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Friday, October 12, 2012

Here's the flop

With just a week to go before the ballots are mailed out in Oregon, we got a piece of election porn in the snail mail yesterday: a glossy four-pager (8½ by 11 inches per page) from the folks pushing a private casino out in Wood Village. Lots of green ink urging us to educate ourself:

Here was an interesting graphic inside:

We're voting no, because if there's going to be a casino in the Portland area, it should right downtown and there should be no private profit. Or tribal profit, for that matter.

Comments (28)

25% to the state? Big deal. Their casino in Vancouver, BC pays 75% to the provincial government, just about like the 76% to the state that slot machines in Oregon bars and restaurants do. Who are they kidding?

Voted absentee already.
A BIG NO!!!! on this scam.

I got that mailer yesterday also and thought it was excellently done.

The "profit" I find objectionable from gambling is government revenue. I think it's a filthy way to raise revenue. The Oregon lottery is the most regressive "tax" there is.

The objections I see to this are largely shrieking cries against competition. The door is already kicked wide open.

I'll take private profit over public corruption, but I'm still voting no on this one. No one-off sweetheart deals for special people.

The Oregon Lottery was and is a mistake. Opening up Indian gaming was a mistake. So was extending Oregon peace officer recognition to tribal police.

The Convention Center would be better used as a casino.

I can't wait to vote NO on this crappy idea.

I got the same mailer, though it was tucked into my voters guide. Figured that must have been the local postman's doing, but still an interesting tactic.

I'm surprised that the NO campaign seems to be getting left behind in terms of election propaganda. The gaming tribes have plenty of money to through into the NO campaign.

I'm voting no. If we're going to have one private casino, why should the profit go to a couple of people from Lake O and a Canadian company? Plus they'll pretty much have a Metro-area monopoly with other competitors having to go through this process all over again (which is unlikely to happen).

"there should be no private profit."

I don't understand, if they are paying 25% of gross revenues (I think) plus state/local taxes and the tribes don't, why that is a bad thing.

As far as being in Wood Village instead of downtown, it'd raise the average aesthetics in both places, so flip a coin.

"why should the profit go to a couple of people from Lake O and a Canadian company?"

If you say NO, then you'll get $0. You say YES, you'd get some income as above.

If you say NO, Oregon will invent a new tax to hit you with after they tell you they can't afford schools.

If we can't afford schools, bringing a bunch of vices to East Multnomah County isn't the answer. I'd rather our state gets its crap together than rely on gambling to pay the bills.

We were talking about this one the other day at work.
A point I made was that while the Indian run establishments might not pay taxes they have enabled the tribes to provide many services that we the taxpayer would have had to pay for were it not for the casino income to the tribes.
Over the years I've watched how the Grand Rhonde tribe has spent their money to build new housing, a community center and a hospital out in their community. The quality of life there is much improved through their efforts.

I was thinking about splitting my vote (Yes on 82 and No on 83). Then I read the text of 82 and realized that it would prevent a casino from going into downtown Portland (any casino has to be outside a 60 mile radius of an existing casino and Spirit Mountain is about 50 miles from downtown Portland).

Get your private money-minting casino approved and ensure that there can't be another one within 60 miles. Pretty sweet deal alright.

You know who handles social media for the Grange? Carla Axtman, of Blue Oregon fame, the same Carla who made $12,000 during the primaries doing social media for Jefferson Smith.

Here's some of her brilliant interplay with the critics of the Grange starting with some lawyers who aren't feeling the casino love:

oGrangeOR ‏@NoGrangeOR. @BendOregonLaw. @carlaaxt

"calling people liars & stupid if they don't agree w/ 82 & 83 is not professional conduct by a paid campaigner"

18 Sep Carla Axtman ‏@carlaaxt
@NoGrangeOR @bendoregonlaw

"if I had done that, you might have a point. I'm fine with disagreeing. I'm not fine with misleading."

18 Sep NoGrangeOR ‏@NoGrangeOR@carlaaxt

"also, you are paid by Grange, tweet about Grange, shouldn't you disclose that in your twitter profile? #unethical "

18 Sep Carla Axtman ‏@carlaaxt
@NoGrangeOR @bendoregonlaw

"btw, my association with The Grange is a matter of public record. Yet you're anonymous. #irony"

18 Sep Bend Oregon Lawyers ‏@BendOregonLaw
@carlaaxt @nograngeor

"Carla is just stressed out because her employers are headed for another epic loss and she is responsible."

There's more but it goes on like that. Our little Carla is all grown up and making new friends in the casino business.

Meanwhile here are her comments about my Jefferson Smith piece that represent one of the funniest walking back moves ever. She plays it dumb but she has to be a brilliant marketer. I mean anyone who can get a job as a writer with these chops has to be doing something right:

Carla: "I'm really glad this post is here. Rarely do we get to see this sort of unintelligible BS blend so spectacularly with pontificatory jackassery.

I can't decide if this is meant to be a master class on reverse psychology or if Mr. McDonald really intends to persuade voters against Smith. The word vomit count on this train wreck of a post doesn't lend itself to sorting out that problem."

This is when a guy named Peter Hofmann points out all the new stories about Jefferson Smith and the woman he hit.

"It just can't get any better for Jefferson Smith can it. He is toast. Stick a fork in him. He is done. Is Charlie Hales to lose now."

Carla Axtman begins her big walk back. (Don't forget to stretch the hamstrings first, Carla. You'll pull something.)

Carla: "I don't think I disagree, frankly. But that's not what Mr. McDonald's post lends one to understand. In fact, it's so unintelligible that I'm uncertain exactly what we're supposed to understand from it."

Yeah right. The one person out of 56 comments who didn't know what I was trying to say. Carla, let me make it easy for you: Jeffy, bad, Needs timeout.

Hey, maybe if Jefferson Smith loses you can get a job at the casino - except I hear that's tanking too. Oh well, Carla, I know it's not easy. Selling out pays, but it has its price.

If you say NO, then you'll get $0. You say YES, you'd get some income [25% of gross] as above.

Well, now there's some logic. Why not extrapolate this same brilliant thought process to putting in some dirty but highly profitable industries, such as spent nuclear fuel reprocessing and storage?

From Social Media: I know some of my friends are for the Grange Casino but you might not be after reading this. Roben is very involved with the community there and has a t
ruthful perspective.

So here are my personal thoughts on the Casino Measures 82-83
1. Hell NO
2. Jerking the economic rug out from under the communities that can least afford it is shameful. Where will these folks be coming with their children looking for jobs and schools when their jobs and businesses are gone? Portland?
3. Changing the constitution and statutes so yet another foreign Corp can come steal from us and take their profits with them is crazy. The existing Casinos split the proceeds with their citizens so the money stays in the state 75-80% of the vendors serving these casinos are Oregon businesses. The tribes VOLUNTARILY pay into a fund what their taxes would be and are distributed by gift and grants to communities and citizens across the Whole State.
4. HONORING agreements made with the tribes should be paramount. (HONOR). These people are truly Oregon Natives.
5. I call BS on the # of construction jobs The Rose Garden wasn't even that many on fast track. Lets see the formula used. 2k perm jobs with health care...well ya Obamacare will be in effect and it will be mandatory. They will NOT commit to fair wage/benefit language for perm workers. They can put 3 trailers out in the parking lot if they want if passed.
6. ONLY 1 casino are you f*&^n kidding me? does anyone believe this??? At the presentation I was at casino lady said Oh we are not competing with Tribal casinos..2 sentences later We have to get ours going before the Cowlits build theirs in LaCenter. Said she didn't know anything about any pacts with tribes, and talked about 60 mile exclusion zone from Tribal casinos we have been through this before folks, for fairness it was decided NOT to put any casinos with 60 of Ptld etc to ensure success of MANY businesses in state. TRIBAL CASINOS are NOT monopolies they are separate businesses separate entities separate Governments, in diverse communities.
&. 25% tax. Oregon Lottery pays 85% hmmm
9. I find these people untrustworthy and deceptive.

Well said Clown.

Tribal casinos are working fine.
Unless you want table games, just walk into a local joint and you will find 6 full featured multi-game slots.
Don't like my government in the gambling business

We already have a casino in Portland located at 1221 SW 4th Ave # 110 Portland, OR 97204 where they play with money from others and try to hit a winner.

Why not extrapolate the thought to dirty businesses?
1 Gaming is not nuclear powered
2 you have a choice not to use it (which is my choice)
3 then why not shut down bars and outlaw liquor which cause as much damage, if not more, to our social fabric?

Right now, we have an empty dog track doing nothing but rotting. These guys propose to build something that generates jobs and tax revenue .

So far the biggest objection I've seen is from the Indian casinos and we don't like gaming types. To the latter I'd say like booze or the streetcar or marijuana, don't use it.

The biggest objection I've seen is from the State and the Tribes. They don't want the competition.

I voted "No" on the lottery 20-some years ago and would again. I expect that chance will never come. So meanwhile, a big yes vote on both these measures, neither of which I expect will pass.

Still think as far as "election porn" this flyer was highbrow rather than low.

How much are they paying Steve, or is he one of the owners from Lake O?

"How much are they paying Steve, or is he one of the owners from Lake O?"

I'd work harder on your rebuttals and try to address the merits. In addition, you might want to be fair and ask the same of all the people pushing the NO vote.

If it helps, I am not paid nor do I plan on using the casino, but I will vote YES.

As for that "empty dog track" plaint, I still don't understand why the Beavers or the Timbers couldn't have located there. Except that there were probably no freebees or public pork deals to be made.

And people do not "use the casino". In the end, it is the casino that "uses" the people.

"And people do not "use the casino". In the end, it is the casino that 'uses' the people."

Would you say, "People do not play the lottery. In the end it is the lottery that plays the people?"

Because I sure would. And that's supposed to be "our" government.

Yep, I'd agree with that, Sally. I'm getting so jaded by the desperate antics of government, looking to profit off any sin tax except for marijuana, that I feel it's only a matter of time until brothels and a brothel tax become acceptable. Jobs! Jobs! Every sort of sordid legislated behavior can be justified if it creates jobs, it seems.

Jack said "We're voting no, because if there's going to be a casino in the Portland area, it should right downtown and there should be no private profit. Or tribal profit, for that matter."

Are you saying it should be gummint profit, Jack? Or what, exactly?


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