Proposal 1 in Michigan is designed to let voters decide whether new gambling operations open up in the state or not. A statewide majority would have to approve any new games using “table games” or “player operated devices”. In addition, the city or township that the games would be located in would also have to approve them, regardless of statewide opinion.
Despite no personal reasons to want more gambling than is already available, I have no strong feelings about the issue of gaming. Tax on people poor at math, and all.
But a number of legislators, and Governor Jennifer Granholm, are speaking loud and strong against the measure.
Let’s see. If VOTERS don’t decide about gambling, who would? Hmmm. Oh, I know! Legislators and Governor Jennifer Granholm, that’s who. They know better than I do what’s best for my city, maybe?
There are two things that I almost always favor, no matter what or when or why. They are tax cuts and measures that put the decisions in the hands of voters.
For that reason, I will be voting ‘YES’ on Proposal 1.
Nothing anyone can say will convince me that I’m not the right person to decide if there should be gambling in my backyard.
The main arguments being raised against the proposal seem pretty flimsy to me.
The biggie is that Indian Casinos and the major gaming operations that already have casinos in Michigan have pumped most of the money into the proposal. So what? There’s not much we’re going to be able to do about Indian casinos, no matter what Michigan voters say. And it’s too late to do much about the existing casinos. So, since there are some in the state it’s wrong not to let more in? Not talking sense, there, cowboy.
This measure does not allow voters to control the three existing non-Indian casinos in Michigan already. I wish it did, to allow voters a say in expansion plans, for instance. But this is far, far better than nothing. If Jennifer Granholm said “Vote ‘NO’ on 1 because it isn’t strong enough. I will favor a proposal that gives voters EVEN MORE CONTROL over gambling. Shoot this one down and let’s do this thing right!“, I’d feel a bit differently. But she is saying nothing of the kind. She isn’t looking out for you. She doesn’t think you can do the job.
The big scare tactic (and no political campaign is complete without one of those) is that Proposal 1 would cut the money education currently gets from gambling in the state. But, um, there won’t even less gambling if voters want it. Right? If you can convince me that I’m better off with a casino in my neighborhood and the money that it will bring in, I will vote for it. Simple enough. Never mind that the scratch games and state lotto are not “table games” or “player operated devices”.
One of the anti-1 commercials points out that big casinos and Indian casinos support the measure so they can get a monopoly on gambling in the state. This ignores the fact that if people want more gambling, they’ll get more gambling because they will vote for it. Then the commercial says “Don’t forget–These people are professionals at taking other people’s money. Now you see it–Now you don’t.” Which is totally insane, as the alternative to voters deciding is politicians deciding. And politicians are the only people better at “Now you see it–Now you don’t” than major casinos.
They’re also not bad at monopolizing power, now that I think of it.
And the existing casinos are bad, since they take our money. But let them decide when and where to add more?
God, I hate politicians.
It really seems to me that this is a no-brainer. You want more gambling? You want less gambling? You want the same amount of gambling? You can have your say if you have a say. You get what someone else somewhere else chooses if you don’t have a say.
I always decide to decide. I will this time, too.
Go read. Think. Vote.
UPDATE: Doug at 213 wrote about this a couple of weeks ago. Should have just googled before I wrote…