Political Leaders Could Determine Slots Referendum Fate

Political Leaders Could Determine Slots Referendum Fate

With slot machines on the ballot in the upcoming referendum in Maryland, there are many places that people can look to in order to find people that might be able to sway the argument one way or another.

On the one side there are the proponents of the bill. These are people that argue that the slot machines authorized by the bill could help with industry, help with keeping taxes low and help with funding the shortfall at the same time. They used to be the most popular group by far, but as time goes on they appear to be losing ground to the opponents of the bill.

The opponents of the bill argue that slot machines are not a feasible solution in the short term, nor are they cost effective in the long term. The argument is one of practicality and when it is combined with the moral exhortations of social conservatives it is quite easy to see how this argument can be populist and gain ground, which it has steadily been doing ever since support for the referendum peaked at 56% about a month ago.

Depending on who you are in this particularly tangled maze of point and counterpoint, you might be looking to different people to seize the day. Either the lobbyists that are going hard to get the referendum passed or the social conservative leaders that are trying their best to discount slots and discredit them in the eyes of the voters.

There is one direction that nobody is looking in however and that is the political leadership of the state.

Specifically, the Republican Senate leadership is what everyone seems to be ignoring. Republican Senators were highly responsible for the slot machine question being brought to Maryland in the first place as when they were working with Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich they pushed hard in order to bring slot machine questions to the forefront of the politics of the state. However, when the political tide turned against them and a Democratic Governor came to office, the Republican Senate members (in the minority) executed a nice 180 degree turn and started opposing measures directed at bringing slot machines into the mix.

Now, the Republican Senate members (14 in total) find themselves divided on the issue of slot machines in Maryland and because of that have officially decided to opt for a position of neutrality on the issue. Political leaders have often tried to duck difficult decisions, but the neutral stance of the Republican Senate is perhaps one of the most blatant examples of political maneuvering that has been seen in the state in recent years.

The blatantly political nature of the position is so apparent that even the Republicans in the lower house of the state legislature are starting to call them on it. House Republicans have taken a very firm pro-slots stance and have already started addressing issues between slot machines and the budget problems that the state has. Because of this, it appears as though the house and the senate will be in disagreement on their positions come referendum time.

July 11, 2011 by : posted in Industry and Economy No Comments