It has been so long since I have posted something here, but Ohio is at a critical juncture. For years, we have fought efforts to legalize gambling. It appears as if today we may finally fail. Governor Strickland, who has previously held a position against gambling, has now bent to the gambling interests. In fact, the governor has been working on a state budgetary crisis and has been working with the legislature to balance the budget. Well known fact: governor wants to be re-elected in 2010 and does not want to tax citizens. Therefore, this is his only answer for state revenue to increase, allow slot machines in for the very first time!
My friends, if you are an Ohioan, please call your state senator and tell him or her today to vote NO on the state budget, since it allows a provision for the governor to write an Executive Order to allow slots into Ohio. In fact, tell both your state senator and House Member to vote NO. Some will listen!
I already spoke with my state senator’s office and the response was that the senator felt like he had no choice other than to let the governor have his way. I told him that was bologna and the senator absolutely has a choice to go against the governor. I don’t care what agencies cease to get funding for the day! Stand for principle, or be a big coward and incur the wrath of the conservatives in Ohio. Have some guts and stand like a man, for crying out loud! Pulezzze!!!!
Below is an alert that was sent out on Sunday. Pay attention as this unfolds!
Life Comes At You Fast!!!
Legislative Alert – Vote Expected Monday
Governor Strickland is expected to sign an executive order on Monday (today) to authorize the state lottery to use casino style slot machines (VLT’s) at Ohio’s racetrack locations – a casino scheme previously rejected by Ohio voters. He has convinced the Democratic leadership in the House and the Republican leadership in the Senate to cooperate by changing state laws on gambling in the budget bill.
Elected legislators in BOTH the Ohio House and Ohio Senate need to hear from their constituents by this morning.
The Ohio Constitution was am ended on May 8, 1973 to permissively grant the Ohio General Assembly the authority to authorize a state agency to conduct lotteries and award lottery prizes based on a common understanding of the lottery game as one which utilizes the sale of tickets as the means of play.
Ohio citizens in 1973 did not amend the Ohio Constitution to give a state agency OR any governor the power to authorize casinos.
* Casino games have been rejected by Ohio voters four times since the Lottery’s inception, including twice in the past three years.
* Putting VLT’s at Ohio’s existing racetracks was rejected by voters in 82 out of 88 counties.
* Less that one year ago almost 3.4 million Ohioans refused to accept an expansion of gambling.
* In the counties which host 5 of the 7 racetracks, voters flatly rejected the placement of video lottery terminals at these facilities near their homes and neighborhoods.
* Governor Strickland ESTIMATES that VLT revenues will generate $933 million, but Ohioans would have to LOSE more than twice that amount for the state to get its share. This means an estimated $2 BILLION would be sucked out of the consumer economy. (Once the money is lost in a slot machine, you can’t get it back to spend it on clothing, food, appliances, cars, or other consumer products. Ohio’s economy cannot afford it in the middle of this recession!)
Other points to consider:
* To override the vote of the people shows a significant disrespect for the “consent of the governed” which is foundational to our system of government.
* To balance a multibillion dollar budget on what Ohioans would choose to lose at a slot machine is extremely irresponsible.
Please contact your state senator and state representative IMMEDIATELY (today). Ask him/her to vote NO on the budget. Any support of this budget will be considered a support for bringing in casinos which have specifically been rejected by the majority of Ohio voters.
The final vote on the budget could take place by Monday afternoon.
Find your legislator at http://www.principledpolicy.com/?page_id=4
Please CALL today (leave a voicemail; if voicemail is full – call back in the morning). Emails will not be as effective this time.
Please take the time to read the blog on the “rule of law” at http://www.facebook.com/l/;www.aproundtable.org