Saturday, January 21, 2006

86: “Slaying the Serpent in the Garden of Gettysburg!”

[Reprinted from the No Casino Gettysburg message board, in reference to the fact that Representative Steve Maitland (R-Adams) has reworked his proposed legislation barring a casino from the Gettysburg area by narrowing its focus from “15 mile proximity to all historic areas administered by the National Park Service” to just Adams County, thus making way for projected casinos near Valley Forge, Fort Necessity, and Independence National Park.]

Let me tell you what is going on here.

Nobody except a group of very greedy investors, wants a casino near Gettysburg.

That should be abundantly clear by now. Nobody wants it, not even the casino industry, although they'll jump in with both feet if one gets approved. Until then, however, they won't touch it with a ten foot pole.

So, Maitland's bill wasn't "narrowly focused" enough. It touched too many casino projects in too many areas.

While no casino should be built within ten miles of Valley Forge (let alone 1 mile from a Nuclear Power Generating Facility!), too many powerful reps, like Godshall (Robert Godshall, R-Bucks, Chairman of the Tourism Committee in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives), who likely as not have much of their own money tied up in casinos, felt threatened by the bill.

You can probably get a good idea who stands to gain from a casino project by looking at the way they responded to Maitland's bill. Its a shame it didn't come to a public vote, since then they would be on record for all to see who had a monied interest!

While Maitland's bill stands a good chance of getting through IF it only affects Adams County, and IF the legislators can see it would not affect any other area now or in the future; it only solves ONE problem...the Gettysburg problem.

No Casino Gettysburg has a choice to make. Do they only support Maitland's bill, or do they follow the lead of the majority of their research and ALSO start to fully support Clymer's proposed repeal legislation (Paul Clymer, R-Bucks)?

Keep in mind, with the exception of the statistics on Heritage Tourism, and the Historical aspect of the Gettysburg Battlefield area, (which would apply to those proposed casinos in Limerick, Philadelphia, and near Fort Necessity out in the Pittsburg area), the statistics and anecdotal information gathered here in the past 10 months applies just as much to every other casino project in Pennsylvania, as it does to Gettysburg.

We all know the Biblical passage from the Old Testament Book of Genesis, where Satan appears to Adam and Eve in the form of a serpent. Innocence is lost after Eve is enticed by the serpent to take a bite of the forbidden fruit.

Well, it wasn’t Eve this time, it was Ed Rendell. Rendell took campaign money from the gambling interests. Lots of money. Tons of money, literally. At the time he was Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and looking desperately for funding streams to shovel to targeted Congressional Elections. That was during the Clinton administration.

It is quite likely that Rendell then promised to get gambling installed in Pennsylvania in exchange for huge campaign contributions for his run for governor, from the same national gambling interests. It wasn’t his innocence that went down the drain, it was yours…every person in this great Commonwealth.

I put it to you thusly: Gettysburg's problems with casinos do not end with the passage of Maitland's bill (which could always be struck down later by the courts!). The only way to kill this serpent dead-dead-dead is to cut off its head and cut out its heart: repeal. Gettysburg is a part of Pennsylvania, and as such, the many negative reasons put forth by
No Casino Gettysburg apply just as much to any other community as they do to Gettysburg. In other words, it is not just a bad idea for Gettysburg, it is a bad idea for Pennsylvania.

All of you know the many ethical lapses, and downright corruptions in that legislation:

for example:

making it legal for those who passed the legislation to:

--own a part of a casino;
--to have their names hidden from the public;
--be a part of the appointment process to the Gaming Control Board.

and giving the Gaming Control Board (GCB) the authority to:

--grant contracts without a competitive bid process;
--farm out the vetting of GCB employees to a private firm over the State Police;
--grant a license to an applicant no matter what the public sentiment is locally;
--grant a license to an applicant regardless of any local zoning restrictions.

This is not legislation, this is corrupt tyranny!

In gambling, the house always wins, and the public always loses.

In Pennsylvania, the House and the Senate, and the Governor always win, and the public always loses.

It may be all about the money, but I assure you, it is not about any money that may be coming your way.

This legislation was passed in the dead of night in July, 2004, just like the Pay Raise of July, 2005. It can (and should) be repealed in the same manner the Pay Raise was repealed, and if necessary, by turning seated individuals out of office to get the message clearly to the General Assembly and the Governor. Even if it costs many elected officials their seats, and Justices, too!


“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!"

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.”

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NoCasinoGettysburg either at their office or website.

NO Casino Gettysburg
Box 3173
Gettysburg, PA 17325

or contact them via the phone at 717-334-6333.

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