see that it doesn't cost the state anything," he said of hesitant legislators. "It's time that we find a new revenue source."
Powell, who faces Republican Gary Black and Libertarian Kevin Cherry on the November ballot, said his support of giving voters a say on legalized betting will be a central feature in his campaign advertising.
However, he said he has received no campaign donations from anyone in the racing industry, and he doesn't raise horses on his cattle farm in Blythe, near Augusta.
In fact, Powell is personally not overly fond of horses since clashing with one his sister owned when they were kids.
Asked about moral objections, he said it would not be a change.
"We're not advocating gambling. We're giving people the choice. The people have already had their say on gambling when we passed the lottery," he said.

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Ben There
56
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Ben There 09/09/10 - 11:57 am
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A local politician that

A local politician that actually thinks outside the box. How rare!

ruudvonbaron
0
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ruudvonbaron 09/09/10 - 12:20 pm
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Legalize all gambling. The

Legalize all gambling. The government has no business outlawing any industry.

Batman
18
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Batman 09/09/10 - 12:24 pm
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"We're not advocating

"We're not advocating gambling..." Really?

dashiel
176
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dashiel 09/09/10 - 12:37 pm
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This would be a trifecta for

This would be a trifecta for Georgia. I nominate Tommy Irvin to head it up. That man has done more for horses than anybody in the state and he would be a great asset to the commissioner who succeeds him. McDuffie County might be a great place to start. Saddle up! The mafia already has enough casinos.

Knightryder
0
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Knightryder 09/09/10 - 12:52 pm
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WOOHOO Let's play the ponies.

WOOHOO Let's play the ponies.

Little Lamb
43596
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Little Lamb 09/09/10 - 01:29 pm
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The south Georgia Baptists

The south Georgia Baptists gave Nathan Deal the margin for his razor-thin victory over Karen Handel because Deal implied she was backing the homosexual agenda. I'm guessing those same voters will not like this gambling idea.

joebowles
104
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joebowles 09/09/10 - 01:41 pm
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Glad to see JB will discuss

Glad to see JB will discuss this now and not when he was a Senator.....Please visit
http://www.gaschrc.org/history.html
We have been pushing for this for over 6 years to no avail, and now JB want to help??????????
I AM VOTING FOR GARY BLACK.

Citizen of Hephzibah
0
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Citizen of Hephzibah 09/09/10 - 01:46 pm
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Lets build the first track in

Lets build the first track in Hephzibah.

seabeau
33
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seabeau 09/09/10 - 02:05 pm
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That's all we need ,another

That's all we need ,another New Jersey.

seenitB4
79688
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seenitB4 09/09/10 - 02:37 pm
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Many horse farms in

Many horse farms in Alpharetta ,....only 14 miles from my house..
BRING IT ON!!!

Dawg Fan
0
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Dawg Fan 09/09/10 - 03:55 pm
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This is the first time I have

This is the first time I have heard any candidate running in Georgia propose something that actually makes a difference. Go Powell! I am an independent voter and he has my vote.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 09/09/10 - 04:12 pm
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This department has nothing

This department has nothing to do with the legalization of gambling, first of all. As for out of the box thinking, the legalization of gambling has been part of the State Platform of the Libertarian Party since 1975. I'm voting for Kevin Cherry.

HuckFinn
0
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HuckFinn 09/09/10 - 04:20 pm
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This should be an interesting

This should be an interesting race with JB advocating legal horse racing and Gary Black against.

joebowles aren't you a member of some horsified racing support club? and you're gonna vote for Black?!

joebowles
104
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joebowles 09/09/10 - 04:22 pm
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Dawg Fan, I am glad he's

Dawg Fan, I am glad he's embracing this now (if you believe that), but why did he not when he could have voted on the issue as Senator?

joebowles
104
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joebowles 09/09/10 - 04:23 pm
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Huck, The AG Commissioner has

Huck, The AG Commissioner has nothing to do with the legalization of Horse racing.

HuckFinn
0
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HuckFinn 09/09/10 - 04:43 pm
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Not sure what the article is

Not sure what the article is about then - did I miss something?

If AG Commissioner has nothing to do with it, JB sure does seem to have turned the media on its ear today, and raised the awareness to be one of the top statewide stories today - I see it's on ajc.com and WGAC with AR about to cut loose on the story also.

Huck ;-)

Little Lamb
43596
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Little Lamb 09/09/10 - 05:04 pm
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Taylor and Joe have hit the

Taylor and Joe have hit the nail on the head. Powell is making hay over something that will cost him nothing even if he does win. To legalize horse racing will take the general assembly and a public referendum plus constitutional amendment. The Agriculture Commissioner will just sit in his office with his finger in his nose while all that's going on. They won't need the agriculture commissioner in on any of the machinations.

Still, horse raising is agriculture. But it's a tiny part of Georgia's agriculture.

lsmith
105
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lsmith 09/09/10 - 08:11 pm
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I'm hoping this proposal will
Unpublished

I'm hoping this proposal will deep-six the round man's candidacy. I wouldn't vote for Powell either.

soldout
1280
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soldout 09/09/10 - 10:58 pm
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Promoting sin will never work

Promoting sin will never work out for the good of people long-term. It will seem okay for a while and then you will be back in financial trouble. Whether it is alcohol, lottery or horses the state will never get ahead financially because of doing these things. When your promote poor morals you end up spending more than you receive in taxes. Alcohol costs are 8 dollars for every one that comes in. Promote good morals and you end up with a society that is cheap to maintain. Fewer jails, less poverty, less law enforcement and less crime. The devil will never give you more money than he will steal. Sin is always expensive and destructive.

fdn315
2
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fdn315 09/09/10 - 11:14 pm
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Government does not and

Government does not and should not control our moral compass... If you're against gambling don't gamble... If you're against homosexuality don't be a homosexuals...

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 09/10/10 - 07:43 am
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This isn't a revenue issue,

This isn't a revenue issue, this is a freedom issue. The statists in charge feel that they know better than you do, so they make the choice for you. Its really that simple.

Little Lamb
43596
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Little Lamb 09/10/10 - 08:15 am
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I would like to believe you,

I would like to believe you, Taylor, but how is state-owned, state-regulated gambling non-statist?

The state will be setting the odds, there will be a new state bureaucracy with a new pari-mutuel czar, the state will be collecting the money and making the payouts.

Pure statism from start to finish.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 09/10/10 - 08:38 am
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LL, in this case, you are

LL, in this case, you are right. I was using general terms to describe the decision to let that happen. In every state gambling is legal, there is a regulatory board.

Little Lamb
43596
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Little Lamb 09/10/10 - 08:55 am
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Thanks, Taylor. I would not

Thanks, Taylor. I would not object to a racetrack that is financed and operated by private interests, with the only state interest being in collecting property taxes on the property and sales taxes on the betting and concessions. Let the owners determine how the rest of the enterprise works.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 09/10/10 - 09:10 am
0
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A market that free in GA? Its

A market that free in GA? Its something to shoot for...

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