- In Florida, Governor Bush reluctantly signed the slots bill into law (“I have a constitutional duty ... to implement the voter-approved initiative."); it will allow the games to be up and running at the four pari-mutuels in Broward County by July 3. In the meantime, he’ll be supporting a move to conduct a referendum to repeal the law, which seems just unimaginable given the expenditures that the facilities will have made by November.
But Bush and gambling opponents are quite serious about the repeal effort, as illustrated by this email exchange obtained by the Palm Beach Post. (Hmmm, that could be a reversal of sorts....a reporter conducting domestic spying on a Bush?) In the email, he tells State Senator Ken Pruitt of his preference to use slots proceeds for one-time rather than reoccurring expenditures.
“I have told Tom (Lee) and Allan (Bense), my main interest is to have the proceeds go to non-recurring items. The legislature can focus on current needs without having the state becoming addicted to the ill-begotten proceeds. We could put out to bid having all teachers getting a portable computer. We could wire all schools that aren't wired. We could do many one-time things."The Bush brothers should only hope that they get that response from their wives from time to time.
Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, responded: "God you're good, I love it!
The 50% tax rate in the bill is apparently tempering the construction plans of at least two of the pari-mutuels – Pompano Park harness and Hollywood Greyhound.
"The original scope of the project was in the $165 million range but I anticipate that budget may be pared somewhat," said Dick Feinberg, general manager of the [Pompano] harness track. "But it's still going to be a major expenditure." He hopes to have 1,500 machines up and running by the end of the year. [Sun-Sentinal]- We’ve been hearing a lot about how excited Merv Griffin is about Stevie Wonderboy, prepping for the Jan 14 San Rafael; but trainer Doug O’Neill reports that Merv won’t attend the three-year old debut of the short-maned wonder.
"He's on a yacht in the Virgin Islands." [AP] OK, so I guess he's not that excited.