Archive for the ‘gambling’ Category

Your morning jolt: John McCain, Condoleezza Rice top RNC speakers

Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice top a brief list of speakers released today for the Republican National Convention, the Tampa Bay Tribune reports.

Other featured speakers also include Govs. Rick Scott of Florida, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, John Kasich of Ohio; Susana Martinez of New Mexico, and former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas.

No mention of Sarah Palin so far.

***
Politico this morning notes a dog that didn’t bark — the Democratic decision to include support for same-sex marriage in its national platform resulted in near silence from official national GOP outlets:

There were no statements blasted out from Mitt Romney’s campaign. The same was true for the Republican National Committee. Romney has yet to address the fact.

The pushback came largely from social conservatives and evangelicals, who pledged to make same-sex unions an issue going forward and insisted the stand will hurt Democrats….

And it marks a dramatic change …

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A rare word from Zell Miller: ‘I had a late life conversion’

Buford, Ga. – There was no mistaking the man who walked through the glass doors of the hotel complex on the shores of Lake Lanier.

The trademark shock of white hair remains neatly groomed. The hawk-like nose still juts out over a tight jaw. The eyes are clear and bright. But the stride is gone. Zell Miller walks gingerly now, always with a cane.

The former governor and U.S. senator describes himself as an 80-year-old man with 100-year-old legs. “I very, very seldom go anywhere,” Miller said in an interview.

Former governor and U.S. senator Zell Miller autographs copies of his 2005 book "A Deficit of Decency" at a Buford fundraiser for 9th District congressional candidate Doug Collins on Friday/SPECIAL

Former governor and U.S. senator Zell Miller autographs copies of his 2005 book "A Deficit of Decency" at a Buford fundraiser for 9th District congressional candidate Doug Collins on Friday/SPECIAL

In fact, Miller’s appearance on Friday was a rare return to a world he once commanded. He’d come down from the hills of Young Harris as the featured attraction at a fundraiser for state Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville, now a Republican candidate in the 9th District congressional …

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Another mystery mailer in Chip Rogers-Brandon Beach fight

We’ve got another mystery mailer in the race for state Senate District 21. But this time, the target is Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock:

antirogersmailer

As with the flyer that attacked Brandon Beach, the source of the attack is unclear. The Rogers mailer, which arrived at a Canton address, contains no claim of authorship and directs voters to www.don’tbetonchip.com – which also doesn’t offer any clues about who’s putting up the money behind the effort.

The Rogers mailer mostly concentrates on Rogers’ gambling connections that have come to light over the last few months, and contains some misinformation:

– In a past life, Rogers could be described as a “sports tout.” He pushed television viewers to a pay-per-call phone service that offered odds on football games and such. But there is no evidence – none – that he was a bookmaker. He did not accept bets or pay out winnings. Here’s more background on the topic.

– The charge that Rogers harbored illegal aliens at his hotel in Gordon …

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Your morning jolt: House speaker calls gift cap ‘a gimmick,’ urges independent ethics panel

Advocates of a $100 cap on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers will be at the state Capitol this morning to begin a 13-city bus tour pushing a “yes” vote on the July 31 Republican ballot question addressing the issue.

It will be led by state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, who will also be attending a called meeting of the Senate Ethics Committee. Which may or may not be – the sessions are closed to press and public – considering a complaint lodged against Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour, R-Snellville.

On the same topic, House Speaker David Ralston on Wednesday indicated that, rather than a cap on gifts, he’d rather see more secure funding for the panel formerly known as the State Ethics Commission. Ralston made his remarks on the last of a four-day swing through the state by House Republican leaders. According to Jon Gillooly and the Marietta Daily Journal, Ralston said:

”I am not opposed to real ethics reform. … I think the cap is a gimmick, frankly.

“I have said all along: I …

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Your morning jolt: Chip Rogers says he’ll vote ‘yes’ on casino gambling

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers and his Republican challenger, chamber executive Brandon Beach, met in a debate up in Milton last night, sponsored by the North Fulton & Friends Tea Party.

Yours truly served as one of two moderators. For the record, the time needed to drive the 40 miles from the state Capitol was one hour, 55 minutes. My partner was former secretary of state Karen Handel, who – should she ever give up on politics – will make a fine TV news anchor.

Topics included the transportation sales tax, ethics, and a new Milton County. Both men support the latter. But stark differences showed up when it came to education and gaming.

Atlanta developer Dan O’Leary wants to harness the Georgia Lottery as the engine to drive a vast entertainment and gaming complex in Gwinnett County. We asked the candidates what they thought about the idea. Said Rogers:

”If people earn money, and they want to spend it in a way that doesn’t violate anybody else’s rights, it’s none of my …

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Your morning jolt: Developer says casino question, but not his project, doomed to failure

The following statement arrived out of the blue on Monday from Atlanta developer Dan O’Leary, who wants to harness the Georgia Lottery as the engine to drive a vast entertainment and gaming complex in Gwinnett County:

“Recently, Republican officials decided to put a casino question on the July primary ballot. Our group did not advocate to have this placed on the ballot, nor do we support the question.

It is a flawed question and does not accurately ask voters about our project. To truly gauge public sentiment on the issue of gaming, the real question is: ‘Are voters in favor of the Georgia Lottery expanding with [video lottery terminal] games in a single controlled environment to save the HOPE scholarship?’ This question gets to the heart of the issue. It’s not about casinos; it’s about saving HOPE.

“Our proposal to build a mixed-used entertainment complex in Gwinnett County will bring new revenue to fully fund the HOPE scholarship and pre-kindergarten programs for many …

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Breeders’ Cup official dangles carrot in front of state lawmakers

Horses make their way through turn one during the Classic race at the Breeders' Cup horse races at Churchill Downs last Saturday in Louisville, Ky. AP/Matt Slocum

Horses make their way through turn one during the Classic race at the Breeders' Cup horse races at Churchill Downs last Saturday in Louisville, Ky. AP/Matt Slocum

A large carrot is dangling in front of next year’s Legislature – but only if state lawmakers agree to a statewide referendum to permit horse racing.

A member of the board of directors of the Breeders’ Cup says the annual event would consider coming to Atlanta – permanently or otherwise – should Georgia make pari-mutuel betting legal.

Each year, the Breeders’ Cup marks the end of the thoroughbred horse-racing season in the United States. It has no home, but migrates from track to track – Los Angeles, Kentucky, sometimes New York. But pass H.R. 186, sponsored by state Rep. Harry Geisinger, R-Roswell, and Breeders’ Cup board member Bill Farish Jr. told Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) that Atlanta could find itself in the mix:

”I’ve felt that way for a long time, actually. Atlanta as a city has so many of the things a …

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How a strong Sunday sales vote could encourage gaming proponents

About that small rumble you heard on Wednesday. Possibly it was the earthquake that had its epicenter up in Dalton.

But allow yourself only a dash of imagination, and it could just as easily been the thunder of horses’ hooves cutting a circle of turf for a grandstand of bettors.

The overwhelming success of 127 measures in 127 communities to permit the Sunday retail sale of alcohol on Tuesday was the punctuation mark on a major cultural – and political – shift in Georgia. People already wonder what might come next.

According to a list compiled by the Georgia Food Industry Association, 105 of the referendums passed – an 82 percent success rate. Two-thirds of more than 266,000 Georgians who cast ballots approved of the concept of a Sunday purchase of a six-pack from a grocery store.

Houston County is home to a teetotaling Sonny Perdue, who blocked Sunday sales legislation during his two terms. On Tuesday, his neighbors in the cities of Perry and Warner Robins contradicted the …

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Don’t look for Nathan Deal to approve video gambling

There is a movement afoot to move the Georgia Lottery from scratch-offs to the video screen, as a way of boosting revenue and restoring this year’s cuts to HOPE scholarships. From my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin:

Dave Garrett, an Atlanta real estate developer and coalition member who was the lottery’sfirst board chairman, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that video gambling revenue would make up for the $300 million shortfall for lottery-funded HOPE scholarships and pre-k. The HOPE 20/20 Coalition also includes Cadillac Jack, a Duluth-based video gambling machine company. Garrett said the coalition will expand to include other businesses and individuals interested in protecting lottery programs.

But such a move, for all intents and purposes, would need a green light from Gov. Nathan Deal.

And that’s not likely to happen. Let us direct your attention to Deal’s recent veto of SB 19, a bill designed to a) make it clear that Internet gambling cafes now springing up in …

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Your morning jolt: In Alabama, Jay Walker’s ex-boss pleads guilty to bribery, conspiracy

If you are a public figure and want to reduce your exposure, Friday is the day you pick for handing out less than flattering news. From the Montgomery Advertiser:

Country Crossing developer Ronnie Gilley pleaded guilty to 11 counts in an alleged conspiracy to bribe lawmakers to legalize electronic gaming in the state.

Gilley, you may remember, was the employer of Jay Walker, former chief of staff to House Speaker Glenn Richardson in Georgia – and a lobbyist here as well. Walker, too, has been charged with conspiracy and bribery. To continue:

Gilley agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and implicated fellow casino owner Milton McGregor in the alleged vote-buying scheme.

Gilley pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, six counts of bribery and four counts of money laundering.

Federal prosecutors agreed to drop 11 counts against the developer, but Gilley could still face between 22-27 years in prison for the others, although the prosecutors could ask the judge to reduce the …

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