Monday, November 3, 2008

News From Glenn!

I was so glad to hear from Glenn that I am breaking my own political rule to post this. Glenn wishes all of us to be informed. We are all looking forward to seeing you back at Sam's! Enjoy the election news tomorrow.

Submitted by Glenn,,,,,,,

Vote Against Question 2!

BYAnthony J. O’Donnell – House of Delegates Republican Leader
Christopher B. Shank – House of Delegates Republican Whip

Over the last few months, the citizens of this state have been bombarded with a variety of myths regarding the slots constitutional amendment. There have been radio and television ads that warn ominously of tax hikes and cuts to education and public safety if slots are not authorized. This fear-mongering ad campaign is financed by a handful of individuals who will make a tremendous amount of money if this plan moves forward. Members of the Democratic leadership have made not-so-subtle threats to unions, community organizations, and other interest groups bullying them into supporting the amendment. Those voicing opposition to the amendment have been demonized. Even if you are in favor of slots coming to Maryland, when you push past the layers of rhetoric and look at this constitutional amendment in its entirety, it is clear that this is not the way slots should be authorized in this state. The House Republican Caucus opposes the slots constitutional amendment because it is a bad deal for the citizens of Maryland and does nothing to address the root causes of our fiscal problems. The House Republican Caucus has a slots plan ready to introduce that does not require a constitutional amendment and allows market forces and local input, rather than political favors and back room deals, to determine the locations.

The first myth that needs to be addressed is that Question 2 is a referendum on slots. Maryland does not have a provision for referenda. Question 2 is not an up or down vote on slots and voting against it does not prevent the authorization of slots in the future. Question 2 is an amendment to Maryland’s Constitution, the primary governing document of the State. This amendment not only authorizes slot machines but authorizes them in specific locations throughout the state. The locations and beneficiaries of the proposed slots plan were decided in a back-room closed process, with no consideration for market forces or the concerns of local governments. Once authorized, any changes to the slots program will require a constitutional amendment. There will be no way to address unforeseen problems that require changes, such as a problem with a particular location, until an election year when the citizens can vote to approve the changes. There is no need to authorize slot machines with a constitutional amendment and failure of this amendment does not mean that the General Assembly cannot come back in January and authorize a slot machine plan that benefits all of Maryland. The second myth that needs to be addressed is that if the constitutional amendment fails, the only option will be more taxes and draconian cuts to deal with the $1 billion deficit we face in FY 2010. Another myth is that education funding will be enhanced or jeopardized depending on the passage or failure of this amendment. The truth is the constitutional amendment does not bring in significant revenues until 2012. The revenues that will be dedicated to education will be used to supplant monies already spent on education, not to increase overall education spending. The message being sold to the citizens by the Democratic leadership is slots OR taxes – the fact of the matter is, the economic situation, the current deficit, and the unwillingness of the majority to restrain spending will lead to slots AND taxes. In contrast, our slots plan will generate an immediate $850 million in upfront revenue in FY 10 that will fill a significant portion of the structural deficit. Our plan will bring in more revenue overall than the constitutional amendment. The House Republican slots plan, in combination with our budget proposal will not only eliminate any need for tax increases, but will allow for a repeal of the historic tax increase passed in 2007.

What the citizens of Maryland need to know is that this constitutional amendment is a bad deal for the taxpayers. It gives away slots licenses well below their market value to a handful of wealthy, politically well-connected individuals. In these tough economic times, and in the wake of the largest tax increase in Maryland’s history, that is grossly inappropriate and should not stand. The constitutional amendment will do nothing to address the $1 billion deficit and will not prevent new taxes. It allows the Democratic leadership in Annapolis to continue to recklessly spend money with no control or accountability. The taxpayers of Maryland do not have that luxury and neither should their elected leaders. It is time for the citizens of Maryland to say NO to Martin O’Malley, Mike Miller, and Mike Busch. No unjust enrichment for political patrons, no more reckless spending, no more threats, no more fear. The best option for our citizens is to vote AGAINST Question 2!

No comments: