This is a couple of days old, but it’s still a definite problem in Maryland:
Casino owners, labor and other interests spent more than $3.6 million to influence lawmakers during last month’s special session to expand gambling in Maryland — a figure that comes to about $900,000 a day for the four-day session, according to disclosure reports filed Monday.
The biggest spender was a Washington-area labor organization which — with help from the owners of the National Harbor development — poured $2.7 million into television advertising designed to persuade the General Assembly to pass legislation authorizing table games and a new casino in Prince George’s County.
It’s not because of the gambling issue itself – which is known as Question 7 down here in Maryland, and which will be on the ballot in November. And to be truthful? I’m not actually against expanding gambling, per se. But I have had it gently pointed out to me by some of my colleagues that what I should be against is giving Governor O’Malley and his cronies a happy-happy new money spigot to splash in (which is what has happened in the past when gambling has been expanded in this state). That’s… a dang compelling argument, actually.
So call me not exactly happy that our Democratic-controlled legislature is taking that kind of money from lobbyists. It’s merely teaching them bad habits.