Monday, October 06, 2008

Pro-Slots Group Targets Franchot

Following is the text of a memo sent by pro-slots For Maryland, For Our Future to elected leaders concerning Comptroller Peter Franchot. (It's not as if the Comptroller isn't attracting any other letters these days, right?)

RE: Question 2 Is Clear Choice
DT: Monday, October 06, 2008

Question 2 has been endorsed by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Maryland Retailers Association, Maryland State Teachers Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Professional Firefighters of Maryland, State Law Enforcement Labor Alliance and Maryland Association of Counties.

The opposition to Question 2 is led by Peter Franchot, who has spent the past year trying to run away from his “pro” record on slots. It should be noted that Franchot’s 1998 pro-slots legislation gave a much larger percentage to slots operators than Question 2 does – and Franchot’s 1998 bill also dedicated less money to education. Don’t take our word for it, go read the bills for yourself.

· In 1998, Franchot was a cosponsor of HB 678, a constitutional amendment that would have created 10 slot facilities with 11,250 machines. A hearing was held on February 26, 1998. Click here to read fiscal analysis of Franchot's 1998 pro-slots bill. Click here to read Franchot's 1998 pro-slots bill.

· In 2001, Franchot was a cosponsor of HB 1170, a constitutional amendment that would have created four slot facilities with 10,000 machines. A hearing was held on March 12, 2001. Click here to read fiscal analysis of Franchot's 2001 pro-slots bill. Click here to read Franchot's 2001 pro-slots bill.

Slots opponents favor raising taxes to fix the deficit. In May 2008, Hillary Spence, the treasurer of Marylanders United to Stop Slots, endorsed raising taxes instead of passing slots, saying, “I think people need to tighten their belts or unfortunately raise taxes.” And in September 2008, anti-slots elected officials from Montgomery County proposed raising taxes as their alternative to slots, including an increase to the liquor tax, a new tax on legal and consulting services and a 10% income tax hike. One newspaper’s headline told the whole story: “County Leaders Favor Taxes Over Slot Machines at Rally.”

At a time of national economic crisis – possibly the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s – we cannot afford to raise taxes any more on working families and struggling businesses. And we cannot afford to cut education, health care, transportation and other vital services.

Despite what Peter Franchot says, we cannot afford to ignore this budget crisis. Already, local jurisdictions have made cuts in vital services due to the slumping national economy. Allowing slots will generate additional revenue to help local governments avoid making more cuts.

For more information on our campaign – including our most recent TV ad correcting the record after Franchot’s year-long effort to mislead Maryland voters -- please go to our web site, We look forward to hearing from you and your constituents.