Sunday, November 1, 2009

100 Times No

Big vote up this week for plainly named "Issue 3" here in Ohio. It's yet another attempt by casino owners from outside the state to bring them in. Ohio has voted this down 4 times since 1990.

I'll sum up and set up what is going on right now with this issue:

The states around Ohio all have so called "Las Vegas Style" casinos. The argument for is that millions, if not billions are leaving the state, therefore Ohio is loosing money.

That's about it. But let me say that you would think that top state leaders in government would be for this (tax dollars baby!) but they are not (Democrat and Republican). It's the Fraternal Order of Police, Unions (including my favorite, the UAW), the casino owners themselves, Ohio's own Black Caucus.

Here is a complete list below. I'm posting all of them because you see a trend. Unions the will benefit from construction. I'm also posting it to give you an idea of just how many labor unions are large and active in the Unionized State.

AFL-CIO Ashtabula Central Labor Council
AFL-CIO Mahoning/ Trumbull County Labor Council
AFSCME Local 3192
AFSCME Ohio Council/ Mahoning Trumbull AFL-CIO
Bricklayers Local 5
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen
Carpenters Local Union 200
Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council
Cincinnati Building & Construction Trades Council
Cleveland AFL-CIO
Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council
Cleveland FireFighters
Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association
Construction Employers Association
Dayton Bricklayers Local 22
Dayton Building and Construction Trades Council
Dayton/Miami Valley AFL-CIO
IATSE #12 (Stagehands Union)
IBEW Local 38
IBEW Local 8
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 413
International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 37
Int'l Assoc. of Heat & Frost Insulators & Allied Workers
Int'l Assoc. of Machinists & Aerospace Workers - Lodge 34
Iron Workers Local 17
Ironworkers District Council of Southern Ohio and Vicinity
Journeymen Plumbers' Union, Local 55
Laborers' District Council of Ohio
Laborers' Local 1410
Laborers Local 310
MFLU Local 1099
North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor
Northeast Area Labor Federation AFL-CIO
Northeast Ohio Area Labor Federation
Northwest Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council
OAPSE Local 194
Ohio & Vicinity Regional Council of Carpenters
Ohio Fraternal Order of Police
Ohio State Building & Construction Trades Council
Operative Plasterers' and Cement Mason' International Association Local 80
Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6
Pipe Fitters Local 120
Plumbers & PipeLitters Local 162
Plumbers & PipeLitters Local 189
Plumbers, PipeLitters & Mechanical Equipment Service Local 392
Roofers Local 75
Roofers Local 88
Sheet Metal Workers Local 24
Sheet Metal Workers Local 24
Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (S.O.A.R.)
Tile Layers Local 36
Toledo Police Patrolmen's Association
Tri-County AFL-CIO Central Labor Council
U.A. Local 189 Plumbers & PipeLitters
United Auto Workers
United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 880
United Industrial Workers Union AFL-CIO
United Steel Workers Local 21
United Steel Workers Local 9401
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers

This morning the Columbus Dispatch planted a few articles (including the front page, above the fold, op ed against it. The paper also has there official stance in the Opinion section of the paper titled the same as this post. I'll put it at the bottom of this post.

What I think is that this is something that probably will happen at some point. I don't want it too, but probably will. I think if it passes now it will have been helped along by the down economy over the past 12 months, which is very sad.

Ohio has shaken off this kind of legalized gambling for the entire history of the state which dates back to 1803.

If strapped for time, scroll down to the closing paragraph, it sums my thoughts up perfectly.


Editorial: 100 times no
State Issue 3 is bad bet for Ohio and all Ohioans
Sunday, November 1, 2009 3:43 AM

There are 100 good reasons to vote no on State Issue 3, which would authorize Las Vegas-style casinos in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo.
These are the top 10:

• No special-interest group -- ever -- should be allowed to purchase a special place for itself in the Ohio Constitution. This proposed amendment was written by two out-of-state gambling companies for their exclusive benefit. It would prostitute the state's basic governing document.

• If Ohio ever authorizes Las Vegas-style casino gambling, the people, through their elected representatives, should determine the rules, regulations, tax rates and locations. There was no public discussion or debate over the drafting of Issue 3.

• By their own admission, the gambling companies behind Issue 3 are prepared to spend $50 million to buy their constitutional amendment. They have purchased the support of any organization or individual willing to be bought.

• The gambling companies decided their tax rate would be a ridiculously low 33 percent. How many companies and individuals get to decide their own tax rates?

• The four cities would have virtually no control, zoning or otherwise, over casinos, which would operate 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

• Not a dime of the casinos' tax proceeds would go to Ohio's general fund. All tax monies would be earmarked for local governments and schools.

• Casino profits would leave the state. The two companies that would own the casinos are based in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

• The lack of safeguards in the amendment would leave Ohio with the weakest casino regulations in the nation.

• Casinos suck economic vitality from neighboring businesses. The proposed location for the Columbus casino is a direct threat to the health of the Arena District.

• Las Vegas-style casinos spawn crime, addictions and family breakdowns. These societal costs far exceed the modest number of jobs they provide.

Democratic and Republican leaders agree that Issue 3 is rotten. Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, calls it "another bad deal for Ohio."

Betty Montgomery, a Republican and former Ohio attorney general, calls it straight: "Ohio's constitution should not be a playground for special-interest groups with big checkbooks."

Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, a Democrat, says Issue 3 would handcuff Columbus, giving city officials absolutely no say over casino operations. State Auditor Mary Taylor, a Republican, calls Issue 3 a sweetheart deal, crafted to enrich casino owners while shortchanging Ohio.

No responsible Democratic nor Republican official is standing up to defend Issue 3. The silence of some elected officials speaks volumes. Some simply have been purchased by casino interests.

Franklin County Commissioner John O'Grady, a co-chairman of the opposition to Issue 3, deserves special commendation for his courage in standing up to the pro-Issue 3 thugs. O'Grady says the Arena District represents the most pro-family development Columbus has experienced in decades. He recognizes a next-door casino would be a cancer on the district and on the entire Downtown.

"This (casino) is going to suck the jobs and customers away. It's going to bring an element of crime," O'Grady said.

He's right. And his point underlines how shameful and disappointing was the endorsement of Issue 3 by the state Fraternal Order of Police. Something is very wrong within the leadership ranks of the FOP.

Four times since 1990, Ohioans have demonstrated common sense in rejecting proposed constitutional amendments sponsored by big-time gambling interests.

For all of its current economic troubles, Ohio should not be tempted to cashier its core Midwestern values for the false promise of casino gold. There is no evidence on the planet that casinos rejuvenate depressed local economies.

There is not one good reason to vote for Issue 3. Not one.

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