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Anti-Slots Group Asks McDonough To Recuse Himself

A leading anti-slots group is calling on new Secretary of State John P. McDonough to recuse himself from crafting ballot language for a fall referendum on whether Maryland should legalize up to 15,000 slot machines.

McDonough has served as a lawyer for Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George's County. Approving language for ballot questions is one of the varied responsibilities that falls to the secretary of state in Maryland.

Given McDonough's past representation of a gambling interest, "your ability to carry out this responsibility in an impartial fashion is very much in doubt," Scott Arceneaux, senior adviser to Marylander United To Stop Slots, wrote in a letter to McDonough dated yesterday. Arceneaux asks for a reply by tomorrow.

A spokesman for McDonough, who was appointed by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), a slots supporter, said McDonough declined to comment. An O'Malley spokesman took a pass as well.

When asked about this issue during a recent news conference announcing his appointment, McDonough likened himself to an umpire whose job it is to call balls and strikes as he sees them.

By John Wagner  |  July 31, 2008; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner , Slots  
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If the ballot summation is not accurate, there is plenty of Maryland case law which says that a Court action lies.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | July 31, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Slots are a bad gamble for Maryland, and the referendum should be defeated by Maryland voters. The Governor and the Legislature need to step up to the plate and provide a balanced and progressive budget and taxation regime which avoids revenue from gaming. One need only look at the Maryland Lottery to see a similar program which didn't achieve its stated goals, and which has taken hundreds of millions of dollars from Maryland's poorest residents.

Posted by: One Who Knows | July 31, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

While I am against slots in MD, I'd hope that my pro-slots brethren can see the appearance of corruption and support McDonough recusing himself. He probably will and just does not want to appear to be bowing to public pressure. Its the smart thing to do. Failing to might cast a shadow of the ballot and turn some minds against slots. I hope slots are defeated.

Posted by: Donny | July 31, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Slots are bad - they break up families, cause more homelessness, job loss, hunger and should not be in the State of Maryland.
Using slots in Delaware is a really stupid reason for bringing slots to MD. Delaware has no sales tax, so do we all go to Delaware to shop? No.

West Virginia is one of the most depressed States in our country. Yet, they have slots on every street corner....what does that tell you?

It took years to get slots out of Maryland, back in 1868, let's not let history repeat itself...slots will cost the MD. taxpayers much more with them, than without them.

Posted by: Anne Marie Martinez | July 31, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

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