Pr. Geo.'s Education Group: No Postion on Slots
The Prince George's County Educators' Association voted overwhelmingly Monday against taking a position on the Nov. 4 referendum on slots, a move that had the state's anti-slots campaign declaring a small victory.
According to Tom Smith, the deputy campaign manager of Marylanders United to Stop Slots, the education group's executive director tried to convince county teachers to go on record as supporting the referendum. But Smith said anti-slots workers showed up and handed out literature and PGCEA teacher and former county council candidate Theresa Dudley gave a rousing speech against gambling interests.
In the end, the group voted 72 to 14 against changing the group's position, he said.
Slots backers would like to find supporters in the education community because they argue slot machine gambling is needed to provide more funding for the state's schools. Slots foes counter, however, that very little revenue from the machines would go to schools.
"The teachers know they're being used here," Smith said. "Last night they put their foot down, and they sent a message to their statewide leadership that they won't have it."
PGCEA President Donald J. Briscoe and Executive Director Lewis Robinson did not immediately return calls for comment.
After a great deal of internal debate, the Montgomery County Education Association has also formally decided to remain neutral on slots, according to a union official with that group.
October 14, 2008; 2:31 PM ET
Categories: Prince George's County , Rosalind Helderman , Slots
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