Saturday, November 8, 2008


Why aren’t we automatically skeptical when a proposition appears on the ballots? Valerie was an election judge this year. She had to vote early so she would be available all day to help voters. Now she wishes she had learned a little more about the issues.

Prop A was the first issue on the ballot. As far as anyone knew it was a way to stick it to the casinos for taxes that would go directly to our schools.

I worked as a computer tech for Harrah’s for 3 years. They used to round us up every time an issue came up that required our vote. This was a big one for them.

When I worked there we prayed they’d take away the loss limit in Missouri. It made up about 85% of our computer problems. We had a whole police department on site for the Gaming Commission to make sure loss limit rules were observed. There were several ways around it though.

I personally think we have to deal with our own demons. The loss limit isn’t what bothers me.

This issue is being pushed as a school issue. My mother and Valerie both figured why not so they voted for it. There will be no new taxes for us and the kids will benefit from the sin tax.

I drive for a living right now. At the more trafficked voting places you would see young people in matching T-shirts holding “Yes on A” placards.  At Clayton and Skinker there must have been 10 to 12 of them. I almost yelled, ”which casino do you work for?” out my window.

The hypocrisy wasn’t lost on me when the Missouri casinos accused the Illinois casinos of trying to create an unfair playing field when they threw money behind the “Vote No” campaign. They said Illinois didn’t want the competition it would create.

Illinois casinos put up $150,000. Missouri casinos put up $15,000,000. A bit of an advantage I’d say.

What’s getting in under the radar is that they added a limit to how many casinos are already in Missouri. “We don’t need any more casinos!” you might say. All the casinos in Missouri are owned by 2 Nevada based companies.

To generate the amount of money for our schools they’re talking about people would have to lose billions of dollars that would all go to Nevada.

The city of St. Louis won’t see any of this anyway. Only 9 or 10 schools will be affected.

When the casinos first appeared on the scene they promised money for our schools. Everyone was surprised to learn the money actually went into the general fund. This new money only goes straight to the schools.

Think about it. If you’re a small municipality and you’re used to getting a certain amount of school revenue from casino taxes you’re going to put the rest of your money somewhere else.

I don’t blame the casinos for being greedy. Money is the issue with them. Imagine the money that would be funneled back into the Missouri economy if Missouri businesses owned casinos.

I guess my real issue is the reason people vote. We rarely research the issues. We even admit openly that we don’t care about the issue when we vote for our representatives. We care more about their character. This is maddening to me. The issues represent their real character for us as a whole. Who cares who they sleep with?

My dream is to erase the stigma of non-voting. If you’re not informed don’t vote. I’ll still let you bitch. You don’t have to make a choice about everything that’s on the ballot. If you don’t know don’t vote. The internet is a good place to research the issues. The mainstream media are all owned by one or two people. Ignore them.


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