State Sen. Day resigns legislative seat to lobby for racino

State Sen. Dick Day, a sixth-term Republican from Owatonna, will resign his seat next month and work as a full-time lobbyist in the push to allow slot machines and video games at the Canterbury Park and Running Aces horse racing tracks, says MPR’s Polinaut blog.

He’ll lead a grass-roots group called Racino Now.

Day has worked to get a “racino” law passed before, but now wants to devote full time to the effort, telling MPR:

“I don’t have enough time to go legislate 201 legislators, because I have my own senate district, and we’re trying to get roads and schools and a whole host of things done. So what happens is nobody is actually stayed on it and talked to legislators every single day about this.”

If passed, he thinks it would raise $125 million a year for the state, which could go towards a Vikings stadium or other projects, he said.

MPR said the decision will require a special election in District 26.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Stephan Flister on 12/08/2009 - 03:45 pm.

    Must be putting his new career as a highway engineer on hold.

  2. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 12/08/2009 - 05:40 pm.

    You know the Senate Republicans are in trouble when the Senate Republican leader is leaving so he can get something done.

  3. Submitted by Howard Miller on 12/08/2009 - 06:21 pm.

    I’ll miss Senator Day, who seemed ever in favor of turning Hwy 52 into a German-style autobahn. He is almost always interesting, lively in interviews i’ve heard.

  4. Submitted by Richard Heil on 12/09/2009 - 10:49 pm.

    I am not a lobbyist. I have however put together a report that was submitted to various legislators as long as 2 legislative sessions ago and a few last year and Gov. Pawlenty. This report was about bringing some sense to gambling. Senator Day was one legislator that did get a copy 2 sessions ago.
    Unfortunately Sen. Day most likely did not read that report. That report strongly urged that a racino be not adopted and not supported by the Minnesota legislators. I did however advocate that OTB ( off track betting ) be placed again on the ballot. It was tried in 1998 but just narrowly lost. NOTE: a non-vote was considered a no vote. I did advocate that this was necessary in order to get the Native Americans with their casinos to invest in the economic development for other Native Americans that do not operate casinos in our state. This could/would alleviate much of the economic dependency that many Native Americans have on our state.
    Gov. Tim Pawlenty attempted to get a one time payment of 350 million to insure the Native Americans their casino gambling/gaming
    monopoly. There was a major problem and that was this state has no leverage in our dealings with the Native Americans so as a result there was no payment and still there is no agreement between our state and the Native Americans.
    By placing OTB back on the ballot and having that passed by the voters it would make it possible to negotiate with the tribes from a much stronger position. OTB would also provide the horse racing industry a chance to promote this sport in Minnesota and that would assist the agribusiness of horse racing in our state. Getting the Native Americans to cooperate with our state and building the horse racing agribusiness would be a win-win for this state. This win-win is not at all possible if we just give slot/casino gaming to any party prior to negotiations with the tribes. The revenue from OTB/poker card clubs can be used for bonding for a Vikings stadium. I also do not believe that the racinos would provide the state with 125 million in pure revenue. The figures most likely came from info from Prairie Meadows in Des Moines, Iowa. They do have racing and slots there but they do not have full casinos nearby like they do here in Minnesota with Mystic Lake in Shakopee and Grand Casinos in both Mille Lacs and Hinckley.
    I have posted a considerable amount of material on the matter of a Vikings stadium and OTB/pokers card clubs, etc.. This can be found on then go to rube chat then go to politics and government and then go to OTB/Vikings stadium funding parts 1,2,3 and also OTB/Vikings stadium funding info & data.

  5. Submitted by Richard Heil on 12/23/2009 - 09:59 am.

    I was the author of a report concerning bringing some sense to gambling. I submitted that report the last two legislative sessions to select members of the legislature and Governor Tim Pawlenty. Senator Day was one legislator that did get a copy of that report. I guess that he didn’t take the time to read that report. In that report I clearly stated that the “ racino “ is a very bad idea. Some of the points made was about the effects that this would have on dealing with the Native Americans. I felt that enacting a racino would maroon any opportunity to negotiate with the Native Americans in the use of casino/gambling profits. I do not think that it is feasible to ask the Native Americans for money but I think that it is for encouraging the Native Americans to invest in themselves in a way that alleviates some of the dependency that so many Native Americans have on the state/federal government. We should deter random contributions to such things as giving for a TCF stadium and toys for tots and other unrelated giving in favor of working to developing a sub-economy that can employ and build lives and reduce dependency. I think it makes more sense to get the Native Americans to use some of the profits from 18 casinos to save revenue in conjunction with the state than it would to make money from 2 racinos that are surrounded by Native American casinos.
    I do feel that putting OTB ( off track betting ) is necessary in order to obtain leverage in our dealings with the Native Americans. It would also promote and enhance the agribusiness of horse racing in this state.
    I posted a considerable amount of information regarding this topic of obtaining funding for a Vikings stadium. This can be found at KFAN.COM rube chat politics & government

    racinos/OTB’s Which one is best?
    OTB/Vikings stadium funding parts 1,2,3
    OTB/Vikings stadium funding info & data

    Please check out this material and see some of the pros and cons of the various funding options.

    Thanks again

    Richard Heil
    sometimes called cabbie

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