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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

More Hardball in Ohio

- Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s piece in Rolling Stone entitled Was The 2004 Election Stolen tried, apparently unsuccessfully, to revive the debate over possible election fraud and dirty tricks in Ohio that gave the election to the current occupant of the White House. There's been little if any reaction to it in the mainstream press, which is perhaps afraid to go anywhere near such a volatile matter, one that nobody, regardless of political affiliation, would ever want to believe could occur in this country.

Whether the allegations are true or not, some in Ohio were perhaps inspired by the idea that anything goes at the ballot box in order to win. The efforts by Queen City Gaming to gather enough signatures to put a referendum permitting a casino in Cincinnati has apparently succumbed to some hardball tactics by Learn and Earn, a group that seems to be not quite as benevolent as their name suggests. Learn and Earn's casino plan excludes Cincy, and is backed by Penn National, which owns a riverboat casino in Indiana that would have been hurt by the competition from a casino there. For their part, Learn and Earn claims that a referendum that would bring gambling to the southwest part of the state would be less likely to be approved by the voters in that more conservative region of the state.

In addition to filing repeated challenges to the Queen City group's petitions on procedural grounds, Learn and Earn took them out of the game by simply hiring all three of the available signature-gathering firm in the state, and, facing an August 7th deadline to gather 323,000 signatures, the task is now too insurmountable. A spokesperson to Louis Beck, a local banker heading the Cincy drive explained: "It's become more and more clear that you need a professional firm to do this job, and it's not likely that there is one available at this point ." [Cincinnati Enquirer]

However, Learn and Earn still needs and wants support from the city, and is hoping to speak to Queen City sometime soon. Leslie Ghiz, a Cincinatti counselwomen who pointed out bitterly that "If we looked cross-eyed, they challenged us," is one slots supporter who doesn't seem the least bit amenable to any sort of agreement.

"Our first objective is to keep them off the ballot.....They won't get another signature out of southwest Ohio. Turnabout is fair play." [Cleveland Plain-Dealer]


Anonymous said...

...Bernardini returned to the worktab on Monday with a 5 furlong breeze in, get this, 105.91...are you kidding me?...i know he was just out for a morning jog, but 105.91?...i'm not sure what to think about that...but check this out...also on the Belmont tab Monday was True North winner Anew, who breezed four furlongs in 54.01...was the Belmont surface really that slow on Monday morning???...i've never seen such slow works, at least works that were recorded on the official tab...i'm gonna have to check the entire Belmont tab now... quick heads-up here...the 3yo Baffert colt Midnite Lute hit the worktab again on Tuesday moning, in a bullet 59 and change...he's been training regularly for a while now, and should be hitting the racetrack shortly...he was one of Baffert's very highly-regarded 2yo's last year, and i had big reports on him for his debut, which he won in fine fashion despite a terrible trip...he then encountered some type of leg injury and went East for some type of surgery, never to be seen again...but like i said, he's been training well over the last month or so, and if he comes back no worse for wear, he could have a big second half...keep your eye on him...

Alan Mann said...

He's a son of Real Quiet, Midnite Lute is.

I looked back at Anew's works before the True North, and it looks like he's just a slow worker. 52.3, 1:03.4, 1:02.3, 54 there's precedent for the one today. As for Bernardini, I presume he's just starting to crank him up?

Anonymous said...

To set the record straight I have a few corrections...

For their part, Learn and Earn claims that a referendum that would bring gambling to the southwest part of the state would be less likely to be approved by the voters in that more conservative region of the state.

Actually slot machine parlors in downtown Cincinnati was part of the Ohio Learn and Earn amendment. These provisions were taken out when Cincinnati business and poliltical leaders refused to support the idea.

Ohio Learn and Earn then filed the amendment as it stands and began collecting signatures.

The Cinci group didn't jump in until the last second, when it was too late to change the amendment, which had already be certified by the Ohio Secretary of State.

Cincinnati will, however, still have slot machines in two nearby racetracks and can introduce a bill to the ballot next year to extend slot machine-only locations.

Todd Hoffman
Ohio Learn and Earn