Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Americans still strongly oppose same-sex "marriage"

Here is Robert Schlesinger in U. S. News on Gallup's latest poll:

According to the poll, a strong majority of Americans (57 percent) continue to oppose gay marriage (with 40 percent favoring it). The good news is that in digging deeper one can find some reasons for optimism.

First the bad news: Gallup notes that support for gay marriage has come a long way since it first asked the question in 1996 (when Americans opposed it by 68 percent to 27 percent), but the progress has essentially stalled in the last five years, with support in the low 40s and opposition in the upper 50s.

All you gotta do is replace 'bad' with 'good', and 'pessimism' with 'optimism'. Schlesinger is obviously impatient with Americans whose moral convictions are not directly indexed to constantly evolving convictions of the cultural elite.

In other words, if he doesn't like it, it's got to be good.

Another gambling promise broken

Steve Beshear announced today he has selected his deputy chief of staff Vince Gabbert to head up his office's campaign to convince Kentuckians they approved video slot machines in 1988 without knowing it.

But wait! What's this? Didn't Beshear promise in his campaign he was going to make sure this issue made the ballot?
"It is time to put this question on the ballot and let the people of Kentucky decide. As Governor of this state, I will make sure that the people have an opportunity to make that choice."
Broken promises on the spending of the Lottery money, broken promises on what voters were told they were voting on, and now broken campaign promises.

Anyone notice a pattern developing here?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Down and Out? Rest assured Churchill Downs may get a bailout

The Associated Press quotes Martin Cothran in its story on slots at tracks on Sunday. It was picked up by
"We have Kentuckians who are losing their jobs, who are being put on furlough by their employers, and who can't pay their mortgages," Cothran said. "The solution to that is not fattening the bank account of Churchill Downs. This is a millionaires' bailout."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Family Foundation tells reporters: Slots plan is unconstitutional

May 20, 2009 - WHAS 11 (ABC affiliate) in Louisville interviewed David Edmunds

May 20, 2009 - WAVE 3 (NBC affiliate) in Louisville interviewed David Edmunds

May 20, 2009 - WTVQ 36 (ABC affiliate) in Lexington interviewed David Edmunds

May 20, 2009 - WKYT 27 (CBS affiliate) in Lexington interviewed David Edmunds. Click here to link to that story.

May 19, 2009 - WTVQ 36 (ABC affiliate) in Lexington interviewed Kent Ostrander

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Voters, not lawyers, have the final say on Constitutional amendments says anti-casino group

For Immediate Release
May 19, 2009
Contact: Martin Cothran
Phone: 859-329-1919

An anti-casino group opposing a bill to place video slot machines at race tracks said today that it doesn't think another attorney general's opinion on the issue is necessary to tell people what they already know. "We certainly have confidence in Jack Conway," said Martin Cothran, spokesman for Say No To Casinos, "but it doesn't take an attorney general's opinion to tell us that people weren’t voting in favor of slot machines when they voted for the Lottery in 1988."

Cothran made the remarks in the wake of reports that former House Speaker Jody Richards (D-Bowling Green) had requested an opinion from Jack Conway's office.

“In Kentucky, lawyers don't have the final say on Constitutional amendments. Voters have the final say," Cothran said, "and in 1988 voters said they approved a lottery, not slot machines."

Cothran said that both voters and lawmakers were told in no uncertain terms in 1988 that the Lottery would not include casino-style gambling, and that the idea that the constitutional amendment allows for video slots was a "constitutional fiction" invented by imaginative lawyers.

"The idea that voters approved slot machines in 1988 is so outrageous, only a lawyer could believe it."


Friday, May 15, 2009

Kentucky could legalize pot-slots

California's Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger is looking for money to plug the holes in his state's budget, and according to his recent press appearances, he is lobbying for studying the way other countries profit from the legalization and taxation of marijuana and other illicit drugs.

Medical marijuana is already legal in the Golden State and marijuana vending machines are taking root in Los Angeles.

If Kentucky lawmakers follow existing logic on the legalization of slot machines . . . IF a) they are bad for citizens but b) the state needs the money and people gamble anyway, THEN why not allow slot machines to dispense the wacky weed to losing players for an additional taxable fee? At least then the losers might forget that they are flushing their economic survival down the drain with every pull of the one arm bandit.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Expanded Gambling advocates in State House pushing for video slots

Here is the Courier-Journal's report:
House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark, D-Okolona, told WHAS-11 that he wants the House to vote on video lottery terminals at race tracks and put the onus on the Senate to decide whether "to kill a $4 billion industry in the Commonwealth."

Clark said he and Speaker Greg Stumbo are meeting with Gov. Steve Beshear on Thursday to discuss the issue.

Clark mentioned June 15-30 for a possible special session.
The question is, will House members want to risk their own political reputations by voting for a bill that stands almost no chance of passage in the State Senate.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Is Churchill Downs throwing the horse industry under the bus?

Churchill Downs is having its commitment to live racing questioned by some investors and analysts. Here is the Courier-Journal's report on a conference call where CEO Bob Evans tried to argue that the company isn't abandoning racing.

Only problem is horsemen are mad at them for the company's penchant for trying to squeeze horse owners and trainers.

And this is one of the companies that gives lectures to people like myself about how we need more mechanized gambling to support the horse industry. But it's looking more like mechanized gambling, where there are more profits, isn't the company's salvation, but its undoing.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The poor promise of gambling profits

Advocates of video slots at tracks not only have to contend with the fact that their proposal is unconstitutional but with the fact that their claims that millions of dollars would be produced for the state and the horse industry simply don't comport with the real world.

Here is Celeste Hadrick at Newsday on the fall in gambling revenues:
"Just as people cut back their spending during the current recession, gamblers have cut back on the dollars they bet.

... New York's drop in horse-race wagering mirrors a general decline in gambling overall throughout the country.

... Atlantic City's 11 casinos reported a 19.4 percent decrease in gambling revenue in March alone, the largest year-over-year decline in the resort's 31- year gambling history, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported last month.

Even in glitzy Las Vegas, revenue is off 20 percent because of the global recession, news services reported last week."
Read the rest here.