Commentary: Emergency Session? You Bet!

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, September 8, 2006

I don't think very many Californians know about the slot machine crisis. Not to worry - Republican leaders in the legislature are on it.

Forget for a moment that the state's prisons are overcrowded and understaffed, that millions of us live behind levees too weak to protect us from expected storms, or that 19% of Californians have no health insurance.

In the face of these very real problems and more, Republican Assembly leader George Plescia and Senate Republican leader Dick Ackerman sent a letter to their Democratic counterparts asking them to use their authority to call lawmakers back into emergency session to approve gambling deals that would give five of the richest tribes in California 22,000 more slot machines.

GOP leaders say this isn't about gambling. It's about billions in lost state revenues.

I don't believe them. I think it's about campaign contributions. I think they want to ingratiate themselves with gambling tribes who are the biggest campaign contributors in California.

In a legislature renowned for serving the special interest over the public interest, this self-serving letter from Plescia and Ackerman stands out.


Ginger Rutland writes for the Sacramento Bee Opinion pages.