Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Gambling money addiction

I will not be continuing my Creationism posts today. I do plan to return to them soon.

Then, I plan to answer the response about Iraq. I am sorry for the change in plans. Plans, in reality, often are altered for one reason or another. “The best laid plans … often go astray.” Thank you for your understanding and patience.

How many unborn toddlers were murdered today because of the humanistic, paganish, barbaric decisions of the United States Supreme Court?

Stop the
Murder of

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4: 17 (NIV)








“Recently I wrote two posts (Gambling is evil, Nov. 29 and Evil abounds, Nov. 30) about the proposal to greatly expand gambling in Illinois and that gambling is evil. I recently received the following article from Family Taxpayers Network which sends me information weekly. I am posting the article as provided without comment. I have not checked the facts but FTN has provided reliable information in the past. The article:

“If you still wonder why some Republicans in Springfield are so gung-ho to help the Democrats massively expand gambling in Illinois—all you have to do is follow the money.

Since Tom Cross became House Minority Leader in 2002, he has accepted at least $542,500 in campaign contributions from the gambling industry—the horse racing, casino and riverboat companies that are making a bundle from Illinois residents.

If Tom Cross and his fellow sell-outs have their way—some of those companies stand to make a whole lot more.

When the years prior to his becoming House Minority Leader are included, Cross has accepted more than $580,000 from gambling interests since he entered the State House.

We’ve included a summary of the contributions below, by contributor. Some of the gambling companies are still around, while others have merged into more mega operations. Money flows to the two political committees controlled by Cross: the House Republican Organization (HRO) and Citizens to Elect Tom Cross.

HRO is the committee chaired by Cross’ top lieutenant, Skip Saviano. In other words, Cross has Saviano running the main political fundraising arm of the Republican House caucus. If you’ve forgotten how absurd that is, see here, here and here for just a taste. (The here, here, and here are links to other articles—my addition.)

Cross and Saviano don’t need that much cash for their own campaigns of course. Most gets distributed down to individual House races—to the Republican candidates codependent enough, and clueless enough, to agree to keep guys like Cross and Saviano in leadership.

Any GOP incumbent in the State House who gets help from Cross’ organization—and they pretty much all do—is getting money from the gambling industry. There is no escaping that fact.

Just because the contributions might be passed through one of Cross’ committees first—that doesn’t cleanse the money of its true origins.

The summary below was prepared from an exhaustive analysis of the financial disclosure reports made available online by the Illinois Board of Elections.

The earliest contribution included was received on October 8, 1994. But again, by far the largest share of money was received after Cross became Minority Leader in 2002. Cross has clearly gotten cozier and cozier with the industry, the longer he has stayed.

Also keep in mind—these totals only reflect contributions received through June 30th of this year. We won’t know how much Cross may have received from the gambling industry during the second half of 2007, until early next year when the disclosure reports are due.

Given how excited Cross and his pals seem about a massive expansion this year, we’re guessing these already huge sums will jump significantly by year-end.

Received by Citizens to Elect Tom Cross - $368,180
Received by House Republican Organization - $212,088
Total Gambling Industry Contributions - $580,268

Comprised of contributions from:

Alton Gaming Company - $50,500*
$33,000 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$17,500 (House Republican Organization)

Argosy Gaming Company - $6,000*
$6,000 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$0 (House Republican Organization)

Arlington International Racecourse - $261,738
$134,400 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$127,338 (House Republican Organization)

Casino Queen - $1,750
$500 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$1,250 (House Republican Organization)

Elgin Riverboat Resort - $26,000
$21,000 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$5,000 (House Republican Organization)

Emerald Casino - $250
$250 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$0 (House Republican Organization)

Empress Casino - $6,950
$6,950 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$0 (House Republican Organization)

Harrah’s Operating Company - $77,500
$37,000 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$40,500 (House Republican Organization)

Hawthorne National - $26,750
$23,750 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$3,000 (House Republican Organization)

Hollywood Casino - $38,780
$38,780 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$0 (House Republican Organization)

Horsepower PAC - $5,050
$5,050 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$0 (House Republican Organization)

Horseshoe Gaming Holding Corporation - $2,000
$2,000 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$0 (House Republican Organization)

Par-A-Dice Gaming Corporation - $4,000
$4,000 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$0 (House Republican Organization)

Penn National Gaming Inc. - $72,500*
$55,000 (Citizens to Elect Tom Cross)
$17,500 (House Republican Organization)

Silver Eagle Casino - $500
$500 (Citizens to Election Tom Cross)
$0 (House Republican Organization)

* Alton Gaming Company was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Argosy Gaming Company (“Argosy”). On October 3, 2005, Penn National Gaming Inc. completed its acquisition of Argosy in a deal valued at $2.3 billion.

Republican powerbroker Bill Cellini was the Chairman of Argosy, and was one of its largest shareholders. Cellini was instrumental in launching the company in 1991—the year riverboat casinos became legal in Illinois. At one point, Argosy stock was valued at less than $2 per share. However by the time of its acquisition by Penn National Gaming, Argosy was reportedly earning more than $1 billion a year in gross revenues, and its stock was placed at $47 per share.

Cellini is of course the Springfield pal of Bob Kjellander. Cellini has been identified as “Individual A” and Kjellander as “Individual K” in U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation of state pension fund fraud known as Operation Board Games.

Posted November 19, 2007.”


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