- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Slots foes sue to alter language on ballot
Question of the Day
Opponents of Maryland’s slot-machine referendum in November filed a lawsuit Thursday against its wording, while another prominent foe addressed the State Board of Elections, also pressing to include more details about how slots revenue will be used.
The lawsuit was filed in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court on Thursday by lawyer Irwin Kramer, whose clients say the measure obscures how the proceeds would be spent.
Mr. Kramer, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of plaintiffs including anti-slots groups Stop Slots Maryland and No Casino Maryland, said the referendum language submitted by Secretary of State John P. McDonough is an attempt to “manipulate the voters.”
Only about half the revenue would go toward the stated purpose of increased education spending, while the rest would go to racetracks, horse breeders and slots license owners, he said.
Mr. McDonough is a former lobbyist for Rosecroft Raceway, a Prince George’s County horse track.
The referendum he wrote states that slots revenue would be “for the purpose of raising revenue for education of children in public schools, pre-kindergarten through grade 12, public school construction and improvements, and construction of capital projects at community colleges and higher education institutions.”
“Voters are not being told at the ballot box that they’re voting on much more than meets the eye on the ballot,” Mr. Kramer said. “We need to be truthful in what we tell voters so that their vote truly reflects the popular will.”
The lawsuit asks Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to prohibit state elections officials from certifying the ballot language and to direct the secretary of state to revise the ballot question “with neutral language that fairly and accurately apprises voters of the true nature of the issue.”
Mr. Kramer also sought to invalidate last year’s special session, which resulted in $1.4 billion in tax increases and the slots referendum. Maryland’s highest court threw out the Republican-supported lawsuit in March.
Fred Puddester, chairman of the nonprofit group Maryland For Our Future, which favors the referendum, criticized the lawsuit as “frivolous and rehashed.”
His group stressed that the revenue provided for schools through the slots initiative is crucial to the state.
State Comptroller Peter Franchot Thursday released a report showing the state’s general fund revenues were $73.5 million below forecasts for fiscal 2008.
“Maryland´s citizens are smart - not ‘ill-informed’,” Mr. Puddester said. “They´re tired of this endless politicking. It´s time to let the people decide.”
If Maryland voters approve the referendum, a total of 15,000 slot machines could be put at five locations throughout the state.
About half of the proceeds would go toward education programs. Slot-machine operators would get about 33 percent, and another 7 percent would go to horse racing purses.
About the Author
- EXCLUSIVE: Colombian prisoners strain D.C. Jail
- Dedicated funding lacking to fix Metro
- Metro didn't follow 3 federal safety notices
- Early questions focus on crash warning system
- NTSB cited Metro car problems in 2006
Latest Blog Entries
By Isaac Orr
New carbon-dioxide rules would put America in the dark
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors