Over the past few months it has become increasingly clear to me that the majority of our state legislators are out of touch with their constituents on the gambling issue. Almost everyone I've spoken to about Proposition 7, the measure to expand gambling in the state, has expressed displeasure with how the General Assembly has dealt with it. This includes some of the same legislators who voted for it.
Recently I had on an off the record conversation with a HoCo loco state legislator who expressed lukewarm support for Proposition 7. I asked how this measure made it through the special session of the General Assembly with such tepid support. “It’s what Mike Miller wanted,” was the response.
According to this story by Annie Linskey and Michael Dresser in The Sun, a recent survey of 804 “likely voters” found that “53 percent of
Maryland voters oppose Question 7, which would permit
table games at Maryland casinos and allow a
new gambling palace in Prince George's County, while 38 percent would vote
“Meanwhile, those against the gambling measure have opened up a huge gap in voter enthusiasm, with 43 percent of opponents saying their views are strongly held. On the other side, only 24 percent say they are strong in their support.”
These results seem to indicate that the multi-million dollar advertising campaign to convince voters to support Proposition 7 is having little effect. The people simply aren't buying it.
In several conversations about Proposition 7 I've had with people over the past few months, I generally find no strong aversion to the issue of gambling itself. What I find bothers people most is how this is being rammed down their throats by the General Assembly, particularly one member of the assembly with his own agenda.