…I’m dropping the Plain Dealer subscription I’ve had longer than I can even remember (at least 13 years) as a result of the endorsement. However, I cannot emphasize enough that I’m doing so, not because the PD supports Issue 3. I’m doing so because their endorsement is insupportable, just on the basis of what it states.
The paper has no excuse for not being harder on this state. Those five men named on the mast head, including a chief marketing person, are the brains of the paper and people look to them. If the reasoning represented in that editorial is the best the PD editors can do, then their opinion of what readers should buy from them – as to why to vote a certain way, and the low threshold that the paper is willing to construct for why an issue or a candidate should be supported, or not supported for that matter, have both sunk below what I expect, even at a minimum, from a paper its size in a city that needs strong leadership and brave reporting.
…I’m going to miss it. I’ve defended it. I’ve wanted to make it better by just writing letters to the editor or getting an op-ed in. But the endorsements this year have failed to demonstrate any consistency in how they are reasoned.
Endorsements should be where the brains of the paper shine and show why the editors are the editors, are leading and should lead. The Plain Dealer has failed me as a reader on all accounts.
I know who wrote that 2006 editorial and I don’t know where Brent Larkin stood on it. But his editorial today, “Ohio will lose if casino issue passes,” represents to me what should have been the editorial on Issue 3 in 2006. Here are his reasons for rejecting the casino issue this year:
-it’s a risk, and it would be worth-taking at a certain price but not the price being offered this year; in 2006, the PD also argued that it was a risk but decided the risk was worth taking at the 2006 Issue 3 price (voters rejected Issue 3)
-Larkin says the price to be paid under the current initiative is not the right price because:
1. It’s bad public policy because of the monopoly nature of the plan. (Many of us argued it was bad public policy because of the monopoly nature of the plan in 2006.)
2. The issue doesn’t require the casino owner to pay high enough taxes and licensing fees, especially in comparison to how this is handled in other states. (Same argument was used by many of us in 2006.)
3. Larkin reserves the most ire for Gov. Ted Strickland and the racino/slots at racetracks piece of the deal.
I have my own issues with Strickland and his caving to casinos and slots but that’s a whole ‘other blog, let alone single entry.
4. Casinos backers may spend up to $50 million to push their arguments. In 2006, that was probably the very first thing I complained about and I wrote at least a few blog posts about the craziness of the money being spent just to try to get our constitution changed on behalf of a few who already are “haves,” just not in Ohio.
Their points are well taken, but they don’t overcome evidence arguing that Issue 3 just isn’t a good deal for Ohio’s taxpayers. Vote against it.
Mr. Larkin, I’m thrilled that you’ve written this column and the PD has published it. And I feel affirmed that your arguments against the casino initiative this November echo everything many of us said and wrote in 2006 (and last year, while we’re at it) and continue to believe. But I will never understand how that 2006 editorial in support of Issue 3 was considered to be strong enough in its logic to be published, given that, if anything, our situation is even more dire now and in need of risk-taking, of some kind, though not the casino kind.