Doug O’s History in Idaho
By Chester from chuckleberries.com
We’ve had a warm reception to our previous pieces on Doug O. Thank you to everyone that shared them on Facebook, or by other means. As always, we are just messengers trying to bring this story to light.
The subject of Doug O. and the business he represents is a convoluted mess. At times it’s tough to pin down exactly what happened. There are numerous corporations, dbas, partners, and foundations spread across numerous states, all part of a large diversified company, the Greene Group. It’s so difficult to figure out, even the Department of Justice had difficulty chasing every trail. It appears to be designed by crafty lawyers, who are also principals of this corporation. While we’ve done our best with what documents are available, we’re quite sure we’ve missed a few connections or side stories of interest.
With this, we’ve decided it best to cover Doug’s history in Idaho. Warning, this is a long post. Hope you enjoy.
2007 DOUG HITS IDAHO
In 2007 Doug and family packed their bags in Las Vegas, where he had been president of AIM Management, Inc. since 2000. They headed to beautiful Hayden, ID and bought a newly built home. While they waited for their Vegas home to sell for them to get a loan, AIM was kind enough to front the money for the home and was the beneficiary on the Deed of Trust. (Click on image to right to zoom in) Membership in the gambling empire Greene Group runs has it’s privileges.
Right off that bat Doug hit the ground running, he had a mission. He made a straight line to Boise to start lobbying for non-Indian casino gambling. His PAC was called Winning for Idaho, and was primarily funded by Coeur d’ Alene Racing, LP the outfit that ran the Greyhound Park in Post Falls.
In 1995, dog-racing was banned in Idaho. But Greyhound Park was grandfathered in to allow simulcast of horse and dog racing events. This has let the track stay afloat. But the Greene Group has had it’s eyes on a bigger picture since groundbreaking. If you’ll recall in a previous piece they built a greyhound track/casino in Iowa, and owned interest in others in Texas. Racing dogs was just something to get their foot in the door in Idaho, the real bread and butter was having a casino.
The sole intent of Doug’s lobbying, was small incremental steps towards a large goal. To have Idaho allow non-Indian casinos with Greyhound Park as the first. So he started making friends in the Idaho House and Senate by donating to their campaigns, to the tune of just over 36K in the first year alone. CDA Racing donated 75 Grand the right outta the gate in 2007.
This went on year after year, with CDA Racing donating most of the cash. From 2007 to present CDA racing has donated $401,498.20. That’s a lotta cash!
Also of interest is a $5,000 donation dated 3/27/2008 from IGT. That would be the International Gaming Technology company, based out of London with a branch in Las Vegas. If you’ll recall from our previous post on AIM Management that Doug O holds numerous gaming patents. AIM also had 18 trademarked slot machine names. IGT has used some of these patents and names on their slot machines. He scratched their back, they returned the favor.
Another interesting donation is yet another rabbit trail in the Greene Group story. In 2018 Winning for Idaho received 25K total from a Greg LaMantia and Val LaMantia Peisen. Had these donations been smaller we’d not have taken much notice, but the size had us wondering who they were. After further research we found they owned 361 Muy Buena Suerte, LLC, which was the majority share holder of three Texas racetracks, Gulf Coast Racing, Laredo Downs, and Tesoros Race Park. The minor shareholders were Doug O’s bosses Paul Bryant Jr (son of legendary football coach Bear Bryant) and Sam Phelps. Both of these gentleman are the founders of the Greene Group, AIM Management, each of the other subsidiaries, including Greyhound Park in Post Falls. CLICK HERE to read about this on pages 22, 33, and 47.
Now under Doug’s leadership, Winning for Idaho has donated $381,161.77 to legislators. Of that, $45,249 or 11.8% went to Democrat campaigns or organizations. The remainder was donated year after year to legislators he felt would vote for any legislation favorable to his cause. Sometimes they supported his lobbying interests, other times they just said thanks for the cash.
LES BOIS PARK
In 2011 Doug added a new title to his bustling gambling enterprise, general manager of Les Bois Park in Boise. This horse track was half owned by The Greene Group, his employer. Therefore Doug was chosen as their man to manage the park. Having been shutdown in 2008, he was excited to get things back up and running again.
In an interview in the Boise Weekly on May 11, 2011, Doug explained the in and outs of the track, owners, and other interesting tidbits. One mention was the other track interests they owned, including two of the tracks aforementioned part owned by the LaMantia family. Which explains their later generous donations.
It should be mentioned that Doug still resided in Hayden while managing the track in Boise. It is unclear how often he went there, but during this time he did have a two-fer (two for one special). He was able to manage the track and lobby at the same time. It should be noted the track only had a preset number of races allowed each year.
Doug’s time at Les Bois lasted one year, before he was hired as general manager of Greyhound Park. He also earned a new company titles as well in the Greene Group list of companies; president of Alabama/Idaho, Inc. CLICK HERE and general partner of CDA Racing, LP CLICK HERE.
Alabama/Idaho, Inc., a subsidiary of The Green Group, was founded in 1987. HERE is the original filing. Along with Hagadone Hospitality, they partnered to build Greyhound Park, which opened in September 1988. Alabama/Idaho manages the track via their subsidiary CDA Racing.
An interesting piece of history is, Greyhound Park has NEVER had a known profitable year. All told in their almost 32 year history, there are 21 years of financial records available in the public domain. In these 21 years, they have lost $30,964,301.09. Yes you read this right, they claim to have lost almost 31 million dollars. That’s not counting the years 1996-2004, which records aren’t available. That could push the total losses above 40 million. Yet they still have been able to donate 10s of thousands every year to their PAC Winning for Idaho from 2007 to present, and give a healthy sum to their charity The Greene Foundation.
Here is an article from 1995 that discusses the first 21 million dollar loss, and the end of live dog racing. CLICK HERE.
In the annual reports submitted to the Idaho Horse Racing Commission, Greyhound Park has submitted a profit and loss number since 2005. HERE is a document with the years 2005-2018 tallied. The 2019 report should be posted soon. Note in 2012 they had a clerical error and under reported $2,000, so we added a column called “Actual Loss” to reflect this. All told they lost $9,964,280.09 in this 14 year period.
We don’t believe they actually have had a loss each year, as no business can be sustainable with that sort of loss. Even multi-billionaires will yank the plug on a biz that performs this poorly. If you’ll recall from our previous post AIM Management once managed a greyhound track and casino operation in Council Bluffs, IA. The owner of the track, Iowa West Racing Association was steamed that AIM used their sister business Venture Advertising to handle marketing, but charged the IWRA an unfavorable rate.
Green Group and it’s principals own numerous companies aside from the advertising company. They also own a consulting firm, legal firms, an insurance company, a bank, and a real estate development company, just to name a few. By paying for services to any of the above associated businesses under the Greene Group umbrella, they are able to show a smaller profit for the Greyhound Park.
To help understand this concept, here is a simplified explanation. These numbers just for reference only, and not a reflection of what Greyhound Park took in.
- $1,000,000 Gross receipts
- less $500,000 in operational expenses
- minus $50,000 donated to Winning for Idaho PAC
- less $100,000 donated to Greene Idaho Foundation
- Initial Profit: $350,000
- less $250,000 for advertising, legal advice, and consulting, paid to Greene Group companies.
- less $250,000 rent paid to Greene Group (owner of the land).
- Reported Loss -$150,000
The above scenario is the only explanation we can come up with of how Greyhound park consistently shows a loss. But perhaps there is something else going on. To deepen this mystery in 2015 three tracks in Idaho took in a combined total of 103.9 million. Greyhound was one of these tracks, which means they took in millions more than the $625,823.27 they claimed. Surely they didn’t pay the remaining income out in purses.
CAMPAIGNING FOR SLOT MACHINES
In 2014 a new wrinkle appeared for gambling in Idaho. Legislators had allowed a new kind of parimutual betting on horse races that was done on console that resembled a modern slot machine. There was a 2 inch screen in the upper right corner that aired the last few seconds of a historic horse race. Betters could wager on the outcome of the race, and digital slot-machine wheels would spin, allowing the user to gain a potentially higher payout.
Things got ugly real quick over the next few years as this played out. It pitted the Indian owned casinos against Les Bois and Greyhound Park, and it became a battle of money. The various tribes wanted the slot machines banned, while the tracks wanted this to be their foot in the door to start their own casino empires. At its peak Les Bois track had 200 machines, while Greyhound Park had 35.
Who was at the forefront of campaigning for non-tribal slots? Your boy Doug O, that’s who! In interview after interview, he claimed these machines would be what saved the race track industry in Idaho. He even said numerous times that if the slots weren’t allowed that Greyhound Park would have to close their doors. Ummmm, how have they kept them open if they’ve never turned a profit????
As expected, throughout this entire episode, Doug was lobbying for Winning for Idaho, handing out huge sums of cash to legislators, hoping to buy political favor. This subject is a story in itself we’ve opted to save for a later piece.
Eventually the law allowing the non-tribal slots was repealed. Doug O whined in 2015 that Greyhound Park would be outta business. It’s 2020 and before the Covid-19 scare, they were still open for business.
We’ve compiled a selection of news articles that cover this story. In a future piece we’ll go thru the donations Doug O directed to legislators, and the testimony he gave before them, begging for the slot machines to stay.
GREENE IDAHO FOUNDATION
The Greene Idaho Foundation was founded in 2001 as a charitable foundation to give money back to the community. It’s funded primarily by Greyhound Park in Post Falls, and even shares an address with them at 5100 Riverbend Ave. In 2009 Doug O was added as President, and the officer’s changed as well.
Doug is always quick in his campaign blips to claim he’s given over a million bucks to local charities. Well that’s a stretch, because it was never his money. Instead it was money donated primarily by his employer, not him. He was simply the president and one vote on the board of directors to where the money went. While on the subject, in Doug’s big boasts, is he taking credit for money donated in the 8 years before he was even a part of this foundation? It would seem to be, since their website only claims to have given just north of on million in the 19 years it’s been in existence. [Note Doug O is not a distinguished young woman as the picture seems to indicate. Instead they gave money to the group, LOL]
While on the subject. How did Greyhound Park donate over a million dollars in the past 19 years, when it’s never earned a dime? If a business is losing money every year, it won’t have any to give. Perhaps this is something agencies who monitor this sort of thing need to look into.
DOUG O RUNS FOR OFFICE 1.0
In 2018 Doug decided to take his campaign for legalized non-Indian gaming a different direction. If he couldn’t lobby this into fruition, maybe he could have more say as a legislator. While still lobbying for Winning for Idaho, he ran for State Rep. for district 2B. He lost that election to John Green.
[Photo to left is Doug with Walt Meyer, who is a donor to his campaign]
Of the more interesting things, is where his donations came from. All told he took in $13,440.34. Here is the breakdown:
- Loans from Doug to his campaign: $1,351.40
- Contributions from campaigns Winning for Idaho gave too: $2,750
- Cliff Bayer for Idaho- $500
- Committee to elect Mike Moyle- $1,000
- Committee to elect Joe Palmer- $1,000
- Art Macomber- $250
- Contributions from Greene Group & their associates: $5,800
- Randy Oaks (former Greene Group employee- $500
- Westerberg & Associates (lobbyists for Winning for Idaho): $1,000
- Scott Phelps (Principal Greene Group)- $1,000
- Eric Wilson (Principal Greene group)- $300
- BPM Capital (Subsidiary of Greene Group)- $1,000
- Winning for Idaho- $1,000
- Don Gross (Director Greene Foundation)- $1,000
All told Doug O received $9,901.40 from the above sources, or 73.6% of his contributions. A few of the other donations are from people close to Greene Group, but they weren’t directly employed or funded by them. Remember membership into their elite group has its privileges. If he can’t raise campaign money, the cabal is eager to ante up.
DOUG O GETS PART DEUX
It should be no surprise Dougie was directed to run for office again. Remember if Greene Group can’t lobby an Idaho casino into existence, they’re gonna try to legislate it with their ace in the hole. But they’ve changed tactics slightly. In 2019 Doug-oh was replaced by his buddy Diane Westerberg as head of the Winning for Idaho PAC. A search on the Idaho SoS website on lobbyists shows Doug as terminated on 12/31/1019, but no reports are on file. But an annual report for Winning for Idaho shows Diane still as treasurer, hmmmm. We don’t know if this is a posting error is on the part of the SoS, or if Doug O didn’t provide the legally required lobbying forms for 2019.
There is still roughly a month of campaigning, but thus far here are the tallies for Doug O’s campaign contributions. The total to date is $11,223.88.
- Loans from Doug O: $4,393.88
- Contributions from Greene Group & their associates- $2,220.00
- Randy Oakes- $500 (Former Greene Group employee)
- John Naccarato (Co-owner of Insurance company with Randy Oakes)- $710
- Don Gross- $1000 (Director at Greene Foundation)
- Becky Funk- $10 (Campaign manager)
All told $6,613.88 or 58.92% of donations have come from Doug O or associates of Greene Group.
The simple truth is Doug O has been involved with the gambling industry since graduating college, and shows no signs of leaving anytime soon. He owns slot machine patents, and is deeply connected to casino and racetrack owners, having done their bidding for decades.
With this, Doug O has been quick to claim it wasn’t him that gave money away to Democrats, but his employer. Yet in the next breath he’ll claim that he gave a million bucks to charity, but not mention his employer. You can’t have it both ways Doug. Your employer’s money was pointed towards both Democrats and charities while you were at the helm of each organization. Never was it your money, nor has anyone other than you claimed it was. Just be honest and admit you gave money to liberals to buy political favors, and the Greene Foundation wasn’t your money.
In closing, if a normal person ran a business for over 30 years without ever making a profit, but instead going negative up to 7 figures, they’d be living on the streets. Not to mention they’d not be giving money to politicians or local charities! In fact if anyone was donating large sums of money, while going negative every year like Greene Group, they’d likely be wearing an orange county jumpsuit.
Say no to Doug-No as a state representative. He has a vested interest in the gambling industry, and is involved in questionable business tactics.
In related news, we’ve heard thru the grapevine that Doug-Oh has hired a PR firm to help combat the truth presented by this site and BoiseLeaks.org. That’s telling.