Thursday, March 04, 2010

Stop The Presses! Gayle Ruzicka and I Agree on SB 248

Someone once said that politics makes strange bedfellows. You know it's true when I agree with Utah Eagle Forum's Gayle Ruzicka on a bill.

But, sometimes, a bill is so wrong (wrong isn't even the right word. Strange? Stupid? I don't know) that it requires people of all stripes to weigh in in opposition.

To the Trib:

Utah kids could begin getting hit up to play blackjack or try their luck on Las Vegas' loosest slot machines under legislation being sponsored by a conservative Utah County lawmaker.

Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Eagle Mountain, is sponsoring SB248 to exempt casino gambling from the state's do-not-contact registry, designed to protect children from solicitations for pornography, alcohol, smoking and other adult-oriented business.

He told a committee this week the casino carve-out was brought to him by the Attorney General's Office, which won a lawsuit in October brought by the pornography industry challenging the registry but feared it couldn't withstand a suit by the gambling industry.

That is not Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's recollection.

"We didn't come up with this," Shurtleff said. "The casino folks came to [Madsen] initially and asked him to run the bill and then came to us next."

Because suddenly caring about being able to afford lawsuits is important.

Because Senator Madsen cares for kids so much, he wants them to get SPAM from the Peppermill.

If I had the oomph, I'd check to see how much money Senator Madsen has gotten from the gambling industry lately. I'd be willing to be it's not a small amount. But, that would require dealing with Gary Herbert's cluster-**** of a website, which requires more patience than I have right now.

[UPDATE 3/4/10 5:54 PM] Someone looked into Senator Madsen's donations back to 2008 and couldn't find any gambling interests. [end update]

Oh, and Gayle Ruzica's take on the bill?

But Madsen's proposal has conservative groups, who traditionally back the like-minded legislator, concerned about the impacts.

"I didn't like that bill from the beginning," said Gayle Ruzicka, president of the Utah Eagle Forum. "Senator Madsen is a really, really good man who believes in that registry. He would never do anything to destroy it. ... That registry has to be protected at all costs."

If the state has to exempt gambling to preserve the rest of the registry, she said, it is a pill they will have to swallow, but she would rather leave it the way it is.
"I don't believe anything [the casinos] are saying. They're evil people," she said. "They'd love to addict all of us, including children."

Hey, Carl! Don't shoot Gayle!

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