Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Going mainstream.

Kevin over at Ohio Politics Online has a good post up this morning examining this editorial from today's Columbus Dispatch.

But to me, the key paragraphs are the following:
Mountaineer Gaming, owner of Scioto Downs racetrack, was one of many parties eager to see slot machines legalized in Ohio. Its team of lobbyists included the wife of state Democratic Party chairman and former legislator Chris Redfern.

As party chair, Redfern controls party purse strings and campaign support and enjoys immense influence over Democratic officeholders. His wife’s job means he will benefit personally from Mountaineer’s success with the slots proposal. Democratic lawmakers know it would be unwise to say no to the chairman’s wife. Her involvement in the deal might not be illegal, but it’s not an ethical way to make policy.

A consortium of Ohio horse racetracks called the Ohio Legacy Fund wisely employs Alan Melamed as a lobbyist. Not only is Melamed a close friend to House Speaker Armond Budish, the nursing-home lobby he also represents has an unparalleled record of reaping disproportionate funding from the General Assembly.
Now, Ohio bloggers have been hounding these stories for a while now. But it's completely different when this story becomes a focus of one of Ohio's biggest newspapers. More questions are bound to be asked. Seeing this story go mainstream has the potential to be particularly damaging for Democrats.

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