Eric “Hardley” Gets It

I actually read The Capital recently (be proud of me because that is an accomplishment only because of me finding the time from a schedule that recently loosened up.) Columnist Eric Hartley said that we should not fall for the slots propaganda.

Two things, Hartley falls for the exact argument that I called anti-slots people out on last week in my column. I stated:

“If this referendum does not pass, it will not be because of the reasons that Anti-Slots people will use. Be prepared for them to say, “Marylanders across the state realized that we do not need slots and the realize that having casinos here are a bad thing.”

Then I read Hartley’s column:

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“…as a Gonzales Research and Market Strategies poll hearteningly shows, the closer Marylanders look at slots, the less they like them. Forty-nine percent of likely voters surveyed said they supported legalizing slots; 43 percent opposed it. In January, the numbers were 54 and 39. I hope that trend continues to Election Day and Marylanders don’t let bad fiscal news force them into making a false choice between new taxes and slots.”

For the sole purpose of public service, I am pointing out that the question about slots is largely based on would you vote in favor of this referendum to amend the constitution. Here is the exact question that was asked by Gonzales:

On this November’s general election ballot there will be a Constitutional Amendment to legalize slot machines in Maryland. The Amendment is titled “Authorizing Video Lottery Terminals (Slot Machines) to Fund Education.”

It authorizes the State to issue up to five video lottery licenses for the purpose of raising revenue for education of children in public schools, prekindergarten through grade 12, public school construction and improvements, and construction of capital projects at community colleges and higher education institutions. No more than a total number of 15,000 video lottery terminals may be authorized in the State, and only one license may be issued for each specified location in Anne Arundel, Cecil, Worcester, and Allegany Counties, and Baltimore City. Any additional forms or expansion of commercial gaming in Maryland is prohibited, unless approved by a voter referendum.

If the election were held today, would you vote For allowing slot machines in Maryland or Against allowing slot machines in Maryland?

The constitution was referenced before the question was asked meaning said question was predicated on the information leading to it. So Marylanders are more against amending the constitution than they are slots.

I will say this though. I agree with Hartley when he says:

“If the governor and legislators want to raise your taxes again, they’ll find a reason – slots or not.”

As I keep referring to, The Examiner last year stated that Maryland has a spending problem, NOT a revenue problem…that is until now.

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