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 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 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)

Yes on A coalition  – Ethics Commission Report


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