|Millionaire greyhound breeder |
Brad Boeckenstedt, Photo by the NGA
The law also requires that dog races be subsidized with millions of dollars in gambling profits each year; funds that could instead be used for state programs. In Dubuque, these funds would otherwise go to local non-profit organizations.
To defend their subsidies, greyhound breeders turned to kennel owner Brad Boeckenstedt, who told a local reporter:
"Our family is greatly invested in our community and in the greyhound business ... It's kind of sad that they want to get rid of us now that they have slots."The irony here is incredible. The fact is, Brad Boeckenstedt is a perfect example of the problem. Just since 2009, his kennel has received at least $4.75 million dollars in purse payments. Virtually all of these funds come from subsidy dollars. Also, that total does not include some subsidy payments from 2010 that the state no longer has records for. Last year alone, Boeckenstedt received $1.26 million in purse subsidy payments.
This is what the debate in Iowa has come to: a handful of greyhound breeders receiving millions in subsidies. Their spokesman for this bad public policy is the top recipient of subsidy dollars, a multi-millionaire greyhound breeder. Brad Boeckenstedt claims that he has "invested in our community," but in reality the state of Iowa has repeatedly invested in him, paying him millions for an activity that is no longer viable.
It's time for the gravy train to end. Next Spring, lawmakers should put an end to these subsidy payments for millionaire greyhound breeders.