Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Big-Money, Pay-to-Play Politics" That The C-J Apparently Likes

Given the Courier-Journal's professed concern for "big-money, pay-to-play politics," we were just sure that the C-J would run an editorial today taking Gov. Steve Beshear to task for his efforts to gamble with casino legislation. According to the Associated Press:

A wealthy casino operator is defending an eye-catching $1 million contribution to a political group that worked to elect a pro-gambling governor in Kentucky.

William Yung III, who heads Crestview Hills-based Columbia Sussex Corp., has essentially placed a huge bet that newly elected Gov. Steve Beshear will be able to get the state's long-standing prohibition against casinos lifted.

"I make no apologies for helping get Steve Beshear elected," Yung told The Associated Press in an interview this week. "I've got a First Amendment right to spend my money any way I want to spend it."

We agree with Yung's refusal to apologize for exercising his constitutional rights. We also think the disclosure of Yung's mammoth contribution speaks volumes as to the private interests that will reap huge financial rewards if Beshear's legislative agenda is enacted. In fact, the news of Yung's contribution should have been included on that flyer in our mailboxes yesterday instructing us to "Tell Frankfort to 'Let Kentucky Vote' on Expanded Gaming."

Meanwhile, the silence of the C-J 's editorial writers (although the C-J did publish one op-ed by an outside writer critical of casino legislation) suggests they have no problem with "big-money, pay-to-play politics" when the money being played helps fund Democratic-sponsored casinos.

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