House of cards

In the NYT:

A group closely allied with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo received $2 million from gambling interests last December as he developed a proposal to expand casino gambling in New York.
Mr. Cuomo’s support for expanded gambling, which he made a centerpiece of his State of the State address in January, had a profound impact. Within weeks, the Legislature endorsed a constitutional amendment that, if approved once more by lawmakers and then by voters, would allow for seven full-scale, privately owned casinos, potentially worth billions of dollars.
Genting, a subsidiary of Southeast Asia’s largest gambling company, made an additional contribution of approximately $400,000 to the group allied with Mr. Cuomo during 2011. The New York Gaming Association, a trade group founded by Genting and other companies that operate racetracks and electronic slot machines, chipped in the $2 million.
Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, strongly disputed any suggestion that he was influenced by money from the gambling industry...
And, as we all know,
But wait—there's more:
“To try to suggest an improper relationship between the governor and gaming interests is to distort the facts in a malicious or reckless manner,” Richard Bamberger, a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo, said in an e-mail...
That's us—malicious and reckless all over.
The contributions went to the Committee to Save New York, a business and labor coalition that raised $17 million and spent nearly $12 million in 2011, much of it on campaign-style television and radio advertisements praising Mr. Cuomo and supporting his proposals to cap property taxes and slash state spending.
Founded by real estate developers and business executives at Mr. Cuomo’s urging shortly after he was elected governor, the committee has rapidly become the biggest spender on lobbying in Albany, providing not only critical backing for Mr. Cuomo but also a counterweight to the labor unions whose money and political muscle have traditionally dominated the Capitol.
What supposedly hugely influential lobbying group isn't even mentioned here?  There'll be a quiz at the end.
...An official with the association said that it had contributed $1.5 million to the Committee to Save New York on Dec. 1 and $500,000 on Dec. 6. Around the same time, Mr. Cuomo unambiguously took the gambling industry’s side, writing a newspaper op-ed article on Dec. 4 saying that he favored expanded casino gambling in New York. Within days, the Committee to Save New York also adopted the issue, adding legalized gambling to its list of priorities for the 2011 legislative session.
In his State of the State speech in January, Mr. Cuomo raised the stakes further, calling for the constitutional amendment to legalize casino gambling and proposing to transform Genting’s planned resort near Aqueduct into a destination casino resort that would include the nation’s largest convention center.
“This is not about chips and cards,” he said in the speech. “This is about the jobs that the casino industry generates.”...
Hmmmm...  Definitely read the whole article.
The column is clearly intended to be an exposé of the cozy relationship between Cuomo and the gambling industry—with the emphasis on how labor unions, presumably including public employee unions, are really not all that influential any more in state politics.
But in their efforts to make those points, the authors left out a couple of other crucial pieces of information.
Gambling tends to come with its own ABCs: addiction, bankruptcy, crime, and suicide.  Doubt that last one?
In a 1995 report from the Maryland Attorney General entitled, “The House Never Loses and Maryland Cannot Win: Why Casino Gaming Is a Bad Idea,” it was reported that in Gulfport, Mississippi, suicides skyrocketed 213 percent in the first two years after the casino opened there, and in Biloxi, they jumped a staggering 1,000 percent in the first four years after the casino opened.
Casino gambling in NYS...what could possibly go wrong?
Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and somehow expecting a different result?
And now we come to the other missing piece of information and the promised pop quiz...isn't there some other lobbying group in NYS besides the Committee to Save New York and the labor unions that supposedly has a huge influence on policy-making in Albany but that went unmentioned in the NYT piece?
Wait, it's on the tip of my tongue...oh, yeah—the natural gas industry!
You know—the one that former PA Governor Ed Rendell just wrote would "foster an economic, environmental, and security revitalization for our country and our state." The one that could bring manufacturing jobs back to the US. The one that DEC Commissioner Joe Martens inanely said might be permitted in parts of NYS where there is "less resistance and less opposition and there is not a local land-use plan in place..." 
Who needs to tap the resource we need and use and that's right under our feet? And who would want to encourage manufacturing jobs when we could be...blackjack dealers?
It's a house of cards.
h/t Jim
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