As June's legislative session was careening toward its chaotic conclusion, the bingo-style gambling game Keno was approved. It passed without most legislators knowing what they were voting for, which is not a problem as long as you have the votes.
Besides the legislators, another group who knew little about the Keno proposal was the public. Usually when the legislature is thinking about doing something like, say, introducing a new gambling game into 1,000 venues statewide they will invite people to a public hearing to hear their views.
This didn't happen.
One reason public input might have been avoided could be because Keno backers did not want to hear what people had to say. A recent Quinnipiac poll showed 59 percent of Connecticut residents are opposed to Keno.
In fairness, it should be noted that there is one group anecdotal evidence suggests strongly favors Keno. That group would be drunks. Drunks love Keno so much that they will often spend their very last dime in a bar playing the game.
Exactly when Keno will be introduced to Connecticut bars, taverns, restaurants and convenience stores is unknown at this time. This is because the Connecticut Lottery Corp. has been discussing its implementation in double-secret meetings. They can do this because they are a queasy-public — um sorry — quasi-public body.
If Keno does hit, supporters — whoever they are — say it will generate $27 million in revenue. Rep. Stephen Dargan, co-chairman of the committee that oversees gambling, says he doesn't think it will bring in that kind of dough, but then what does he know, right?
So, to recap, we have a new gambling game, which legislators who voted on it knew little about until the last minute, which the public hates (but drunks love), which is now being discussed in secret, which may or may not generate the money its supporters (if there are any) say it will.
Sounds like everything is right on track.
With Apologies to Willie Nelson
"Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys
"Don't let 'em pick guitars and drive them old trucks
"Make 'em be doctors and lawyers and … " Connecticut State Marshalls.
A story by the Courant's Matt Kauffman last week revealed that one marshall, John T. Fiorillo of Bristol, grossed over $681,000 last year serving legal papers. Overall, Kauffman reported, 230 state marshals grossed $22 million in fees in 2012. And you went to college why?
Goose Wars: The Homeowner Strikes Back
The Canada goose is a resident bird posing as an international traveler. Statewide these posers pretty much spends their lives eating, reproducing, and turning every available blade of grasslands into slip and slides. The Weak is not a fan, and as such has no problem relaying information from DEEP that the annual hunting season for local Canada geese will run through most of September. For the record, the Weak remains an advocate of hunters being allowed to hunt geese with drones.
Bevin Gets Bell Rung
Matt Bevin, owner of Bevin Brothers Bell Factory in East Hampton but a resident of Kentucky, is running in the Kentucky Republican Senate primary against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The contest took a nasty turn last week when McConnell's campaign began running ads accusing Bevin of falsely claiming on LinkedIn that he is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which he isn't. A new poll shows McConnell leading Bevin by 47 percentage points. It should be noted that the poll was conducted by McConnell's internal pollster.
Not True, Not Even Truthie
In a fundraising letter, Mark Greenberg, a GOP candidate for Congress in Connecticut's 5th District claimed last week that Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty and employees of the IRS have been given exemptions from Obamacare. Neither charge was true … which, of course, has nothing to do with fundraising.