With this now completed election it is time to reflect on who the biggest winners and biggest losers in Ohio were. By this we do not want you to rant and rave but to put forth a reasoned perspective on who you believe gained the most and who lost the most on November 3. Try to remain focused on Ohio issues and politicians, including your own local issues, and away from national politics in this discussion. Don’t just regurgitate the talking heads who are proclaiming the Republicans won and Obama lost. For example, let me proceed first with my opinions.
I believe the biggest winner in Ohio was Dan Gilbert and his associates. Gilbert, who amassed a fortune through his quick loans operation and who owns the Cleveland Cavaliers professional basketball team, fronted the Ohio Casino initiative which narrowly won. Gilbert and his associates will now have a legally constituted monopoly on casino gambling in Ohio. The fact that the citizens of Ohio endorsed this idea of granting a few people control over this industry boggles my mind. My reaction has nothing to do with the morality or immorality with gaming but with the control, opportunity, and money granted by Ohioans to a select few through a constitutional amendment. This is outrageous and deplorable. Quite obviously the biggest winner in Ohio was Dan Gilbert, the billionaire who will now along with his associates be able to reap additional billions each year from the willing naïve sacrificial citizens of Ohio.
But who lost the most? There were many losers: the public school systems, the governor of Ohio, those opposing state issues 2 or 3, but who lost the most? Many lost opportunities; many lost money; and some even lost their seats of power. But did anyone lose more than any of these? Let me put forward my opinion and we want to hear yours.
I have always been a supporter of law enforcement. I address police officers as “sir” and taught my children to do so as well. When law enforcement supporters have called or written for donations or were selling tickets for fund-raisers, I willingly forked forth the bucks realizing I could never do enough or support them enough. To me law enforcement officials have been the least appreciated and the most under-respected servants in society. But no more! From my vantage point the biggest loser in Ohio was the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police). They lost their integrity and my respect. Time after time I was bombarded on the TV by Tipton’s endorsement of the state amendment for legalized casinos. How much money did the FOP pay for this plethora of commercials? What are they receiving in return? The law enforcement agencies are receiving a great deal of money from the profits of the gaming industry and this appears like a pay-off to me.
More disappointing to me than the passage of issue 3 and the amending of the Ohio Constitution to permit a legal monopoly on casinos is the support of this monopoly by a law enforcement agency that should understand the value of the Constitution, the seriousness of a Constitutional Amendment, and the essential philosophical danger of endorsing a monopoly. The one virtue that those in law must possess is impartiality. The support of this amendment by the FOP demonstrates partiality to me. Formal support of this amendment by the FOP seemingly places the gambling industry and the law enforcement agencies into the same bed together. Does this disturb any of you?
As close as the vote was on Issue 3, it is quite possible that the endorsement by the FOP and the extent of the publicity generated by the FOP was just enough to get this amendment passed. This will make it difficult for me to ever address an officer of the law as “sir” and to teach my grandchildren that they should respect these officers since I now know the truth…they can be bought off like anyone else. The FOP won, but from my vantage point they lost their soul and their integrity and what loss could be greater?
IPP invites you to enter into this discussion on Ohio’s biggest winners and biggest losers. If you are not registered, then please do so by registering and commenting in our Forum.