You always know elections are too close to call when the mud starts to fly.
This morning, a "reporter" for the Martins Ferry Times Leader named Stan Pawloski published a laundry list of smears and innuendo regarding GREY2K USA and gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney. Here are the facts:
- GREY2K USA was contacted by a former greyhound trainer named Marshall Rae who claimed to have specific information regarding cruelty in the dog racing industry.
- At least some of Mr. Rae's information appears to have been credible, and has already caused the Texas Racing Commission to revoke the license of an individual involved with greyhound live lure training, a particularly cruel practice in which live rabbits are torn apart.
- GREY2K USA asked Mr. Rae to speak with a private investigator and former federal law enforcement officer named Greg, who is working on a long-term research project aimed at uncovering greyhound cruelty. This investigator has no relationship to the upcoming election in West Virginia.
- Mr. Rae was arrested yesterday for attempting to extort a West Virginia greyhound breeder. GREY2K USA had no knowledge whatsoever of Mr. Rae's alleged plot. We are outraged by Mr. Rae's alleged actions, and if the allegations are true he should be held accountable.
Unfortunately, greyhound breeders are attempting to use Mr. Rae's arrest to smear our work to help greyhounds. "Reporter" Stan Pawloski is actually a supporter of greyhound racing and gubernatorial candidate Earl Ray Tomblin. On September 15, Pawloski urged greyhound breeders to vote for Tomblin on a message board used by the dog racing industry. Specifically, he wrote:
The attack ads on Tomblin and his family have been non-stop in the past few days. Malony definitely is taking aim at greyhound racing. Hundreds of jobs are on the line ... please register if you haven't and vote for Tomblin. If registered, make sure you get to the polls on election day and vote for Tomblin.
In another message on the same message board dated May 23, Pawloski thanked greyhound breeders for donating to the Tomblin campaign: "Hats off also to all others who have stepped to the plate for Gov. Tomblin."
It is not surprising that greyhound breeders would try to use Mr. Rae's arrest as way of slinging mud with only days to go in the campaign for West Virginia Governor. It is disappointing, though, that a supposed member of the media would be so reckless with the facts. Mr. Pawloski's newspaper even seems to have altered a photo of me to make it appear somehow illegitimate.
Finally, my heart is broken by the fact that the greyhounds are being lost in this debate. If the allegations against Mr. Rae are true, the dogs were once again used by someone in an attempt to enrich himself. Further, the real story here is the live lure case in Texas. The documents related to this case show a side of the greyhound racing industry that was supposedly long over.