Thursday, July 16, 2009

1 + 1 = 1

Sometimes one article doesn't tell the whole story. Multiple angles can provide the reader a better understanding of what is to come.

As is the case with two articles from in today's Canton Repository and Columbus Dispatch.

First, the Canton paper:
For better or for worse, Gov. Ted Strickland probably has sealed his political fate by allowing racetracks to install slot machines.

His future may depend not so much on whether Ohioans agree philosophically with the idea, but on whether slots bring in the kind of tax money over the next two years that he predicts.


It’s debatable whether more gambling can bail state government out of its long-term budget problems — never mind the social costs it creates. The governor is gambling that gambling can be a short-term fix, too.

It’s a bet we wouldn’t make on the state’s future, or Strickland’s.
And then we have a post on the Dispatch's political blog detailing the specific legal arguments certain organizations are bringing against the Governor's plan:
The Ohio Roundtable and the Ohio Council of Churches haven't hired a lawyer yet, but the groups are sharpening their arguments for overturning Strickland's executive order allowing 2,500 slot machines in each of the seven Ohio racetracks.

The arguments center around two points: that the 1973 constitutional amendment that created the Ohio Lottery does not provide for casino-style gambling, and that the governor's plan to spend gambling revenue on purposes other than education violates a 1987 constitutional amendment.
Now let's forget whether or not these are sound legal arguments. That point is moot to the point at hand: If the Governor's future relies on "whether slots bring in the kind of tax money over the next two years that he predicts," and two major and well-funded lawsuits are coming down the pipe, it seems evident that the chance Ohio sees any substantive slot revenue by next November is about as likely as Ohio's unemployment rate not hitting 11%.

Ultimately, if Ohio's major papers are giving full ownership to Gov. Stricktaft, his plan must come through before next November. If not, Ohio's MSM will continue to hound him and provide Kasich all the earned media he needs.

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