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Leggett Plays Unintentional Role in Pro-Slots Ad

Despite agonizing for weeks about his position on next month's statewide referendum on slots, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) is unwittingly playing a prominent role in a pro-slots radio ad that began airing this week.

The ad, titled "Most Respected Leaders," does not include his voice but features Leggett's endorsement and that of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D).

"When leaders like Mayor Dixon and Ike Leggett say we can't afford any more cuts to local services like schools, parks, police and transportation, we need to listen," the announcer says.

Leggett's spokesman, Patrick Lacefield, said his boss had not heard the ad and "did not know anything about it." But Lacefield said: "He's not objecting to it. That's his position. He's made his statement."

The 60-second spot, sponsored by the pro-slots group For Maryland for Our Future, goes on to say that Dixon and Leggett "also know passing slots will help Maryland schools protect the gains minority students are just starting to make in classrooms all across the state. The social cost of cutting back our children's education is just too high."

Last month, Leggett reversed his long-held opposition to state-run gambling and endorsed the measure, which is backed by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) as a way to raise revenue as the state faces a projected $1.3 billion shortfall for fiscal 2010.

Leggett has said his change of heart was prompted by the economy, the budget and what he said were "the lack of other viable options" and "the certain impact of cuts on the poorest and most vulnerable."

By Anne Bartlett  |  October 24, 2008; 10:34 AM ET
Categories:  Ann Marimow , Slots  
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Ike will give us a property tax hike of 15% to 20% next year on top of the 14% increase this year. He will blame "deficits" in ever larger budgets. Vote FOR Question B which makes it more difficult for the council to exceed the charter property tax limit. Vote FOR B! Save Our Homes!

Posted by: robinficker | October 27, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

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