October 2, 2006

The Latest of 57 Reasons to Reject Ohio Learn & Earn Initiative (100206)

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:01 am

From Jill at Writes Like She Talks (original entry relating to Jill’s effort is here) –

  • Reason 40: “Because its mere existence forces me into bed with truly strange and otherwise extreme people.” — An interesting one. I think finding out that someone you normally oppose has the occasional sensible streak is beneficial. The OL&E initiative isn’t really a right-left debate as much as it’s a matter of, first, inappropriately matching a public good (education) with a socially questionable enterprise (casino gambling), and second, even if you don’t agree with the first reason, recognizing a bad deal when you see it.
  • Reason 39: “Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right to do.” — Sounds like your mom talking. Mom was, or is, right.
  • Reason 38: “Because even one person’s vote makes a difference, so do not for a moment think that just because people in other states have succumbed to the ‘everybody’s doing it’ or ‘they’ll take their money outside Ohio’ arguments, that voting against for this amendment, as one person, in the face of facts about other types of gambling already allowed, won’t make a difference.” — Okay, it runs on a bit, but it works for me.

And now, for a BizzyBlog contribution:

Reason 37 (Writes Like She Talks link is here): This absolutely idiotic Cincinnati Business Courier editorial (link requires subscription; full text follows) –

Gambling would have big payout
Cincinnati Business Courier – September 22, 2006

Even the most ardent gambling opponents now have a good reason to vote in favor of an Ohio ballot measure that would legalize casino gambling. And that’s what all voters in Southwest Ohio should do: Hold your nose and swallow this bitter pill but vote in favor of the so-called “Learn and Earn” constitutional amendment.

This region is emerging as a big winner in this emotional and controversial debate. Here’s how:

Win 1. No casino would be built in downtown Cincinnati or anywhere in Southwest Ohio. Instead, up to 3,500 slot machines would be installed at both River Downs and Lebanon Raceway. Both of those businesses would get a badly needed boost. We’re not introducing gambling to our citizens, as they already have it available in Indiana and online.

Win 2. Backers of this initiative have cleverly made education a benefactor. About $1 billion each year would be generated for college scholarships. Students in Cincinnati would get about $22 million of this money. Students in the rest of Hamilton County would get about $30 million. If you need only one reason to vote for legalizing gambling, this is it. You’re right if you say that this is bad public policy, but political leaders from both sides of the aisle do not have the boldness to change the way Ohio funds higher education by making it a public policy priority. This initiative lets Ohio voters do it for them.

Win 3. Badly needed dollars for economic development will come our way. Each of Ohio’s 88 counties will share in a $230 million annual economic development allocation. In addition, Hamilton and Warren counties and the cities of Cincinnati and Lebanon will receive a total of $22 million because they will be hosting the new slot machines. Cincinnati and Hamilton County will get another $11 million annually for economic development because of our position as a large urban area not benefited with a new gambling facility.

Win 4. For those concerned about the effects of gambling on our community, this initiative will make Ohio a leader in the nation in creating a funding strategy aimed at keeping people from letting gambling ruin their lives. Hamilton County alone would get $1.7 million in new funding for these services.

It’s an odd argument, but gambling might be what we need. A better-educated citizenry would reduce our jail population, lower our crime rate and create a stronger work force. Forget the misleading advertising Learn and Earn is using, but remember how our region would benefit when you vote in favor of legalizing gambling.

This may be the most cynical editorial I have ever read. In essence, it says “It mostly stinks, but vote for it anyway, because we’ll benefit.”

No, thanks. Vote NO on Issue 3.

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