Monthly Archives: October 2008

Current Highway Patrol Capt: “Taking Away the Players Card Takes Away a Great Enforcement Tool”

Highway Patrol Captain Lester Elder is the supervisor of the 100 plus troopers in the gaming enforcement division, and he has a unique prospective on the $500 loss limit.  In a recent newspaper interview he explained that The Patrol doesn’t take official stands on election issues.  However, he was very open about the value of the player’s cards and the effects of removing the kinds of mandatory identification requirements that Proposition A removes.

When asked about the Highway Patrols ability to solve 95.8 percent of almost 1,700 crimes at the casinos, Capt. Elder said there is something to be said for he status quo:

“We have a good case solvability rate,” he said. “We do utilize the Player’s Card for identification of criminals when that situation arises. That’s not something we access on non-criminal issues, but if there’s an assault or a theft or some crime that occurs, we’re able to identify on that casino floor who that person said they were when they came in to get their Player’s Card.

“There are always thoughts that if the loss limit’s not there (then) there may be your larger criminals coming in because there’s more opportunity for them to gain more money by cheating at gambling. I don’t know. We’re going to have to wait and see.

Proponents of Proposition A claim that they are unnecessary and have even provided retired Officer Larry Buschjost with over $13,000 in an attempt to undermine the Highway Patrol’s facts.  But the unpaid, and current highway Patrol Captain disagreed:

“Obviously there’s video of everything that occurs on the casino floor. Video is great, but when you couple that with the Player’s Card, not only do you have a video but now you also have a possible identity of a person. Without that possible identity via the Player’s Card then, sure, you take away a large tool for criminal enforcement.”

If the Player’s Card/loss limit distinction is eliminated from the equation by means of a yes vote on Nov. 4, Elder said he and his troopers will still try to maintain their current high standard of effectiveness.

“We’re going to do the most professional job we can do with the tools that we’re given,” he said. “Any time we investigate a crime, you can rest assured the Highway Patrol is going to devote its best resources to do that—to be able to try to solve that, to protect the citizens of the state. Now taking away the Player’s Card, does that take away a great enforcement tool? Yes, it does.”

Please don’t put our families at risk or put our law enforcement in a situation where they have fewer tools to keep Missouri safe: Vote No on Proposition A


Yes on A campaign paid retired Patrol Captain $12,000 in an attempt to undermine facts from current Highway Patrol

(Oct 31, 2008)  ST LOUIS – According to Missouri ethics reports, the Yes on A coalition has paid retired Highway Patrol Captain Larry Buschjost $12,000 plus $1,668 for expenses.

The Yes on A coalition faces opposition from the NOonA.com campaign as they released figures from the current Missouri State Highway Patrol.  Those statistics indicate the Highway Patrol was able to solve 95.8% of almost 1,700 crimes at the casinos last year alone, because of the player’s cards which Proposition A would do away with.

The Highway Patrol distributed those statistics at the State Capitol during this year’s legislative session in an effort to urge lawmakers to keep the player tracking cards.

Examples of crimes solved include: 303 crimes involving theft or stealing, 215 crimes involving ID theft, forgery and counterfeiting, 29 crimes involving sex offenses, drugs, assaults.  They also apprehended illegal aliens, bank robbers, a child sex offender, a rapist, and a murder suspect.

Evelio Silvera, spokesperson for the NOonA.com campaign said he is not surprised they paid a retired officer in attempts to refute the damaging facts being released by the current Highway Patrol.

“The casinos have spent over $15 million dollars in an attempt to buy a law that benefits their bottom line.  It comes as no surprise that they have paid retired law enforcement in a desperate attempt to undermine the damaging evidence from our current law enforcement officials.” Silvera said.

Current Highway Patrol Captain Lester Elder is the supervisor of the 100 plus troopers in the gaming enforcement division, and he recently explained in an interview that the Patrol doesn’t take official stands on election issues.  However, he was very open about the value of the player’s cards and the effects of removing the kinds of mandatory identification requirements that Proposition A removes.

“We’re going to do the most professional job we can do with the tools that we’re given,” he said. “Now taking away the Player’s Card, does that take away a great enforcement tool? Yes, it does.”

Larry Buschjost, the paid law enforcement official, has argued that good police work could solve those crimes and that the removal of the players cards would have little to no impact.

Captain Elder disagrees.  “Obviously there’s video of everything that occurs on the casino floor. Video is great, but when you couple that with the Player’s Card, not only do you have a video but now you also have a possible identity of a person. Without that possible identity via the Player’s Card then, sure, you take away a large tool for criminal enforcement.”

Related Information:
Missouri Highway Patrol  – Facts and Figures (2 pages)
http://nopropa.com/dox/hp.pdf
http://nopropa.com/dox/hp2.pdf

Yes on A coalition  – Ethics Commission Report
http://www.mec.mo.gov/Ethics/CampaignFinance/CFCommitteeInfo1.aspx?MECID=C071387&Year=2008

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Another Teacher Comes Forward Saying She was Tricked into Supporting Prop A

We first reported that a teacher came forward who explained the unethical practices used by the casinos to get teacher support for Proposition A.  Now Marjorie Ball, a substitute student-teacher supervisor for the Carl Junction school district has also come forward claiming she was used by the casinos to promote Prop A when she thought she was filling out a survey from the state.  KOAM in Joplin interviewed her and the fist teacher to come forward,

Marjorie Ball said during the televised interview:

“I just thought [the survey] was something that supported education.  Obviously I support schools; I support education. I guess the hidden part was the casinos part.”

There is no doubt that other educators across the state have suffered the same unethical treatment by the casinos and they too are being used to expand gambling in the name of education.  As more and more educators speak out against Proposition A, it looks like its really just Yes for Casinos First.


Latest Educator in Yes on A ads received nearly $14,000 for Endorsement

The latest Ad from the Yes on A coalition features Dr. Gene Oakley.  In the ad he says that he is an education advocate and supports Proposition A.  What the ad doesn’t tell you is that DR Oakley received $13,558.67 for his endorsement.  Reports from the Missouri Ethics Commission show he received money on six different occasions.

The proponents claim Prop A is about education and supported by educators, yet superintendents all over the state are speaking out against Prop A.  The coalition also failed to get the support of teachers unions as ALL THREE refused to endorse Proposition A calling it a gambling issue not an education issue.  On top of those damaging issues, recently discovered unethical practices used by the coalition to obtain teachers support has called all teacher endorsements into question.

Proposition A is not about education and it seems the only way they are getting educator support is through unethical and tricky surveys and by paying education advocates for their endorsements.  This is the same old and tiered game the casinos play at election time. Don’t be fooled again, vote No on Prop A.


School teacher’s name falsely used to endorse Proposition A

(Oct 29, 2008) ST LOUIS – A southwest Missouri school teacher’s name has falsely appeared on promotional materials for Proposition A, and he said it was done unethically.

Doug Campbell, Vocal Music Instructor at Carl Junction Junior High School was astonished to receive mail from the Yes on A collation that said he was one of many teachers in support of the measure.

“I was very embarrassed to see my name supporting a proposition that expands gambling,” Campbell said.

“I understand first hand the dangers of gambling, as I’ve seen people who have suffered the terrible consequences of gambling addiction.  I don’t support removing the $500 loss limit or anything else that will benefit casinos.”

The Yes on A coalition has claimed that hundreds of school teachers around the state are supporting the measure but Campbell has his doubts.  He believes the method the casinos used to obtain such support was completely unethical and seriously misleading.

“I received a survey asking if I thought more funding for education was needed. The survey had the appearance of an official letter from a state educational organization with several educators and their schools listed, so I filled it out. The only question concerning casinos asked how important it was to prohibit the legislature from using revenue from casinos for these funds,” Campbell said.

Evelio Silvera, Executive Director of Casino Watch Committee was shocked to learn that the survey did not ask teachers if they supported proposition A or opposed it.

“There is no telling how many other educators around the state have been used by the casino industry.  Mr. Campbell’s bravery to step forward has exposed this unethical practice and I hope more teachers will come forward to tell their story, “ Silvera said.

In 1994, during the Amendment 6 campaign, the casinos published a list of people in the Kansas City Star claiming they were in support of the gambling measure.  Rep. Don Lograsso, and at least 15 others, were listed as its supporters even though they were clearly against the measure.  The Yes on Amendment 6 Committee issued an apology letter but as Rep. Lograsso said, the severe, irreparable harm had already placed people’s reputations and careers in jeopardy.

Doug Campbell hopes people will understand that he is not supporting Proposition A and hopes his reputation can weather the storm.  He has made many apologies to friends, colleagues and church members who have questioned why he would support such a proposition.

These unethical and harmful practices call into question all of the teacher endorsements for Proposition A.  All the money in support of Proposition A has come from the Las Vegas-based Ameristar & Pinnacle casino companies and from the Missouri casino lobby.  No money has come from educators and it’s no wonder all three Missouri teachers unions have refused to endorse Proposition A.


Columbia Tribune: Vote NO on Proposition A

The Columbia Tribune warned voters of the dangers of Proposition A, but today they came out with a NO Vote on Proposition A endorsements:

The proposition is being promoted and funded by two big casino companies that already operate in the state. They want to limit future competition, and no current legislation, whether approved by voters or not, can ensure future legislators will expand general revenue school budgets to reflect increasing casino taxes. Even if that revenue goes into an education fund, as the initiative mandates, the General Assembly can and will reduce other potential education funding, meaning nobody can “guarantee” the proposal will increase education funding as the proponents allege.


Bolivar MO News: No’ on Proposition A

From Kansas City, to Joplin, Springfield to Jefferson City, and Columbia to St Louis, major news sources are urging a NO Vote on Proposition because they understand it weakens our law enforcement, expands gambling at the worst economic time, and exploits our schools, all for the casino’s economic gain.

Bolivar MO News editor, Charlotte Marsch, has come out against Proposition A and the paper’s opinion echoes those superintendents and Missouri teachers unions who refuse to endorse Proposition A, because they know its not for education, its for the casinos:

This proposition was not dreamed up as a way to increase funding for public schools. It was developed as a way to help Missouri casinos ensure their revenue stream and limit competition. They knew they had to figure out a way to sell it to the public, and what better way than to increase funding for education.

For as long as casinos have been in Missouri, casino companies have tried to make the public believe casinos are a good thing because they provide funding for education. But don’t let them mislead you this time. Proposition A really isn’t about education but all about the casinos protecting their profit margins.

The full article is below:

http://www.bolivarmonews.com/articles/2008/10/24/opinion/doc49022612e82bd634700532.txt