Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rick Perry's Gambling Problem

While people are focusing on Mitt Romney's $10,000 bet, not to many people are focusing on the fact that Rick Perry has double standard when it comes to gambling. When Mitt Romney offered Rick Perry to take that bet, he declined saying "I'm not in the betting business." Really?
In 2010, the State of Texas was facing an $18 billion budget deficit and the state legislature was again considering expanding gambling in the state, in order to make up some of that deficit, according to a news story in the May 12, 2010 edition of the Dallas Morning News.
Nothing major was proposed, such as permitting casinos in the state or legalizing online gambling.
The suggestions, on the contrary, were pretty innocuous by gambling standards, and included such things as legalizing slot machines at existing horse and dog tracks in the state.
But Governor Perry quickly put his foot down and stamped out any possibility of expansion of any kind of gambling in the Lone Star State, announcing during a public appearance in Richardson, Texas: "The Texas Legislature may find that it (a bill expanding gambling) is something they're interested in--I would highly recommend they don't send it to my desk."
Then, earlier this year, when the issue arose again, "Puritanical" Perry again stomped on it.
After the Fort Worth Star-Telegram printed the results of an opinion poll that showed that 45% of Texans favor expanding gambling in the state while just 34% oppose it, Perry told the newspaper in its January 10, 2011 edition: "I have consistently been an opponent to expanding the gambling footprint in Texas and continue to maintain that position."
Perry's anti-gambling position would be easier to stomach if it were pure.
But it's not.
Like most politicians, he's a phony, easily exposed when one follows the money.
In this case, it's campaign money, and the portrait it paints ain't pretty.
According to official campaign documents examined by Perry in 2007 and 2008 received a total of $793,356 in campaign donations from gambling entities, including horse and dog racing tracks in Texas and Indian tribal casinos in Oklahoma (the tracks want slot machines, the tribes don't want casinos in Texas).
That makes Perry the No. 2 recipient in the state over that time period of donations from gambling interests, behind top recipient David Dewhurst, the state's lieutenant governor, who got $851,350.
So on one hand, Perry disdains any more gambling in the State of Texas.
But on the other hand--or more precisely in the other hand--he's happy to grab all the gambling cash he can.
Not only is Rick Perry hypocritical when it comes to the issue of gambling, but he's very selective about the kind of gambling he supports. Rick Perry supported privatized video gambling and flip flopped on his support for it. You may not be aware of the fact that Rick Perry used funds from the Foundation School Fund to pay lobbyists to promote video gambling in Texas. In fact, Rick Perry called for a special session of the Texas state legislature in 2004 to consider the issue of legalizing video lottery in Texas: 
To consider legislation and amendments to the constitution that authorize and allow the placement and licensing of video lottery terminals at licensed racetracks and certain Indian reservations, providing that the revenue derived from such activity is dedicated to the Educational Excellence Fund, providing that the racetracks and tribes sign a contract with the state. 
A few years later in 2007, Rick Perry urged the Texas Legislature to allow private gambling business to either buy the state's lottery system or lease it.
Rick Perry reminds me of Obama. Obama will speak out against big corporations, support the Occupy Wall Street protesters and villifiy the rich but he'll happily take their campaign donations while mingling with them. Rick Perry does the same thing with the gambling business. Rick Perry may not be a gambling man but he'll take a firm stand against them but he'll gladly accept their campaign donations. 

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome!! Great piece on exposing Perry as the gambler he really is. :)