The debate on slot machines (Question 2 on the ballot) is in full swing.
I just read this blog post by Allan J. Lichtman, who is a professor of history at American University and a national political analyst. Very well written laying out salient reasons to oppose slot machines. The most important to me is that this really is designed to take advantage of our most vulnerable citizens, for these are the folks who lose money they cannot afford. Public ethics matter. We have seen the importance of ethics in the economic crisis. I really believe that Maryland is better than this, more ethical than approving slot machines.
There is also an event on Friday October 17 at 7p.m. at Pleasantview Baptist Church in Port Deposit. It is a forum entitle "The Truth About Slots."
They have assembled an quite a slate of speakers, including;
Aaron Meisner, Chairman, StopSlots Maryland
Dr. Valerie Lorenz, an eminent therapist in gambling addiction
Peter Franchot Comptroller of Maryland
Michael D. Smigiel, Sr., of the MD House of Delegates
And especially two more: Joe Pfister, a recovered casino gambling addict who experienced first-hand how the gambling casinos can entice and victimize the unwary, including experienced, successful, citizens.
John Bowers, a local horseman, former jockey, owner, breeder, and trainer of thoroughbred race horses, with an eye-opening story to tell.
I will not be in attendance; this conflicts with a long standing meeting in PA for me. But I be there in spirit.
I still cannot get over the fact that Marylanders are actually giving serious consideration to amending our constitution to permit gambling. And the fact that one of the parlors would be in our back yard in Perryville is troubling.
My mother received a telemarketing call yesterday urging her to support the referendum question. The pro-slots folks have lots of money to spend. The opponents are working hard to get the word out without benefit of telemarketers or paid people knocking on doors (and lying about the issue, saying it will fix health care and prescriptions, etc).
So please spread the word and pray hard.