Thursday, October 4, 2012

Supreme Court invalidates casino amendment

Posted By on Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 9:29 AM

CRAPPED OUT: Nancy Todd, the political strategist who led the casino amendment drive, came up snake eyes at the Supreme Court today.
  • CRAPPED OUT: Nancy Todd, the political strategist who led the casino amendment drive, came up snake eyes at the Supreme Court today.
The Arkansas Supreme Court today ordered that no votes be counted for the Nancy Todd casino amendment. It was certified for the November election with an amendment to the ballot title that said it could be interpreted as affecting existing casinos at Oaklawn and Southland Parks.

The Supreme Court said that language was added after signatures were gathered and thus petition signers didn't approve a vote on the measure certified by Secretary of State Mark Martin. The backers of the casino have said objections to the title had left them with no choice but to add the language and that it was immaterial in terms of the original proposal. The Court reduced the case to this:

Although the case raises at least four separate issues, the primary question presented is whether a sponsor of an initiated amendment may attach one ballot title to her petition and then ask respondent to certify another. We hold that she may not.

The Court declined to issue an advisory opinion on the question that put this all in play — whether the original ballot title was sufficient. The Court said in a separate opinion that that issue became moot when Martin certified the amended proposal.

Nancy Todd issued this statement:

Today’s announcement is disappointing. More than 200,000 Arkansans signed our petition and thousands more understand this is about keeping our money in Arkansas and creating more than 6,000 good paying jobs in the state. A track full of moneyed insiders fought me every inch of the way and while they may have “won” today, it’s the people of Arkansas who have lost in the long run.

Issue 3 would provide Arkansas with real benefits: secure jobs and funding for our schools, senior citzens, veterans,
job training and the Children's Hospital. While today's decision means votes cast for Issue 3 will not count, I will continue talking about the importance of keeping our money in Arkansas and creating good paying jobs.

Here's the main opinion. Groups tied to existing racinos had mounted opposition to the proposal, which would have given a group of Missouri investors sole rights to establish casinos in four counties under a plan with scant legislative control. That group issued a statement:

Chuck Lange, Chairman of the Stop Casinos Now! Committee on today's ruling by the Arkansas Supreme Court:

"On behalf of the law enforcement, faith, community and political leaders that joined our campaign to stop Nancy Todd's casino monopoly in Arkansas, I would like to say thank you to those who stood up to protect our families and communities from the terrible realities that would have come from Todd's Vegas-style Poker Palace monopoly. We hope that all investigations into questionable signature gathering efforts possibly conducted by Todd's paid team will be completed in an effort to prevent further actions like those from occurring."

It sounds like the casino backers outsmarted themselves. They should have challenged Martin's refusal of their original ballot title as insufficient, a title that had been approved initially by the attorney general. He later changed his mind. Their effort to comply with questions was their undoing, at least in today's opinion. This puts an end to multiple efforts to put gambling expansion on the ballot this year. (Actually, the Todd casino measure will appear on ballots, but votes won't be counted.) The casino backers have five days to seek a rehearing, rarely granted particularly in the case of opinions joined by all justices.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • Reality TV: Watching burglary live in LR

    A home surveillance system helped a Pinnacle Valley home owner get photos, but not immediately catch, burglars who stole two firearms Wednesday morning.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • The Trump open line.

    Here's your open line. I hear there's a new president.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Farewell to a school teacher, Susan Turner Purvis

    A tribute to a great school teacher, Susan Turner Purvis, who died yesterday. Far too soon.
    • Jul 17, 2015
  • In defense of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights

    An op-ed in today's New York Time by Katha Pollitt says what I've been struggling to say about the reaction to the attack on women's reproductive rights launched by means of the undercover videos made by anti-abortion activists.
    • Aug 5, 2015
  • Matt Campbell files ethics complaint against Dennis Milligan

    Little Rock attorney and blogger Matt Campbell, whose knack for deep research brought down Mark Darr, Mike Maggio and Dexter Suggs, now has his sights trained on another worthy target. Today, he filed a 113-page ethics complaint against state Treasurer Dennis Milligan that includes 14 separate allegations.
    • Aug 20, 2015

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    • PlainJim: All it takes is one look into those googley eyes, and you know Charlie…

    • on January 20, 2017
  • Re: The Trump open line.

    • I assume Republicans still believe presidential executive orders violate the president's authority now that Trump…

    • on January 20, 2017
  • Re: The Trump open line.

    • Yeah, I think it is pretty clear, Vanessa, that Trump is going to have trouble…

    • on January 20, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation