Tuesday, October 23

Amendment 3: I Guess It's OK

I just saw this very professional-looking commercial, reminiscent of one you might see for the new Big Pharma drug. The language of the ad seems to make sense, with all these normal people telling me that people like me want the amendment. And that might be true. At least kind of.

Yes, there was a petition, promoted by the Seminole tribe and Disney. It cost them (and other stakeholders) over $6 per signature in canvassing or whatever it takes. I think the ad said they got over a million signatures. At $6 million, that's not entirely grassroots. Grassroots is a million signatures and all volunteers working for $0.

Basically, the amendment would require a referendum of voters for all gambling decisions. I guess the Seminole tribe and Disney feel they can bring voters the kinds of projects that will get approval, thus solidifying a gambling monopoly in the state. While I am against all gambling myself, I'd rather it be done well if it has to be done. These corner gambling parlors, game rooms, and internet cafes should not exist. Not in your fancy neighborhood nor in the seedy areas they're currently inhabiting.

I assume these mom and pop gambling houses are the targets. Mom and pop is tongue and cheek here, since the owners are generally living it up in St. Johns County. But my big question is why we need an amendment to protect ourselves from these dens or dubious legality. Don't we have elected officials? Why would these elected officials allow gambling halls where they're not supposed to exist, and how do these projects get past local politicians, law enforcement, and the judicial system? If the process is really so corrupt, then it's about a lot more than amendments, referendums (referenda?), and fake grassroots movements.

I look at it this way: either the gambling stays in the hands of those who currently run the system or we put it in the hands of a gambling monopoly. It currently seems broken to some degree, but that could be fixed with proper enforcement or altering of current laws. Forcing citizen votes on all gambling projects will ensure the projects are professional and safe, and run by those with the money to do gambling right (not that it's ever really right). Bottom line is I don't really think Amendment 3 should be necessary, but it's better than greased pockets and gambling in every convenience store.

The main problem is whether or not we can successfully eliminate the current gambling locations in addition to approving new ones. If not, I'd say there's already been a saturation of the market, resulting in crime to last a decade and poverty-stricken people wasting their money to pay for other people's beach homes. It looks like it's only for NEW casinos, so no dice there.

Also, it looks like someone (other casino owners) is trying to frame Amendment 3 as anti-education, since casinos pour donations after huge profits into schools. Nice, clean money for the schools. If I told you schools would get an extra $1,000 for every murder in Florida, that's not going to make murder a good thing, right? I'd rather limit something that's bad rather than just have schools benefit from the proceeds of it.