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Prince George's Johnson Says "No" to Slots

Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) said this morning that he would vote against the Nov. 4 statewide ballot measure to legalize slot machines.

Johnson, who has long opposed bringing gambling to his county, had not before taken a public position on the measure that would allow 15,000 slot machines throughout the state.

Johnson said the state should fund Maryland's public schools through more "traditional" means of raising revenue. Legalizing gambling, he said, would shift the burden of education funding "disproportionately to the poor, who will be using the machines for hope when they are already down in the dumps."

"Maryland is one of the richest states in the country and we have the resources," he said, after a groundbreaking ceremony for CASA de Maryland in Langley Park.

By Ann Marimow  |  October 27, 2008; 4:30 PM ET
Categories:  Ann Marimow , Prince George's County , Slots  
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Comments

Good for County Executive Jack Johnson.

Johnson said the state should fund Maryland's public schools through more "traditional" means of raising revenue. Legalizing gambling, he said, would shift the burden of education funding "disproportionately to the poor, who will be using the machines for hope when they are already down in the dumps."

I agree with himn.

Marylanders, vote NO on Slots!

Posted by: abowser | October 27, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"More Traditional Mean"

any guess what that means???

Higher Taxes... LMAO... how does this avoid adding to the burden of the Poor???

and yet.. Revenue generated from Expanded Gambling is in fact... VOLUNTARY!!!!!

and how funny it will be... when..

This Referendum is passed... The Honorable County Executive Jack Johnson stands up for all of Maryland to see and says, Prince Georges County will not accept a single penny of the approx, 500-600 Million Dollars collected..

fat chance...

Just as his county refuses the revenue generated by the States Lottery... also gambling, also voluntary and also played by those "Poor" citizens of Maryland just looking for "hope"...

Fact is... Prince Georges County will in fact have their hand out first... of this we all have no doubt..

Posted by: talontbo | October 27, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Good! Maryland should NOT be committed to a long-term dependency on gambling revenue.

Posted by: free-donny | October 27, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree. It is especially morally repugnant for the state to be promoting gambling. Good for Mr. Johnson to be looking out for his constituents.

I'm one of those people that tax burden will fall on. I don't like it, would rather see spending cuts; but again, the idea of political leaders pushing gambling instead of making tough choices is reprehensible.

Posted by: jhtlag1 | October 27, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

If we're gonna get slots, we might as well get legalized prostitution too. Let's be creative with this...

Posted by: JRRR | October 27, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

When you see strange bedfellows like the State Teacher's union, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and the Government employee union working together to pass the slots bill, you have to give a lot of credit to Jack Johnson in neighboring Prince George's for his courageous stance.

Posted by: GoodAmerican | October 27, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I am writing from Australia. We were told the same rubbish that you are getting now!

Your kids will be in classes with distressed children of 'over-spending gamblers'....no...not the "Problem /Pathological" gamblers...that supposed 2% that is the only figure counted..it does not include the hidden 'over-spenders'. THEY are the BIGGEST problem...about 60% of slots users!

YOUR kids will all have an average of 2-5 kids in their classes of 20...all with gambling, over-spending parents and those kids will make life hell...they will be hungry, tired, stressed from threat of homelessness and divorce, depression and finance issues....they will play up and bully others at school...and slots will harm YOUR children's education even if YOU do not use them! I know...I am a teacher!

I hear the stories that are never mentioned in glossy government figures! Beware and look at the world...if Australians had truly benefited from slots (pokies)...why now would we be trying to BAN them here?

Posted by: Banpokies11 | October 27, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I say Jack B. Should go and have a seat somewhere. What is he doing anyway? I did not know he is still around. You don't hear anything about him these days. Slots here or there it don't matter people are going to do what they want to do. I'm so tired of these big people wanting to controll everyones money.You have MD Lottery taking the poor folks money everyday and no one in MD have won the big pot yet. They send the winning numbers out
state all the time.Why dont Jack B care about that. Anyway poor get poor and rich get rich. Thats the name of the game.And it' not due to slots, but because greedy big people put us in the poors house.

Posted by: jjambillbob | October 27, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Such good reporting Ms. Marimow.

The County Executive is one of the greatest local politicos spinning State referendum on State licensed gambling.

One can place a sure bet (a pun) that the National Harbor project following Slots legalization will acquire state licensing and place (gambling) slot machines in Prince George’s County’s future National Harbor venues.

Respectively, the publically funded investment into the National Harbor project may also become subject to additional legislative measures - post slots, that in-fact entitles "pleasure seekers" visiting National Harbor to play some slots too.

No sometimes means yes, and conversely, the Executive will accept the voter’s measure to gamble children’s future education to fund slots’ revenue.

There are no odds favoring public school education, it is all a bet.

The odds favor gambling organizations, gambling lobbyists, and the state legislator.

What a politician, and (like his name sake) - a great pugilist too.

Posted by: eglobegus | October 28, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Johnson. Can we get him to talk to Ike Leggett to change Ike's position?

Posted by: robinficker | October 28, 2008 3:43 AM | Report abuse

Banpokies11 wrote: "...they will be hungry, tired, stressed from threat of homelessness and divorce, depression and finance issues....they will play up and bully others at school..."

Heck, you've just described a substantial portion of the students attending Prince George's County Public Schools!

And we don't even have slots yet.

You mean it's going to get even worse?

I wonder how they'll manage to blame it all on George W Bush?

Posted by: NeverLeft | October 28, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

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