Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Coughlin Blasts Strickland and Kasich on Gambling

State Senator Kevin Coughlin (R-Cuyahoga Falls) issued the following statement in opposition to Governor Ted Strickland's plan to allow over 15,000 slot machines in Ohio:

"The General Assembly should reject Governor Ted Strickland's proposal to allow over 15,000 video slot machines in Ohio. Ohio's voters have spoken loudly in four statewide elections to reject the expansion of gambling.

"I have no objection to allowing Ohio's voters to decide the fate issues via ballot initiative. But Governor Strickland's proposal is an end run around voters. The General Assembly is being asked to rush through a massive expansion of gambling without public testimony, proper hearings, substantive debate or a vote of the people. That's downright sneaky and Ohioans should be outraged.

"Equally troubling is the deafening silence from John Kasich. Ohio voters who oppose casino-type gambling have a right to know where John Kasich stands on this important issue.

"The fact is that John Kasich's top two campaign advisors are registered lobbyists for the gambling industry. Douglas Preisse and his partner Robert Klaffky are not only coordinators of the Kasich campaign, they are paid lobbyists for the Ohio Legacy Fund, a racetrack/gaming coalition that has spent millions to promote slot machines in our state.

"So it's clear that when it comes to standing for principles and against casino-type gambling, Ted Strickland and John Kasich are two of a kind.

"Ohioans are already paying too much for everything. The last thing they need is the government rummaging through their pockets for more money. Slot machines are just another means of sucking cash from the people who can least afford it. I will oppose the conference committee report on the state budget if this reckless plan is included and I urge my colleagues to do the same."