Bingo Bill Hearing Blog Day 2

By: Jason Wright Email
By: Jason Wright Email

Day 2

9:56- Rhiana and I are in the senate media room awaiting the senators to show up for debate!

10:09- Senator Bedford asks the senate to allow the people to vote. He said we have had legal gambling in Alabama since 1971. This is the first time in the history of our state to tax and regulate it. The people should have the opportunity to vote it down or pass it through. The senate and state government should honor the will of the people.

10:15- Bedford says Gov. Riley is out of line to wait until now to become so passionate about this issue. He should look at his funding from Mississippi and should have made that decision long ago. Voting for this issue would be the largest turn out for a vote ever in Alabama. He says we should not decide on this issue here because if that happens, we say that we are smarter than the people of Alabama.

No one in this Senate is smarter that the people in Alabama. That is why we have the right to vote. We have military who for this right. They have the choice. They vote for us but we don't give them a chance to vote on one of the biggest issues ever in this state...that is dead wrong.

Bedford says voting no today will cut millions and millions of dollars from each county of this state.

If voted down, Indians have a monopoly because you can't tax, regulate, or touch them because they are protected by the federal government. Over 6,000 people are out of a job right now because of these bingo halls closing. This is not funny and our government could care less right now. This is absolutely not funny and it is not fair.

The gaming commission will be one of the toughest in the country.

He also says that if we don't let the Alabama people vote on this issue, we tell them that they are too stupid to vote on an issue.

Bedford says that the people will speak and vote our butts out for not giving them the right to vote. This is not about backroom deals and campaign cash, they deserve the right to vote.

10:33- Senator Samford says the bill should be cleaned up.

10:40- The senate voted 18 to 16 to kill the let the people vote bingo bill sponsored by Senator Bedford after failing to get 21 votes to further debate.

Bingo Bill Hearing Blog Day 1

10:04- The senate was called to session and a prayer was said and a local high school student led the senate in the Pledge of Allegiance.

10:14- The senators are joking back and forth on each others pictures and who's granddaughter can draw the best.

10:18- The senators are getting ready to talk about what bills are going to be introduced today.

10:23- Senator Waggoner proposes a resolution to recognize the Hoover High School football and wrestling teams for winning the state championships in their respective sports.

10:24- Senator Bedford just put forth a motion to adopt a resolution to override the governor's veto on employee furloughs once a month.

10:27- An opposing senator says that furloughing employees is better than possible lay-offs down the road. He also says that it is a waste of money to take all the industrial trips all over the world. Taking trips to the national championship game was not an industrial trip, it was for fun. He says that Bob Riley's thin minded stance on trips is as thin minded as his stance on letting the people vote on electronic gaming.

10:39- The vote to put forth a resolution to override Gov. Riley's veto to furloughing employees once a month was 20 Yea and 13 opposed.

10:48- The senate is talking a possible recess from 11 until 2pm...due to economic lunch meetings scheduled.

2:02- The senators are starting to enter the senate chamber for the afternoon session

2:24- Senate Resolution on Bingo is now being mentioned...

2:25- Senator Hank Irwin says that the bill if passed would rip the state apart. The bill is about gambling, not bingo. People would rip this state apart if this bill is passed. Charity bingo is nothing more than a slot machine. He says that letting the cat out of the bag, has drained our state of money and the state budgets are very depleted. He asks, "Where does the money go?" He says that the gambling bosses have wasted money and has put the state in proration. He says we need to find another way to do business in Alabama and that there are more important things to talk about rather than gambling. The issue will set us back addressing the issues of this state. The bill would create a monopoly for certain people and separate fair business. It will also make certain billionaires and break others.

He adds "Letting the people vote" would be bad because it is a bad bill designed and manipulated for people to make a ton of money. The casino bosses are fooling and scamming the people of Alabama to try and get rich.

I have seen very few emails and not many calls for people wanting it to go to a vote. There is not compelling mandate for the people wanting to vote. The few people want to make a ton of money and it is a slick marketing scam.

We need to vote it down and make a statement as a government.

The casino are trying to rob the people of Alabama to pad their own pockets. We do not need to give the state of Alabama to gamblers to leave the state high and dry. This is not about bingo, its all about gambling. We are trying to turn Alabama into Las Vegas. Alabama will go down like the Titanic.

Letting gambling into Alabama is like throwing money in the toilet and flushing it away. If we vote this down, we can move on from this mess. If we need to, I can talk until the cows come home and until I run out of breath because this bill is crazy.

2:38- Senator Baron says this bill will make Alabama nothing like Mississippi. We dont want all the card tables, slots, and everything else...We are talking about bingo and bingo only. For the last 27 years, we have had legal gambling in dogs tracks and other things. We have not taxed them for 27 years and now, we want to tax and regulate it and bring in hundreds of millions of dollars and all you are doing is denying the people a right to vote.

Mississippi has not gone to the dogs as all the people are saying. If we dont pass this, the Indians have three gaming facilities and they are not taxed one dollar! Voting this down, gives them everything they can handle. All we want to do is allow people to vote.

2:42- The calendar with the bingo legislation passes 19 to 16 to be discussed and voted on in the next three days.

2:47- Senator Means says he lost every bit of respect for First Lady Patsy Riley when she shouted for people to get legal jobs. He said she has no right to shout that at citizens of this state. What about the people working at the Indian casinos? Are those legal jobs? All Bob Riley did was wake up one morning and said, "I'm going to get rid of bingo in this state". But when he leaves office, bingo will still be in the state with the Indians. All the people in my district just want the chance to vote....that's all. When Mrs. Riley said that, she was out of line. The governor is now going to help them with unemployment but it still shouldn't have been said. I wish Gov. Riley was here so I could ask him why now instead of 7 years ago.

Gov. Riley is helping this bingo legislation because of the late night raids. Mr. Means says there must have been cannons and missles at Victoryland and Country Crossing to bring all the state troopers for the raids. I wish the governor would come here and answer these questions to our faces.

2:55- Senator Bedford asks for a recess for 30 minutes to get the copies to everyone for a proper debate and vote. The motion passes 23 to 9.

3:33- Senator Bedford says that the bill would create one of the toughest gaming commissions in the country and would tax the gaming at 27% and that would help every part of the state budget especially in the medicare and medicaid aspects. There is no favoritism in the bill and the bill would put Alabama in a safe place by limiting the locations to only 10 places. Everyone must go before the gaming commission. They can fine, remove, or close a facility.

3:38 - A motion has been put forth to adjourn for the day and to reassemble at 10am on Wednesday....The motion passes at a 21 to 14 vote.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by brenda Location: dothan on Mar 4, 2010 at 08:57 AM
    senator sandford will propose a bill that for the first time is honest and calls it what it is..casino slot gaming...he also does not have a chance of getting it presented...the fat cats would slim down too fast on this one and they are already getting mighty hungry
  • by mici Location: Houston Co on Mar 4, 2010 at 05:13 AM
    Senator Bedford, PLEASE do not quit now. This is the time to fight for what is right.You know what was right and tried to fight for a way to allow the people to vote yes or no for Bingo. Please do not let the crooked and ignorant win this fight. The battle has not yet been waged. Your Bill was a tough one. Please prepare a different one as suggested. How can the people of this state ever win if our voices are stopped. How can we have representation with one side being heard? How can you give up? Please don't. 3 votes needed... these politicians will not be re-elected and they need to hear from us to prove it. We need our Senators to stand up and speak loudly. We need to write to those that voted it down. We have allowed others to speak for us. We trusted too much. We need to be allowed to VOTE.
  • by Jay Bea Location: dothan on Mar 3, 2010 at 01:47 PM
    REM I agree with you Senator Bedford did all he could on this round... and he really needs to support whomever is re-writing the bills to insure that the people of Alabama are given "Their Right under the Constitution to vote" on these issues that affect so many people, and to give these hard working 5000 people their jobs back... I can't believe the arrogance of these few Elected Officials in Montgomery
  • by Judy Location: Dothan Al on Mar 3, 2010 at 11:49 AM
    Let the people vote we are the ones that need a job. Let the casinos and the CC that have been closed open bac up and put people back to work. I think some of our representatives really want this because they know it will help our schools etc.,but,they don't have the true grit they need to make it public. I love Alabama! I ws born and raised here but it's time we move forward not backwards. I want to vote yes for Bingo in Alabama. I want to play Bingo In Dothan Alabama not in another state!
  • by REM on Mar 3, 2010 at 11:27 AM
    My deepest gratitude to Senator Robert Bedford for standing strong in his true representation for the people, as well as to those Senators who have joined in Senator Bedfords efforts to allow the people of Alabama to voice their opinion through means of a vote. I pray those efforts will be rewarded when the people of this state go to the polls in November and you are once again re-elected to represent the people of this great state. As for the rest of the Senators, who obviously feel the people of Alabama are too ignorant to vote on the issue of bingo, I hope you find yourselves relieved from your duties as elected officials once the ballots have been counted. In my humble opinion you have proven yourselves unworthy to represent the people of this state. This is not about BINGO, it's about the rights & the voice of the people & allowing our voices to be heard. Our voices will be heard in November, with or without BINGO! Count on it!!!! And again, THANKS WTVY!!! You're the GREATEST!!!
  • by Jay Bea Location: dothan on Mar 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM
    Mr. Hank Erwin running for Lt. Gov. that's a joke, He couldn't get re-elected in his senate seat now... But, we can't blame him alone for taking our RIGHTS away there are 17 more to blame along with him... they should lose their seats along with their arrogant leader Gov. Riley (which is leaving in Nov. anyway). There is now a record of how all these Senators voted and they can no longer lie about their position on these two bills. To hear 90% of them talk they were all for the "rights of the people" to vote on these issues, knowing all the time that if it was forced to a vote that they would be exposed for the liars that they are. So, you delay as long as you can hoping it would never get to a vote.... But it did so, Bye- Bye!!!!
  • by scott Location: dothan on Mar 3, 2010 at 10:44 AM
    Who voted these idiots into office. A wonderful oppertunity opens up at Country Crossing where 1000 people now have jobs. If people want to spend their money in a bingho machine, then let them. Bingo is no different than the lottery. Bob and his supporters deserve a trip to the unemployment line, then denied any help. It cant be that hard to regulate bingo fairly. Come on you idiots, get with the program and let people get back to work.
  • by barbara ann Location: slocomb on Mar 3, 2010 at 10:18 AM
    wednesdy...just heard bedfords bil was voted dwn..it was a bad bill..we don,t need a rush to judgment .at least we have senators who take pride in their integrity and are not easily bought off.remember the saying if you don,t stand forsometing you wllfal for anything. the dotaeagle has lots of job offerings,go for it and accept the fact that things wil get better.I agree with th bj blog..se called it right
  • by Helen Location: Cottonwood on Mar 3, 2010 at 09:54 AM
    bj...The machines at country crossing are electronic bingo machines. My god aren't there any inteligent people. Look up what a slot machine is, Then, look up what a electronic bingo machine is.. Riley has you all convinced.. He won't even check out the machines. So he doesn't even know what he is talking about.
  • by Terri Location: Dothan on Mar 3, 2010 at 09:28 AM
    I hope the people of Alabama will show Hank Erwin running for Lieutenant Governor of Alabama 2010 just how we can vote...and that goes for all the others that think that the people of Alabama are to dumb to vote for what we want...maybe the Senators that just put themselves out of a job can get a job with Riley in Mississippi...thanks for nothing...what a waste of time and money...Riley should have to pay it all back...here is a site to send Sen Irwin a note...http://www.hankerwin2010.com...he sure isn't getting my vote...
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