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Ehrlich open to conversation on Vegas table games

Ehrlich at Vatz.jpgFormer governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) would be "open to conversation" about legalizing Las Vegas-style table games in Maryland if voters return him to Annapolis, he said Thursday.

Ehrlich unsuccessfully lobbied the Democrat-led legislature to legalize slot machine gambling during his previous four years in office. The year he left, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) convinced lawmakers to let Maryland voters decide the issue. A ballot measure was approved in November 2008 authorizing 15,000 slot machines at five locations.

Since then, Maryland's effort to get its slots program up and running has seen repeated setbacks, while surrounding states are moving forward with table games. Two of Maryland's smaller planned slots venues -- in Cecil and Worcester counties -- could open as early as this fall, while efforts to open facilities in the other three locations are well behind schedule.

"We can't get slots straight," Ehrlich said, suggesting that the question of table games will not "be ripe" until that happens.

During the recently concluded legislative session, the Maryland Senate passed a bill that would have allowed table games at a single venue: Rosecroft Raceway, a financially troubled horse track in Prince George's County. O'Malley opposed that bill, saying the state should make more progress on slots first.

Ehrlich's comments were made to reporters after a guest lecture he gave to students at Towson University. Ehrlich has made regular appearances at a persuasion and media criticism class taught by Professor Richard Vatz for 17 years, Vatz told students.

During the lecture, Ehrlich had even harsher words for the state's efforts on slots in response to a student's question.

"All they're doing is screwing around with it," Ehrlich said. "It's made us look silly."

Ehrlich addressed a range of other topics during the lecture, including the effectiveness of negative advertising in political campaigns. He acknowledged "you're gonna see plenty" during his rematch against O'Malley.

By John Wagner  |  April 29, 2010; 5:10 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner , Slots  | Tags: Martin O'Malley, Robert Ehrlich, Slot machines, Towson University  
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Bob knows all about negative advertising. Remember all those tactics he used to scare African-Americans from voting last time around? Bob could give more than just a "guest lecture" on that topic, he could teach an entire course on it. He could even make a profit by writing the textbook!

(I wonder if I should suggest this because knowing Bob, he'll do anything to make a profit for himself. That's all he's done for the last four years!)

Posted by: hamsandwich | April 29, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

did he also lecture about having the state police infiltrate poetry readings held by anti-death penalty groups because of his megalomanic paranoia?
or his illegal use of paid campaign poll workers?
or his printing and distributing campaign litertature that portrayed himself as a democrat in heavily democratic districts?

Posted by: MarilynManson | April 30, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

This would also solve Ehrlichman's "wife problem". He could just give his little honey bun a cup of quarters and park her in the corner of a casino where the staff could run her cocktails all day long and wheel her home at bed time.

The sad thing is that this is probably Ehrlichman's best idea. Bob Ehrlich, the brains behind Michael Steele!

Posted by: SoCali | April 30, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

We voters are already playing a table game, craps. The two parties roll the dice, and whichever candidate dosn't crap out, that's the one the voters are stuck with. The two party system is designed to promote slick guys like Erhlich and OMalley. They would both say whatever they think will get them elected. Sound cynicla, you betcha. Stop fiddling with campaign finance reforms that never work, try some real electoral reforms that will allow credible third and fourth parties to give the public some real differences to choose from.

Posted by: VikingRider | April 30, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

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