Friday, April 6, 2007
PA Gaming Control Board Tries to Use a Lawsuit to Impose Its Undemocratic Will on Philadelphia
The Daily News is reporting that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is suing the citizens of Philadelphia for having the audacity to revisit its illegitimate and undemocratic casino imposition and placement process with a voter referendum that could invalidate its smoky back room, closed-door, corrupt, pay-to-play decision-making process. The referendum would allow no casinos within 1500 feet of any residential areas, places of worship, or schools. Most government officials quoted in the article, besides city council members who unanimously overrode the mayor's veto to get the referendum on the ballot, keep insisting that it's illegal for any number of reasons. They also seem very afraid to let us vote on it, and that's scary. What's the worst that could happen? Well, if you're not a corrupt politician, the referendum could pass and would probably be litigated up to state supreme court or US supreme court [because you know how those conservatives like to meddle in the state and local democratic process]. If invalidated by one of those courts, some tax money will be lost on a gamble, but a strong message will be sent to the legislature, casino builders, and potential customers from out of town who already think we're a bunch of homicidal maniacs. Residents of the neighborhoods that could be blighted with the casinos will get a little more time to try to sell their homes at a decent price and move [I'd turn mine into a time share if I lived down there]. I think what some politicians are really afraid of though is what may come to light about the initial decision-making process [that allowed for no public input or consent] if the referendum is allowed to happen and then challenged in court. I'd also like to add that I think it may be a bit presumptuous for people like the mayor and city solicitor to assume they know how the supreme court will rule on an issue and so, therefore, the citizens should not even be allowed to vote on the issue some of them went to a lot of trouble to get on the ballot.