There have been countless examples of how the casino industry uses their influence to pass legislation. However, the buck doesn’t stop there as we have all heard the stories of politician’s involvement in dirty politics concerning gambling. In a bit of irony, Current Gov. Steve Beshear was one of those doing the exposing when he exposed former Gov. John Brown’s gambling habit back during the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary in 1987. The Courier-Journal reported online:
At one point [Beshear] had a press conference to say he had uncovered proof that Brown’s office had called the Caesar’s Palace casino in Las Vegas more than two dozen times while he was in office from 1979 to 1983.
And he noted that Brown once said he had spent the better part of $1.3 million he withdrew from a Florida bank to cover his losses from one “bad night” in Vegas. “It sets a bad example and it creates a bad image for our state,” he said of Brown’s gambling.
Apparantly Gov. Beshear must have changed his mind regarding the image gambling creates. Not only was it reported that he has been influencing the legislative process to get this bill through in the most underhanded means, there are now allegations of possible criminal activities in an effort to ram through Gov. Beshear’s casino gambling amendment. Senate President David Williams alleges that democratic house leaders are looking to offer political favors, which essentially amount to bribery and extortion, in exchange for votes on the amendment. WHAS Channel 11 and ABC affiliate out of KY reported:
Senate President David Williams says he’s sure democratic house leaders are promising lawmakers projects in their districts or passage of pet pieces of legislation if they’ll vote for a casino bill.
Williams believes house leaders are using the budget process to essentially bribe legislators to vote for casinos. Senator Williams didn’t offer any proof or specifics of projects for casino votes. Representative Moberly says there’s no horse trading for votes on the casino bill, which is still far short of the votes needed for passage.
But the house budget committee chairman admits lawmakers who agree to vote for tax increases or new revenue will be the first to get funding for projects in their districts.
I guess this is the face of politics that we should get used to when gambling issues are involved. I applaud those in KY who are willing to take a stand for what is right and try to oppose these dirty political and possible criminal tricks.