Friday, August 06, 2004

Last Post before a vacation

Well, I'm off for a week, and I may show up in these parts, but I will be in Northern New England for most of the time. I guess my last "real news" post before vacation has to do with the casino referendum. Apparently, according to Dan Yorke of 630 WPRO, the casino referendum won't happen this year. The State Supreme Court heard arguments today. We'll have to read the papers to get the complete story, but here is a brief summary fo where we stand. But first, Yorke menitioned that only 3 RI Supreme Court judges w/out conflict of interest issues could be mustered. Speaks volumes about the incestuous relationship between politicians and the bureaucracy in RI, doesn't it? Any way, here's the summary:

1) State Legislature passed a referendum question concerning the casino for November's ballot.
2) Gov. Carcieri vetoed, then questioned its constitutionality. The State Constitution only authorizes the state to operate lotteries (including slots). [Sidebar: If all lotteries are gambling, is all gambling the same as a lottery?] Because of this, no casino can operate slots, only the state can operate slots. So, the Gov. petitioned the State Supreme Court for an advisory opinion.
3) Faced with this, the Legislature pondered changing the State Constitution to accomodate the casino question, thought better of it, and simply voted to overried the veto.
4) As far as the mechanics, there is an Aug. 19 deadline to print question on ballot and the Secretary of State said the question will be on ballot unless the Supreme Court says that a casino, defined as it has been, is indeed illegal.

The question is simply this, if this is all unconstitutional does it make sense to go through this whole referendum process, and the advertising and everything else ad naseum, when the point may be moot anyway? I don't think so, do you?

The court will have an answer in a week, they said.

Well, there's something to think on. See you later.




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