Here We Go Round, Round, Run Run Around
From WBAL’s Robert Lang.
Ocean Downs is now back in and Frederick and Harford are out as potential slots locations. The subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee that initially removed Ocean Downs and added a Frederick site reversed course adding William Rickman’s Ocean Downs site back into the bill slated to be voted on by the full Ways and Means Committee and the full House later today. The original Ways and Means Committee was scheduled to vote on the bill at 10AM but the subcommittee changes pushed that time back.
Now that everyone knows that Rickman was going to get his slots parlor no matter what, its no big deal to locate them at Ocean Downs. When the fix is in, keeping up the appearance of propriety is no longer a concern now is it.
Del. Mary-Dulany James, a Harford County Democrat, skipped most of Wednesday night’s House session to engage in a frenzied behind-the-scenes lobbying effort. After the session, she huddled with Del. David D. Rudolph, a Cecil County Democrat, to talk strategy. “So, I’m calling the governor?” he asked as he walked away from James.
James said the only places along the I-95 corridor in Harford County with the kind of land necessary for a slots parlor are next to Ripken Stadium or in a residential community, and neither is right for slots, she said.
“I’m dead set against it,” James said. “Harford County would eliminate any possibility for me to consider [voting for] a referendum.”
However, don’t be too quick to laud James for her concern for her constituents. It really is only skin deep as O’Malley Watch points out:
This does beg the question, is this all a tactic. See, some Delegates such as James and Mathias and Conway have said absolutely no to slots. But if they are threatened for their area and then taken out, then the Delegate would look like a hero and be able to vote for the bill. It allows them to flip-flop without risking their integrity.
If the fleecing of our bank accounts weren’t tied to the slots bill, this would be funny.