Archive for the ‘pari-mutuel’ Category

Handicapping an unasked-for defense of Chip Rogers

“I can handle my enemies,” the proverb goes. “But God save me from my friends.”

Perhaps you’ve heard of the recent article by Emory University journalism student David Michaels, posted on the website Atlanta Unfiltered. The piece detailed the early career of state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, as a pitchman for a sports pick operation throughout the 1990s.

Michaels unearthed videos of a fresh-faced Will ‘the Winner’ Rogers pushing would-be football game bettors to a $10-a-call 900 line, guaranteeing 80 percent accuracy. He found the name of Will ‘the Winner’ Rogers on a 2001 NCAA blacklist of tout services.

“Tout services provide information about specific teams and games on which to place wagers…Tout services have implied in the past that they receive information from individuals close to collegiate athletic programs,” the NCAA warned team staffers, emphasizing that contact with those involved in organized gambling violated collegiate athletic bylaws.

(The …

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A lottery-fueled gambling complex in Norcross?

This just arrived from Greg Bluestein and the Associated Press. Charlotte Nash, the chairman of the Gwinnett County Commission, said she is “intrigued” by the proposal:

A developer is betting that Georgia residents are ready for a gambling facility, and he’s unveiled plans to build a sprawling new complex near Atlanta that he hopes can give a jolt to the state’s economy and infuse the popular HOPE scholarship program with much-needed cash.

Dan O’Leary [said] Tuesday he wants to build a $1 billion entertainment complex near Norcross that includes a towering hotel, a spacious theater and a game floor with 7,500 video lottery machines.

Gambling proposals have emerged in recent years in Georgia and other states hard-hit by the economic downturn. It’s been a tough sell in Georgia, where conservative groups and legislators fear it could erode family values and lead to increases in crime and divorce.

O’Leary said the development could funnel $350 million each year to the struggling …

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Your morning jolt: Nathan Deal dismisses talk of lottery-driven casinos

At the tail end of this 10-minute interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM), Gov. Nathan Deal dismissed last week’s talk by some state lawmakers who are entertaining the idea of lottery-fueled casinos to prop up the HOPE scholarship:

”I don’t like the idea of casinos in Georgia. Now, I recognize that we have some long-term problems with funding for the full HOPE program. But I do believe that as the economy begins to turn around, we will see the revenues from our traditional lottery program rise again….

“This is something that the lottery commission will have to make a judgment call about. But I think we have to be very careful we do not put in place something that, for all intents and purposes, appears to be casinos.

Deal acknowledged that the Georgia Lottery Corporation might not need his approval to proceed:

I’m not sure that it would take legislation. That’s a legal question that has been raised. I haven’t received a definitive answer on that yet.

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Five Republican …

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Your morning jolt: Terrorist bomb could be planted ‘very easily’ at Hartsfield-Jackson, says Paul Broun

Because you might be flying out of Hartsfield-Jackson between now and Thanksgiving Day, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun has decided to offer you his comforting opinion on air safety.

The congressman from Athens joined House Transportation Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., at Reagan National on Wednesday, where the pair dropped a report that called the $56 billion spent on airport security since 9/11 to be a waste.

From the Washington Post:

Broun said a terrorist bomb could be put aboard an airliner “very easily” at his home airport in Atlanta. “TSA has not prevented any attacks,” he said. “It’s just been very fortunate that we’ve had no attacks.”

Broun has been a frequent critic of airport security. When last heard from on the topic, the congressman said he had witnessed security agents at an airport – he never said which one – pat down an elderly woman and child, but skip a man “in Arabian dress, who just walked right through.”

Then again, there is that Channel 2 Action News video showing …

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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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Your morning jolt: Tim Pawlenty endorses Mitt Romney

Former governor and ex-GOP contender Tim Pawlenty stiffed fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann and joined the anti-Rick Perry movement in one fell swoop this morning, issuing an endorsement of Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential race.

National Review Online has just posted a few words from Pawlenty:

“Alone among the contenders, [Romney] possesses the unique qualifications to confront and master our severe economic predicament. His abiding faith in our country’s exceptional historical position as a beacon of freedom will make him the most important leader in a world that depends upon a strong America to stay at peace.”

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After tonight’s CNN/Tea Party Express debate in Tampa this evening, national eyes will be focused Tuesday on New York City as a bellwether for 2012. From Public Policy Polling:

Republican Bob Turner is poised to pull a huge upset in the race to replace Anthony Weiner as the Congressman from New York’s 9th Congressional District. He leads Democrat David …

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Your morning jolt: New FBI unit takes aim at corrupt state judges, lawmakers in Georgia

A unique way to greet the return of the Legislature to the state Capitol this morning, from Greg Bluestein and the Associated Press:

The FBI has assembled a new squad to investigate corruption among judges and legislators in Georgia, though the top federal agent in the state is being tightlipped about what cases are developing.

Brian Lamkin, who heads the FBI office in Georgia, [said] he decided to form the team after months of reviews and a look at the bureau’s long-term priorities.

Georgia’s FBI office has long used a single squad that handled the brunt of corruption cases, from law enforcement officials to government officials. But Lamkin set up a special team to look into wrongdoing by police and other law enforcement officers and landed string of recent corruption charges. That team will still check out officers while the second new corruption squad will have a different goal, he said.

“It impacts the everyday system. It’s not just a dirty law enforcement officer that …

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Your morning jolt: Shift on charter schools or ‘renounce’ GOP, local party tells Cherokee school board

The Cherokee County GOP late Friday passed a resolution demanding that four county school board members reconsider their opposition to the funding of charter schools – or “renounce their affiliation with the Republican party.”

Parents in an overflow crowd watch through a door window from outside the Cherokee County school board meeting during a June debate over a local charter for the Cherokee Charter Academy in Canton. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Parents in an overflow crowd watch through a door window from outside the Cherokee County school board meeting during a June debate over a local charter for the Cherokee Charter Academy in Canton. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

The spat is an outgrowth of this spring’s decision by the Georgia Supreme Court, ruling that the state-issued licenses of 16 charter public schools were unconstitutional because they stepped on the prerogatives of local systems.

Among the 16 was Cherokee Charter Academy. Funding for the school was turned down three times by the local school board, whose members argued against what they said were added costs.

Casting votes against the school were board members Mike Chapman, Janet Read, Robert Wofford and Rick Steiner.

Gov. Nathan …

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Your afternoon jolt: Tea party calls directed to losing congressional candidates

Freshmen congressional members and their staff have breakfast on their first day of orientation on Capitol Hill in Washington on Monday. AP/Harry Hamburg

Freshmen congressional members and their staff have breakfast on their first day of orientation on Capitol Hill in Washington on Monday. AP/Harry Hamburg

If you needed any more evidence that the movement still has some organizational tweaks to make, consider this late Friday e-mail from the Tea Party Patriots – attempting to stop the flood of e-mails and phone calls it had sent the way of freshmen members of Congress assembling in Washington this morning.

The red-lettered message also indicated a need for the group to update its contact sheets. Embarrassing calls were directed at losing candidates, too:

Thank you for making calls to your Congressmen-elect urging them to attend our freshman orientation this weekend. It’s time to turn off the heat.

We also need to apologize to some people. In our haste to compile the list and get it out to you, some people who didn’t win their races were incorrectly included as having won. People who dedicate a year or more of their lives to …

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Democratic candidate for ag commissioner puts his money on the ponies

Pari-mutuel betting just reared its head in the race for state agriculture commissioner. This from Walter Jones of Morris News Service:

Georgia could add as many as 20,000 jobs and an economic impact of $1 billion by legalizing betting on horse racing, according to one major-party statewide candidate who threw his support for it today.

J.B. Powell, the Democratic nominee for agriculture commissioner, brought reporters to an Atlanta-area horse farm to make his announcement. He said it is the first of five proposals he will unveil to boost the state’s economy through agriculture.

Not only do the funds for building the $200-million tracks, the farms and training facilities come from private capital rather than taxpayers, the state’s HOPE Scholarship program would also take in a share of the betting proceeds as a new source of revenue, Powell said.

“They’ll see that it doesn’t cost the state anything,” he said of hesitant legislators. “It’s time that we find a new revenue …

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