Tom Perez said, "Hit me!" this week, and shadow governor Peter Franchot was all too happy to oblige. Tom Perez - former liberal on the Montgomery County Council, and now a Martin O'Malley cabinet member - The Gambler
? Who knew? We all found out this week when Secretary Perez released a favorable report on gambling
in Maryland that sounded awfully familiar. It included language and talking points directly from the casino industry
. Franchot echoed my reaction in a press conference in Salisbury, and he is absolutely correct.
It's mighty strange. A year ago, when I was running for Delegate and popular Governor Bob Ehrlich was running for reelection, the casino industry was nowhere to be found. But recently, every time you flip a light on in the state of Maryland, casino backers are scurrying towards the cabinets. What's going on here? Let me tell you. The casino industry has shown its hand.
This was a risky bet that paid off big for the slots business. Here's the deal: Bob Ehrlich made the case, and slots were a sure bet for Maryland. But, hold
it, said Mike Miller and other partisan Democrats in Annapolis. "If slots come in now, Bob Ehrlich will get all the credit!" Leveraging their power, slots were amazingly tabled until 2007. Now, the same Democrats who blamed slots for every societal ill are suddenly lining up behind the one-arm bandits.I was in favor of slots up until this point
. On paper, slots make sense to provide desperately needed funds. But now I'm questioning what we're getting in return for slots
based on not only this political sham, but my personal experience during the 2006 campaign.
In 2006, I endorsed slot machines for racetracks, just as O'Malley has. But in all the months of the campaign, I never heard one word from anyone in the gaming industry
. Remember, all of my opponents were against slots. You would think the industry would have reached out and had a dialogue on the issue. But there were no words and certainly no financial contributions. (The same goes for all of those phony medical societies which claim to be so concerned about medical malpractice reform). This revealed that they were more concerned with helping elect Democrats than helping the residents of Maryland. Count me as a new skeptic about slots now. I question the casino industry's commitment to the state of Maryland and to assisting our horse racing industry.
This has been a terrible tragedy. It is important locally, as many Peruvians live in the area. I am hopeful that the U.S. will offer a temporary amnesty to immigrants from Peru until the situation can be stabilized. Here are some quotes from an AP report on the current chaos in Peru:
"As many as 80 percent of the people in quake-hit urban areas may not have access to clean water and many rural communities still have not been reached to assess the damage, said Dominic Nutt, part of an emergency assessment team in Peru for the aid agency Save the Children."
"'The situation is probably worse than first imagined,' Nutt said."
"We don't have water. The tents have not arrived," said Maria Tataja, 38, who shared an open-fronted shelter with nine other people.
"There is nothing to eat. There is a lot of looting going on," he said. - Motorcycle taxi driver Marco Coila
The Goldwater Scandal Continues to Unfold
Reaction to the resignation of Marilyn Goldwater continues... To update, the Democratic colleagues of Ms. Goldwater, and their friends at the Washington Post and The Gazette, deliberately misled the voters regarding her health condition. As a result, we lost 1/3 of our representation in Annapolis in 2007. Further, now that she has resigned, 12 Democrats - not the voters - will choose a replacement who will serve almost a full term without ever having been approved by the residents of District 16. It's outrageous. On that very subject, here is a quote from an objective Democrat from a Gazette article:
[Former Democratic delegate Cheryl C.]Kagan and others pointed out that one-tenth of the county Annapolis delegation could effectively be chosen by a majority vote of the Central Committee — or 12 people.
‘‘These legislators will not have been elected, but selected,” Kagan said. ‘‘I think it raises questions about the fairness of the process.”
So much for democracy.