Slots would take toll on neighborhood near Pimlico...

Letters to the Editor

October 22, 1998

Slots would take toll on neighborhood near Pimlico racetrack

The ads on TV extolling the joys of slot machines at the Delaware racetracks (paid for by the Maryland Jockey Club) fail to project the difference in location of the tracks in the two states.

Pimlico track is located in a densely populated, residential neighborhood. Many people in these neighborhoods live below the poverty level or are dependent on welfare. To introduce into their neighborhood the siren call of cheap gambling is tantamount to adding another burden to lives already stressed to the breaking point.

Although I'm sure the track owners would insist that they are not targeting neighborhood participation, rest assured that with slot machines just steps away from their homes, they would be involved.

One of the things I find intriguing is that with the prospect of increased traffic congestion, increased crime and disruption, people in these areas remain silent on this issue.

I'm not clear on all the planks in Gov. Parris N. Glendening's platform, but one I heartily support is no slots in Maryland.

Jeune Rockenbaugh

Westminster

Survey could show if state deserves Delaware's thanks

Television ads depict Delaware residents thanking Marylanders for gambling there.

Perhaps an independent survey comparing the scenario before and slots in Delaware would enable Marylanders to make an intelligent decision.

Melvin W. Kenney

Baltimore

Close state's door before gambling gains foothold

The gambling industry is just waiting for a foot in the door in Maryland. Is gubernatorial candidate Ellen Sauerbrey willing to let that happen by eventually supporting a referendum to allow casinos?

Gambling promoters often proclaim that they want only a limited amount of legalized gambling and are willing to accept restrictions. However, once they get a foothold, they push relentlessly until they receive the unlimited gambling they want.

Iowa became the first state to allow riverboat casinos in 1991. Three years later, under heavy pressure from casino interests, the legislature voted to drop the betting limits and to permit slots at racetracks.

Voters in Missouri agreed in 1992 to allow betting on card games aboard riverboats that cruised on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. In 1994 gambling proponents spent almost $15 million to win another referendum legalizing slot machine gambling on board the boats.

The Louisiana legislature approved riverboat gambling on ships that cruise; the state now has dockside gambling. The list goes on and on and on.

Voters can prevent this foot in the door approach in Maryland by electing candidates on Nov. 3 who firmly say no to gambling expansion.

Cheryl Michael

East New Market

Don't judge Sauerbrey by gun dealers' letter

I have become the focal point of Gov. Parris N. Glendening's attacks on law-abiding gun owners. My donation letter, a private communication between licensed firearms dealers and our association, was intercepted and used to paint Ellen Sauerbrey in a poor light.

It is unfair because she had nothing to do with the letter. She did not know of its existence until recently.

The contents of that letter were my own opinions and neither Ms. Sauerbrey nor anyone connected with her campaign helped write it. It was a surprise to them. I take full responsibility for the content of my letter.

Ms. Sauerbrey, as governor, would not be able to repeal any laws. Only the General Assembly can. The governor can not sign into law anything that the legislature has not sent to her.

Even if she were to veto a gun-control law, the assembly has a super majority of Democrats who could easily override her veto. Therefore, I don't know what all the fuss is about.

Sanford Abrams

Baltimore

The writer is vice president of Maryland Licensed Firearms Dealers Association, Inc.

Advice for Democratic pols: Run against Starr, Tripp

Two articles Oct. 15 provide material for the slogan the Democrats should use in his fall election.

In the Opinion Commentary column by Bob Herbert, "A cry for voters to save country from GOP policies," is the following: "No doubt Mr. Clinton brought his problems on himself. He destroyed his own presidency. But there are consequences to be paid if the Republicans are allowed to feast too ravenously on the political spoils."

And on page 4A, Fred Tuttle, the Vermont dairy farmer who is running as a Republican for the United States Senate, says of President Clinton's sex scandal: "It shouldn't have happened in the first place. Now it's too much in the news." And he comments on Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr: "He's the worst one of the bunch."

The polls show consistently that Mr. Starr is the most reviled man in America. And let's not forget Linda Tripp. So the proposed slogan:

"Vote Democratic. A vote for Republicans is a vote for Kenneth Starr and Linda Tripp."

Isaac Rehert

Baltimore

Clinton misprision of felony is high crime, misdemeanor

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