Niagara Gazette

Opinion

September 15, 2013

GLYNN: Critics say ballot slanted for casinos

Niagara Gazette — Voters often ask why they’ve never been given a chance to express their opinion on legalizing casino gambling. 

The reason: State lawmakers who debated the issue for decades — the delay due in large part to the upstate vs. downstate bickering — failed to pass the measure twice as required under the State Constitution.

Now a referendum is finally in place for the November election. In fact, the item will be No. 1 on the short list that appears above the candidate lines. The problem is, critics contend, the ballot’s couched in language that puts a positive spin on the overall issue.

If you read it carefully, the wording is aimed at drawing a yes vote. After all, who’s going to vote against “promoting job growth, increasing aid to education and enabling local governments to lower property taxes”? That’s more spin than a roulette wheel, as one observer said.

Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group raises a valid point: “If you’re going to have the benefits written in (on the ballot), you should have the minuses too, including gambling addiction.” He adds: “I don’t know if that violates the letter of spirit of the law, but it’s heavily one-sided.”

For the record, the straight-forward, simple message for the voter facing the referendum is: The proposed amendment to Section 9 of Article 1 of the State Constitution would allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York state.” There was no need for Gov. Andrew Cuomo or his staff to help the Board of Elections write the text to sway voters. A lot of people are convinced that’s what happened.

•••

ON TOP OF GAME: With another National Football League season under way, there are always fans that would like some help in following the action on the field. Dozens of books have been written by former NFL coaches and players but one of the best is the paperback “Watching Football,” by Daryl “Moose” Johnston, a Youngstown native who played at Syracuse University before extending his star-studded career with the Dallas Cowboys. Now he’s a broadcaster and analyst with Fox Sports. The reviewers have cited Johnston’s moderately-priced book for its informative approach to make the game immensely more interesting for the fans and even “the football widows.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page