There was an editorial in the Star Tribune a couple of weeks ago authored by Sen. Claire Robling and Assistant House Majority Leader Bob Gunther about racino. Advocates of limited government may wonder why two Republicans support using government money to prop up private enterprise, which the conservative movement ostensibly opposes; and why they support state-run gambling, which both the GOP and the conservative movement oppose. Well, one reason is that they stand to benefit personally. Robling alone received $500 from racino lobbyists to support their cause.
According to the two legislators, one reason tosupport state-run gambling is that it “will generate at least $133 million in new state revenue every year without increasing taxes.” Fine, but will it decrease the size of government? Will it decrease the amount the state spends? No, it will do exactly the opposite. Do we want taxpayers to fund the government inthe size that they want, or do we want to the government to be able to grow without having to ask or answer to taxpayers?
If Republican legislators want to gain revenue from gambling, they should not do it by having the government start its ownbusinesses. They should do it by allowing private citizens to start their own businesses. Limiting any business – such as gambling -- to a given race -- in this case Native Americans -- is ridiculous and should end.
I will write more on this in the future. In the meantime, if you’d like to contact your legislators on this issue, I would suggest calling some of the following.
Rep.Bob Gunther: 651-296-3240 or 800-684-4598
Sen.Claire Robling: 651.296.4123
Sen.Mike Parry: 651.296.9457
Sen.Julianne Ortman: 651.296.4837
In particular, Mike Parry refuses to take a firm position on racino and a state-funded stadium. It seems he supports both. (In light of the $500 he was given by racino lobbyists to support them, he would be foolish not to obey the money.) He is also running for Congress in southern Minnesota. You might ask his office how we can trust him with big-time Washington lobbyists if he is already falling victim to cronyism with lobbyists in Minnesota.