First, I feel it necessary to mention that I wrote this Sunday, December 5th, days before the cable news channels began talking about it. My Editor says the holidays have her busy and she finds it hard to post as frequently. Who knew? Aren’t there 25 hours in a day?
In the on-line December 4th Washington Post I ran across this article by Associated Press writer Kevin Freking which outlines the behind the scenes efforts of Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) in this lame-duck session to allow legal poker games over the internet. Here is the link:
Several statements in the article, in my opinion, are totally off-the-wall and just plain wrong, such as this quote from Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), “We are talking about a decision by adults to do what they want with their own money.”
For a number of years I have been totally opposed to the influence that massive campaign contributions to Political Action Committees buys, and this is a perfect example. Several casino operators in Nevada have provided substantial funds to Reid’s re-election campaigns over the years, as noted in the Post article.
Additionally, several years ago my then Congressman Tim Roemer (D-IN), who is now the U.S. Ambassador to India, suggested I read a book titled “The Luck Business” by Robert Goodman. At that time local Indian Tribes were making an effort to build a casino in South Bend, Indiana and Tim (to whom I spoke with frequently as General Manager of the then local ABC affiliate) was strongly opposed to that effort.
Goodman’s book clearly established facts indicating numerous negative impacts to local communities when gambling facilities are permitted. The tax dollars that flow to communities are off-set by problems with crime, financial debt, and social issues caused by gambling.
The efforts of Reid are directly tied to the casino industry financial contributions to his campaign war-chest, and are a perfect example of “Pay for Play.” This type of political bribery is destroying the integrity of our governmental system.
I think it is appalling to see Reid even suggest this legislation during this lame-duck session. I hope the Republicans will reject this effort when their majority prevails in the House during the next session of Congress (January 2011). This legislative idea is very bad public policy for America, and should be stopped ASAP.
Harry Reid is a perfect example of just what money can buy in the Senate, or in the House for that matter, and it proves just where priorities lie with the ever bulging purses of long time politicians. Obviously the Oath of Office means little or nothing to this leader of the U.S. Senate, because his self-interests, like so many others, take first place over the best interests of all Americans.