MTR’s TruthPac.org & Sandy Theis
TruthPAC.org launched this morning, which is a new-anti gambling effort… or is it?:
It is unclear who is bankrolling this anti-casino effort. TruthPAC spokeswoman Sandy Theis said, “we expect money to come from a lot of different places from people opposed to this amendment but I don’t know where the initial money came from.” Theis said she would get an answer.
Theis most recently worked with MTR Gaming which filed suit last month at the Ohio Supreme Court hoping to knock the casino amendment off of the Nov. 3 ballot. MTR, chaired by Cleveland developer Jeff Jacobs, owns a Columbus area horse race track and casino in West Virginia that could be threatened by the Ohio casino proposal.
McLaughlin is also the personal pollster of MTR Chairman Jeff Jacobs. And MTR is the company providing the VLTs that Strickland unconstitutionally ordered to be placed in 7 racetracks. MTR is also the firm that Chris and Kim Redfern lobby for.
In addition, their treasurer is Michael Johrendt, a business and tax attorney who served as Gov. Ted Strickland’s treasurer from 2005 until December 2008.
Therefore, this sure looks like a gambling interest opposing another gambling interest.
There is nothing wrong with special interests funding efforts which cause political change. In fact, I’m not even an advocate for full disclosure, as it can set up individual donors up for retribution. And being in favor or opposed to the expanion gambling doesn’t come close to touching the real issues which make Ohio such a lousy place to conduct business.
But I will do what is necessary to expose the money laundromat that is quitely being set up to help Ohio Democrats. Could this group be part of that effort? Yes.
Below the fold is their press release from this morning:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2009
CONTACT: Sandy Theis
GROUP FOUNDED TO DEBUNK CASINO BACKERS’ FALSE CLAIMS
TruthPAC organizing large, diverse opposition coalition in Ohio
(COLUMBUS, OH) – Opponents of a plan to authorize casino gambling in Ohio announced formation of TruthPAC, a committee that will counter the exaggerated claims put forth by casino supporters.
Supporters are intentionally inflating the projected economic impact of the casinos with the help of a recent study by the University of Cincinnati, according to TruthPAC director Scott Kozar, who will manage the anti-casino effort. Despite the claims of proponents:
* The casinos will NOT create 34,000 jobs.
“Read the fine print,” Kozar said. “You’ll see that more than half of those jobs are temporary construction jobs. Just 16,000 permanent jobs would be created, assuming all four casinos are built.”
* Casino workers will NOT earn an average of $33,000.
The calculation includes both temporary construction jobs, which pay a higher union-scale wage, and permanent, lower-wage jobs such as custodians and wait staff. “Once the construction phase ends, the average wage is expected to drop,” Kozar said.
* The casinos will NOT guarantee $11 billion in economic impact during the first five years of operation.
“This estimate incorrectly assumes that all four casinos will be built immediately. Even the spokesman for the casino group admitted to the Cleveland Plain Dealer that this proposal sets no construction deadline,” Kozar said. “Under the plan, these casinos could be built in 100 years – or never.”
Voters will be asked in November to amend the Ohio Constitution and allow Las Vegas-style casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. The measure will appear on the ballot as State Issue 3.
Kozar said he is assembling a large and diverse coalition that will seek a “no” vote.
A veteran of Ohio politics, Kozar most recently served as the chief media adviser to the Ohio House Democratic Caucus in 2008 when Democrats regained control of the chamber for the first time since 1994.
Kozar leads a bi-partisan campaign team that also includes Republican pollster Jim McLaughlin, founder of McLaughlin and Associates, and treasurer Michael J. Johnrendt, a Columbus-based business and tax attorney who served as Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland’s treasurer from 2005 until December 2008.
For more information, please visit www.TruthPAC.org on the Web
UC STUDY: http://www.ohiojobsandgrowth.org/Brief/Default.aspx?Area=BriefUCStudy
PLAIN DEALER: http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2009/05/casino_issue_in_ohio_does_not.html