Saturday, October 24, 2009

video of casino debate: "Issue 3 enshrines a monopoly in the Ohio constitution"

The decision on Issue 3 is less about a thumbs up/thumbs down vote on gambling in Ohio alone, but instead is more about shortchanging the people of Ohio through large cash shifts to two private companies.

Still not decided?

Well, the City Club up in Cleveland has posted this week's Issue 3 debate online between Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams and Quicken Loans' Dan Gilbert on YouTube. After some introductions, the debate begins at the 4:30 mark...

Part 2 here. (10 minutes)
Part 3 here. (10 minutes - questions from IdeaStream)
Part 4 here. (10 minutes - on amending the constitution)
Part 5 here. (10 minutes - on equitable tax rates)
Part 6 here. (10 minutes - final statements)

- - -

Issue 3 as written selects four specific parcels on Ohio to build these casinos, and exclusively embeds those four locations in the state constitution.

The parcel in Columbus is located right in their Arena District, a super-rich area to begin with. Millions and millions of dollars will be flowing from the rest of Ohio into already super-rich Columbus. More of Dayton's wealth into Columbus, more of Southeast Ohio's wealth into Columbus, more of Central Ohio's wealth into Columbus.

watch the videos yourself, and remember to fill out your absentee ballots or vote early if you are able to do so.


'Techie' Jim said...

This debate was pretty sickening to listen to. Let me comment on some of the major points by Gilbert:

Gilbert: "Our proposal... will create four world-class, large buildings in four of the biggest cities or the four biggest cities in all of Ohio. Not in some rural area.

First of all, that seamed like the most sarcastic, elitist statement ever made considering he was debating with and sitting next to Jay Williams, Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio (A small/medium-sized city in NE Ohio). It seemed like he was almost being a smart-ass in claiming that we should not build a major job provider or tax revenue provider to a city that needs it more than any of the others proposed.
Secondly, build a casino in EVERY major city? So you want your own casinos to compete against one another?!? What sense is that. Putting one casino in Youngstown (centered between Columbus, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh) would bring in revenue from people coming from Cleveland, Columbus, Youngstown, Akron/Dayton, and PA cities like Pittsburgh and New Castle without competing with your own operations. Then put one more either in Cincinnati, Toledo, or another smaller area in-between them (like Lima) to bring in revenue from those areas and neighboring states to the north and west. I think I understand now when Mr. Gilbert said in the beginning of his debate that he hadn't been in a debate since the.. what was it? 3rd Grade? This guy's a moron.

Gilbert: "If we're gonna get involved with anything like a casino gaming operation it's gonna be in the down-towns, urban cores so it can revitalize those urban cores.."

Revitalize? Your building them in the largest, richest parts of Ohio. What are you revitalizing? Your just packing more money into already over-rich and over-funded areas.

Gilbert: "... here it's the proposal's stupid; I'm not calling you guys stupid. ... Basically, what you have here is a proposal that's written by the feedback we received from Ohioans."

That just says it all. But to be fair here, the proposal(s) he was referring to in the beginning of that quote were past proposals for casinos to be built in Ohio (that were rejected by Ohioans in past elections).

Gilbert: "... they wanted all the tax money to be local, just like this proposal does. This proposal keeps the tax money local for local schools, local counties."

Of course, the vast majority of the tax money goes to the counties and cities that least need it.

Mr. Gilbert goes on to say that there were only 15 days until election and complained that he did not know how long it would be before another casino proposal would come along. He not only did this once, but multiple times across his debate. So he wanted to push people into a quick, rash decision? Really?

Gilbert: "... not to mention organic growth, convention-center business and everything else. Another question you have to ask yourself is: Is Youngstown more likely or less likely to get a casino in the future, assuming that these four casinos do well..."

To answer your question, Mr. Gilbert, NO. Because the main points you made earlier on was that the casinos attract business meetings, restaurants, and convention goers. So if you already have massive casinos in Cleveland and Columbus, how much business would a (most-likely smaller) casino in Youngstown do against the casinos already in the larger cities? Not well at all, it would just be another reason to pass up Ohio.

I also agree with Mayor Williams that a commercial interest should not be stapled into our state constitution. As much as I agree with the separation of church and state I also strongly believe that there should be a separation of commerce and government. You want a casino? Give us a deal we can't refuse and keep your greasy, greedy hands off our constitution!

I am voting NO on Issue 3

P.S. - Sorry for the long comment! :)

Defend Youngstown said...

Defend Youngstown. Vote No on Issue 3

Anonymous said...

Cuyahoga County is pretty poor. Why would this be bad for Cleveland?