Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Don't Let Dog Race Promoters Get Away With This

Rescued Greyhound Maggie May
Over the last few years, GREY2K USA has made tremendous progress toward ending greyhound racing. Since our formation, the number of active dog tracks in the United States has been cut in half. Some of these closures are a direct result of our work, while others were the result of many factors. What is clear, however, is that greyhound racing is slowly dying all over the country.

In the midst of this decline, a small group of dog race supporters have begun lashing out at anyone who speaks up for the greyhounds. They have created internet sites where they vent their frustrations and circulate all sorts of myths about GREY2K USA and other animal protection groups. Most of these myths are simply crazy, like the false claim that I drive an "expensive company car."  This one is sort of amusing, because I don't even own a car and primarily use public transportation to get around.

One particular myth being circulated by greyhound breeders, however, is dangerous.  Rather than hide from this ugly lie, I want to confront it while also asking for your help. I'm hoping you won't let these dog racing supporters get away with it.


Rory Goree, photo from Greyhounds Make Great Pets
But before I dispel this dangerous myth, let me introduce you to Rory Goree. Rory is a dog race supporter who was recently appointed to the Arizona Racing Commission. He seems to have an obsession with GREY2K USA President Christine Dorchak, and has repeatedly mocked her over a near-fatal accident two decades ago in which she was struck by a train while walking her dog. Rory has called Christine a "train wreck" and asked whether Christine would be provided with "trolley safety tips" when she traveled to Florida last month to promote greyhound adoption.

He also made a deeply offensive sexist remark three weeks ago after Christine visited the now-closed Raynham dog track:
"Anyone else notice something about the picture of Christine at Raynham - first she gave us some toe in she now showing something else at Raynham.........New fundraising tactic for old desperate men?"
In addition to these callous statements, he has taken positions that call into question his qualifications as a member of the Arizona Racing Commission. After we released our database of state regulatory rulings last week, he said that any member of the public who submits public information requests should "become subject to Freedom of Information requests" themselves. He also said that members of the public who submit requests should be forced to "disclose how much it costs the various public agencies to comply."

This position Rory has taken on government transparency is at odds with virtually all elected officials, including Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Earlier this year, Governor Brewer addressed this issue after a report was released on transparency in government spending, saying that "transparency and accountability go hand-in-hand." Rory was appointed by Brewer, and it's not clear whether she is aware of his desire to make it nearly impossible for citizens to submit public information requests.

Perhaps most important, however, is the bizarre position Rory has taken on the issue of reporting confidential tips of greyhound cruelty.  In October of last year, Rory said that "most law abiding citizens would report possible wrongdoing" and that "I doubt Carey or Christine would ever properly report any information they may have that might help a greyhound." He made this claim without any evidence whatsoever. Like a good part of what Rory says about GREY2K USA, it was apparently made up out of thin air.

Then last week, when we released our database of state greyhound rulings dog race supporters found several cases in which GREY2K USA did report confidential tips regarding allegations of greyhound cruelty to the authorities. Since Rory supposedly supports reporting this type of information, you would think that he would have applauded these cases. He didn't. Instead, he doubled down and -- bizarrely enough -- took the opposite position that confidential tips of greyhound cruelty should not be reported. Specifically he said:
"I know one commissioner in AZ that would be demanding an investigation into GREY2K is they pulled this crap in his state."

This might seem nonsensical or even borderline schizophrenic, until you understand where Rory is coming from. We know, because he told us on October 2, 2011:
"Keep pressing grey2k - force them into defense mode - do not allow them to play offense. Make them spend time and resources defending themselves instead of attacking the industry."
Rory doesn't care if the things he says are true or not. He says them because it is part of a cynical strategy to make greyhound advocates "spend time and resources defending themselves instead of attacking the industry." Those are his words.


In 2007, the New Hampshire State Legislature considered a bill to end greyhound racing. Rory Goree flew across the country to testify against this humane measure. After the hearing we overheard him telling lawmakers that GREY2K USA President Christine Dorchak, who was in law school at the time, was somehow affiliated with the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The ALF is a known domestic terrorist organization that seeks the end of animal exploitation through illegal means.

As you can imagine, we were shocked by this outrageous allegation. GREY2K USA has absolutely no relationship whatsoever with this organization. We are not in contact with this organization and do not engage with it in any way.

We obtained a handout that had been given to lawmakers, and it appeared to depict a photograph of Christine on the ALF website. We later discovered that the photograph had been put on this website without our knowledge. We immediately e-mailed the general e-mail address on the site and within hours the photograph was removed. Apparently, the group had cut and paste photographs and short biographies from the website of an animal protection conference where Christine had made a presentation. The ALF had no role in this conference.

This is all very easy to prove. All one has to do is conduct web archive searches for the AR2006 conference, and you will see that the participants match the featured bios that appear on the ALF website. Although the bio page for the 2006 conference is no longer available, this page for the following year's AR2007 conference is still online. The bios on the 2007 conference website are virtually identical, word for word, to the bios on the ALF website because the ALF took these bios from the conference website in 2006. Rory has also falsely claimed that the ALF was somehow mentioned on our website, a complete fabrication that is refuted by a web archive search of the GREY2K USA website from the period in question.

Rory doesn't care about any of this. He has circulated this lie at least eleven times since 2007, and continues to spread it today. In his most recent message Rory also attacked Florida legislative candidates we have endorsed and tried to smear them with it. In addition, other members of the dog racing industry have also spread this lie, including Florida Greyhound Association lobbyist Jack Cory.


This lie is particularly sinister because it addresses such a serious issue. When political opponents use the terrorism label like a cheap trick it demeans all of us. It is Un-American.  That is why I'm hoping you will not let dog racing promoters get away with this. If you live in Florida, please support the greyhound friendly candidates we have endorsed.

Also, consider making a donation right away to support our ongoing efforts to end the cruelty of dog racing. We will not be deterred by these false claims, and our "Rory Truth Fund" will directly support our campaigns to end the cruelty of dog racing.

Together, we can send these dog race promoters a message that humane values are mainstream values. Our compassion is infinitely more powerful than their cynical lies, and in the end the greyhounds will prevail.

1 comment:

  1. i for one, am very glad you finally spoke up. i was rory's placement rep for his first gh adopted in san diego. the path he has chosen baffles me. not the person i once knew.