12:00 PM EDT, October 31, 2012
Question 7 isn't just a contest between Penn National and MGM. It is a question of good government versus bad, of special interests versus the people. The "Yes" side says it promotes jobs and raise money for education while the "No" side says that the jobs won't necessarily go to Marylanders, that most of those jobs will be temporary, and that the money raised will not go toward education but will simply replace existing funds.
What is clear is that the legislation was rushed, and the gambling interests had a strong influence on how it was put together. The negotiations were secret, and the people of Maryland had no input. So how do we choose between one special interest against the other? A Yes vote endorses the bad legislation passed in an arm-twisting session. A No vote does not end the discussion, but likely sends the issue back to the legislature, where it can be considered in a more calm and deliberate way.
Our legislators can then decide whether to simply add table games to the existing casinos or allow for another casino and whether a decrease in taxes is really warranted. These points need to be discussed fully and openly with input from the public in public hearings.
Vote No on Question 7 if you want more transparency in government.
Giulio Venezian, Baltimore
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