Never trust a PAC fund politician

When I first heard the State of Ohio was turning to Keno to solve it’s budget problems, I was wondering who was smoking crack in Columbus? When I saw it was our Democratic Governor, who also is a methodist minister, it seemed even odder. Today we learn it’s the campaign money crack pipeline that brought this “wonderful idea” to life:

Firms vying for Keno contract
Lobbyists and executives for two firms with a chance to operate the state-run Keno gambling machines proposed by Gov. Ted Strickland have donated thousands of campaign dollars to the Democratic governor and his party.

The money came from representatives of GTech Corp., the state’s current online gaming vendor, and Intralot USA, which has bid against GTech and a third firm for a new state contract for online lottery services that went out in October.

Lottery spokeswoman Mardele Cohen said the contract did not specifically include Keno, which the governor said Thursday could raise $73 million of the $733 million he needs to address a projected budget deficit.

“Could Keno fall under this? Yes, it could, because it’s a type of online (product),” Cohen said.

Rhode Island-based GTech, the Greek company Intralot and Georgia-based Scientific Games Corp. all submitted bids for a Dec. 20 deadline, Cohen said. The state hopes to award the contract by April.

Ohio lobbyists for Intralot have donated about $30,000 to Strickland and the state party, while GTech representatives have donated about $28,000, according to state and federal campaign finance documents. Scientific Games lobbyist Richard Hillis gave Strickland’s campaign about $2,200.

Most of the contributions from gaming entities to Strickland, who took office a year ago, came during his 2006 run for governor.

However, two Ohio lobbyists for Intralot, Philip Craig and Jacob Evans, donated a combined $9,000 to Strickland in August and September of last year.

Dan McCarthy, president of The Success Group, which lobbies for GTech, and his wife have donated a combined $21,000 to Strickland since late 2005.

So, the former Republican Governor and his administration thought buying rare coins was a good investment for the State– from a fundraiser and lost millions, and now we have another “brilliant” idea to get Ohio out of a deficit- that is just as bad, all from the same evil root: candidates on campaign-fund crack.

That’s why David Esrati doesn’t accept money from PACs, special interest groups, corporations- just regular people like you, who want to have a government that acts logically and methodically to solve problems, instead of making new ones.

Ohio has voted over and over to say no to casinos (mostly because every proposal seems to only help the horse racing establishment) and with the current financial crisis looming, adding ways for people to gamble is no worse than a crack dealer getting people hooked. I’ve always called the lottery a tax on stupid people, and now, we’re looking at expanding it because we can’t cut the money out of our political system.

If I can prove that a candidate can get elected to Congress without spending millions, and selling out to special interest groups, it could begin a revolution in American politics- and we may actually get the government fo the people, for the people that we were promised so long ago.

Please note: Mike Turner and Jane Mitakides, my opposition in the race for Congress in OH-3, both take huge amounts of contributions from Special Interest Groups, PACs, corporate lobbyists.

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10 Responses

  1. Greg Hunter February 2, 2008 / 12:25 pm

    mostly because every proposal seems to only help the horse racing establishment

    I do not think you can ever wrap your brain around the trickle down positive effects of horseracing; diversity of employment, green space and return of dollars back to various socio economic interests.

    Strickland has officially become a tool, if the gambling does not occur at established racing venues.

  2. David Esrati February 2, 2008 / 12:47 pm

    Greg,
    I knew I could count on you for some Republican “trickle down economic” babble.
    Strickland became a tool the moment he tried to balance his budget with gambling profits. Good government and health care shouldn’t be based on gambling odds.
    I don’t think horse track owners have my best interests, or the horses best interests in mind when they started their business. It’s not governments job to help them out.

  3. Greg Hunter February 2, 2008 / 2:24 pm
    You conveniently left out the people who own and try to maintain horses everyday. A politician who does not put their feet in others shoes, or understand all of the interests, should not be elected.

    Where do we draw the line at what the government does or does not do to help out. Veterans, minorities, mentally unstable, alchoholics, homeowners, child bearers; all questionable “investments”, but we do it for benefit of society because we understand and have humanity.

    People are going to gamble, period. The lottery is the worst bet in the world and the parimutuel is the best. Look, lets go back to the days when the Italian or Jewish Mafia ran the gambling @ least the money stayed in circulation in town. Horseracing benefits the greatest cross section of society of any gambling operation, so it is the one that should benefit.

  4. Juan February 2, 2008 / 2:26 pm
    “trickle down” – Greg, you FINALLY got it! ;)

    But isn’t it mostly the evil rich that can afford to invest in race horses and pay for the diverse employment that surrounds the racing industry?

    No need for a lengthy, well thought out reply. I’m just trying to yank your chain a bit on a cold day.

    Later,
    Juan.

  5. Greg Hunter February 2, 2008 / 4:12 pm

    “trickle down” – Greg, you FINALLY got it!

    But isn’t it mostly the evil rich that can afford to invest in race horses and pay for the diverse employment that surrounds the racing industry?

    I used to own a couple and I did not consider myself rich, just using the tax code to my benefit. My support of racing has more to do with obtaining a long term diversfied work force, a link too, and support of, agriculture, while providing a sport that encompasses entertainment (fun), odds making (math), betting (math), greenspace (nature), handicapping (math, voodo, science) animal interpretation (nature) with evaluation of genetic lineage (science). Horseracing provides something for everyone and your money can be donated slowly.

  6. Greg Hunter February 2, 2008 / 4:14 pm
    Ohh and women exercise riders – HOT! ;)
  7. Juan February 3, 2008 / 8:12 pm
    >> Ohh and women exercise riders – HOT! <<

    Ahhh, once again we’re on common ground, Greg!! Maybe I wouldn’t mind having a beer with you after all. ;)

    Also glad to see you’re not opposed to using the tax code to your benefit. Man, you’re sounding more like one of the evil rich every day. ;) I know that your passion is horses. Mine is aviation. While not apparent to many, these two interests do have something in common. There’s an old (although not very good) joke amongts people involved in the business of aviation….How do you make a small fortune in aviation? Start with a large fortune! I think that often horses have the same result.

    I am certainly no expert on the tax aspects of horse racing although I’m sure you’re probably acquainted with Professor John Talbott at WSU. He wrote a couple of books on the tax aspects of race horses as well as a book on using regression analysis to bet on the ponies. My only exposure to this comes from a horse guy with the initials AKS who’s been in the horse business since he was a boy. I gave him a $5 bill one Friday night and had a crisp $100 returned to me on Monday morning. His horse was a longshot the weekend I gave him the $5 because it had lost the week before. It went on to be a very winning horse for a while. Unfortunately, I lost contact with AKS shortly after that and don’t know whatever became of the horse (way back in ’96 or so).

    Let me know when you’re up for that beer. I missed talking to you last week at the social event in South Park.

  8. Greg Hunter February 3, 2008 / 9:28 pm

    My only exposure to this comes from a horse guy with the initials AKS who’s been in the horse business since he was a boy.

    Ahh, another reason I love Dayton, the tight circle of life. AKS is brother to APS, former spouse of GEH and a large part of the story! :)

    I was busy ;) sorry to have missed you!

  9. Juan February 4, 2008 / 8:27 am
    hmmmm, how did I know that? I’ll fill you in over that beer some time. Then you can fill me in on that “large part of the story!” :)

    Actually, you and I have never met although I did speak to you briefly when you were running for office. I stopped by what was then your office on Congress Park and picked up a yard sign. I only met APS briefly one time. Trying to remember if I ever met their dad. If so, it was a quick handshake.

    Looking forward to that beer. Let me know when & where.

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