- A pollster who favors the slots referendum in Maryland says that support for the measure is unchanged from August - 58% in favor, and 38% opposed.
Yang says that the intensity of support has picked up in the Baltimore area, where a pro-slots television ad has been airing. He notes that a "significant proportion" of support remains "soft," however, meaning people could still change their minds. [Washington Post]The Baltimore Sun is getting flak for their editorial endorsement of slots over the weekend. The paper had opposed the games in the past, but now, citing "extraordinary times," it wrote:
Without new revenue, Marylanders face truly unacceptable choices. Public education and health care for the disadvantaged represent the majority of state spending and therefore cannot be held harmless in this cash-strapped environment. Both will soon suffer as budget cuts grow deeper and deeper. The prospect of higher taxes is just as ruinous an alternative if in raising taxes the government winds up dampening prospects for economic recovery.Claiming that the Sun had written 75 anti-slots editorials in the past 10 years, a spokesperson for Marylanders United to Stop Slots said: "(I)t appears the editorial decisions are being made by corporate suits in Illinois, the Tribune Company, and not by the independent editorial board here in Maryland."
The Washington Post came out against the referendum.
One-sixth of slots revenue would sweeten race purses, an unnecessary subsidy that would mostly benefit out-of-state owners and Maryland's wealthiest breeders. Why should the state spend its dwindling dollars to bolster wealthy breeders rather than, say, Chesapeake Bay watermen?
Maryland had the good sense to rid itself of the machines 40 years ago, and voters should continue to resist the glow of slot machines and the false promise of pain-free revenue they represent.