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Developer knocks O'Malley for siding with casino foes

Thumbnail image for Anne Arundel slots.jpgUpdate, 2:40 p.m.: O'Malley said Tuesday afternoon that Ehrlich and Cordish appear interested in "trying to scare people into approving slots at the mall."

"Mr. Cordish is a very successful businessman who is trying to do everything he can to put slots at a mall in a residential area, when most of us would rather see it go to a racetrack," O'Malley said. "I'd much rather see us do this right. We'll all be guided by the decision of the people of Anne Arundel County."

In a related development, O'Malley's campaign started airing radio ads in the Baltimore market Tuesday that say Ehrlich's work for Cordish shows he is "a hired gun for special interests."

Original post: Developer David Cordish on Tuesday knocked Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) for siding with opponents of Cordish's planned slots casino at Arundel Mills mall.

"He apparently must want to raise taxes," Cordish said of the governor, citing projections of the hundreds of millions of dollars the 4,750-machine facility could generate for the state and Anne Arundel County.

Anne Arundel voters must decide Nov. 2 whether to let a zoning law stand that is needed for Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. to move forward with its planned casino, which would be Maryland's largest.

O'Malley has voiced sympathy for homeowners surrounding the mall, who oppose the casino, and said he believes racetracks are better locations for slots than shopping malls.

"I don't understand his position, but he's entitled to his position," Cordish told a group of reporters. "He's the governor."

The law firm of O'Malley's opponent, former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), was hired by Cordish last year to do public relations work related to the casino while the zoning measure was pending before the Anne Arundel council. The zoning law has since been petitioned to the ballot by citizens and will appear as Question A in Anne Arundel.

Ehrlich, who lives in the county, has said he will support the measure.

O'Malley "ought to be doing what Governor Ehrlich is doing and supporting Question A," Cordish said, adding that he was not prepared to endorse a candidate for governor.

Cordish spoke at a meeting with reporters in his company's headquarters at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. He called the group together to push back against what he characterized as false television ads and mailers being produced by opponents of the casino.

Those include the owners of Laurel Park racetrack in Anne Arundel, a potential slots site if the casino bid collapses.

Cordish argued that the failure of Question A would lead to a "multi, multi-year delay" before slots would become operational anywhere in the county. Among other things, the Anne Arundel County Council would be forced to start over on its debate about appropriate zoning for slots.

By John Wagner  | October 5, 2010; 2:40 PM ET
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Hey, Cordish, that's enough. Go be a parasite somewhere else. Developers serve one interest, their own.

Posted by: jckdoors | October 5, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Actually, slots are not a substitute for taxes. the collateral damage from gambling (financial difficulties for gamblers and their families, associated crime, gambling addiction, loss of revenue for other entertainment venues etc) can actually increase local taxes.

Someone who blows $200 in a casino won't have money to eat at a resteraunt or catch a film or buy a new shirt or buy supplies for their childs school project.

Slots will not create money.
Slots will siphon off expendable cash that was already going to be spent on other things including the maryland state lottery.

Slots are a windfall for only one person;
the person who owns the slot machine.

everyone else loses.

Posted by: MarilynManson | October 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't Ehrlich have a conflict of interest with the Cordish/Slots issue as his most recent employer was employeed by the Cordish Co. Why is he saying anything?

Posted by: tobmore | October 5, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Gotta keep Kendall in furs. Can't let that woman get cold.

Posted by: krickey7 | October 5, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I am very disappointed in Ehrlich. Cordish is a low-life.

Posted by: JohnRice | October 5, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh boo-hoo, a big developer is afraid he might not get his way!

Posted by: RealChoices | October 5, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree completely with MarilynManson. I think it's a terrible message to tell our kids that their future isn't important enough to pay for with taxes. I don't gamble, so the state (and the owners of the slot parlors) will get no money out of me. The education level in Maryland would get a lot more by raising taxes-- which I would willingly pay for this purpose.

And no, I do not have children in the public schools; my kids have aged out. It's in every Maryland citizen's best interest to make sure our kids get a good education.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | October 6, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

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