The Cleveland Stater is published online and in print by students enrolled in the School of Communication at Cleveland State University.
Issue 3 will keep more than $1 billion of Ohioan's money in Ohio
BY EDUARDO OTERO
Is there a single, logical reason why Ohio voters should reject a statewide ballot initiative that will create about 34,000 new jobs while mandating over $1 billion in private investment?
Governor Ted Strickland is rightfully hoping to offset the state’s major budget deficit via the approval of the Issue 3 on the ballot on Nov. 3 by the electorate. The measure could potentially generate $200 million in licensing fees annually. In addition, the effort will produce an estimated $651 million in revenue to be distributed among Ohio’s very needing counties, cities, school districts and various state programs.
Why then should voters abandon a state constitutional amendment that would fiscally benefit them beyond reasonable measure in the face of challenging economic times?
According to TruthPAC, the self-proclaimed bipartisan coalition that has come to fancy itself as one of the primary opponents of Issue 3 in recent months, the prospect seeks to benefit out-of-state gambling interests. These opponents argue that the jobs created will go to more experienced workers from neighboring states.
Talk about full-blown conjecture. TruthPAC has thus far demonstrated no valid empirical evidence to support this sort of claim.
It is true that the amendment has no in-state hiring requirement to speak of. However, to maintain, as TruthPAC has, that casinos should strictly limit themselves to hiring Ohioans is not only laughable, it’s unrealistic. The estimated 34,000 jobs created would not merely be casino related – they would represent growth in other sectors of employment, such as support services, hotels and restaurants.
Who but Ohioans stand to benefit from the authorization of constructing casino facilities in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo?
TruthPAC surely doesn’t, since its “bipartisan” activities are funded by MTR Gaming, a Chester, W.Va-based organization struggling on behalf of out-of-state casino interests. Needless to say, its primary motivation is to protect itself and its own financial interests by invalidating any and all potential competition from Ohio.
In other words, TruthPAC is seeking to protect voters from an all-too-familiar ominous threat in its popular television commercials: itself.
Why are Ohioans listening to an out-of-state corporate entity spew its two cents on why it shouldn’t lose money based entirely on partisan speculation?
The bottom line is Issue 3 will keep more than $1 billion of Ohioans’ money in Ohio, which is the amount they currently spend to travel to out-of-state casinos to gamble.
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