I was forwarded a copy of a statement released by the aforementioned Delegate James King. This is the statement, without any commentary:
Many of you have expressed disappointment in my vote for approving the
referendum on slots. First and foremost, let me say that this vote was a
vote against even higher taxes in .
There has been a rumor that if the referendum died, Mike Miller would kill
all of the tax bills. Though I wish that were the truth, the fact of the
matter is that Mike Miller has no control over the tax packages. Mike Miller
and the Senate passed a 1.4 Billion dollar tax package that currently sits
on The Speakers desk. He can not pull that bill back, it is out of the
Senate and in the control of the House. The House can simply vote that tax
package up or down, and as we have seen in recent days, they certainly have
the votes to increase taxes.
There is absolutely no merit whatsoever to the idea that killing the
referendum would have killed the tax packages, I wish it were that easy.
The reality of the situation is that if the referendum failed, the Democrats
would have increased the current tax package, most likely in the form of
raising the sales tax from 6% to 7%. Regardless of where you stand on slots,
if passed, it will bring hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue into
this state. If those revenues do not come from slots, where do you think
they will come from? They will come in the form of taxes from the hard
working families of this state! I can not in good conscious vote to burden
the working families of this state any more, and have consistently voted
against any and all new or increased taxes. I believe my voting record
stands for itself.
It is also important to recognize that close to 80% of each county in
is in favor of a slots referendum. The people want a voice in this,
and they have overwhelmingly asked us to give it to them, how do we in good
faith ignore them? I was sent to to represent those individuals
and they have spoken loud and clear.
I agree that it is important to “Hold the Party Line” in many instances, and
have always done so, but at what cost? I believe that you must draw a line
when “Holding the Party Line” hurts the taxpayers of this state. I have
stood with the Republican Party on every issue to date, but if trying to
make the other guy look bad trumps doing what is right for the taxpayers of
this state, I will vote for the taxpayers!
Nine months ago, I stood with only 4 other Republicans, and voted against
one of the worst budgets in the history of this state. A budget that largely
contributed to the 1.7 Billion dollar structural deficit. I was extremely
vocal that “voting for Governor O’Malleys budget, would create an enormous
structural deficit”. I warned that “taxes of historical proportions would
follow”. I was told by my fellow Republicans that I was right, but voting
against the Governors budget would finish me in , and my opponents
would use it against me in my next election. Regardless, I stood up, voiced
my opinion, and cast a tough vote, because it was the right thing to do, and
I stand by that vote.
My vote today was also a tough vote to say the least, but I stand by that
vote as well. I will look out for the taxpayers of at all costs,
and I truly believe that I did so today! For those of you who know me well,
you know that I do what I believe is right for my constituents, regardless
of political pressure, threats, or popularity. This job is not about doing
the easy thing, it is about doing the right thing! You may not agree with
today’s vote, but I truly hope you will respect it!
James J. King