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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Rep. Pat Garofalo Thinks We Need More Sports Gambling - We Don't

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 04/04/18 14:28

by Dave Mindeman

Rep. Pat Garofalo is a fan of gambling. At the moment, his passion seems to be about legalized sports betting. His twitter account is replete with gambling odds, spreads, and predictions. It isn't too much of a stretch to say that Garofalo probably gambles a bit himself.

Which makes it a little troubling that with all the problems that the state has in play right now, Garofalo wants the State of Minnesota to prepare for the sports betting boom that is about to come.

Rep. Pat Garofalo, the chair of a jobs and energy committee at the Capitol, said Minnesota should act now to have the legal infrastructure in place in case the court deems the federal ban unconstitutional. With a legal framework in place, sports betting in Minnesota will be properly regulated and taxed and not left to an overseas gray market, he said.

"If the Supreme Court removes the ban, and if we do nothing, the offshore sports books will flood social media and scoop up bettors who think they are regulated, legal and taxed," he said.

He's worried about losing those "bettors". Maybe he should be a little more concerned about "losing" period. Minnesota has legalized gambling. The Indian tribes have casinos all over the state. Which, incidently, Pat Garofalo will protect....

"I won't submit a sports gambling bill the tribal casinos are opposed to," Garofalo said. "Nonnegotiable."

I doubt it is respect for the tribes that motivates him on this....more likely it is the powerful lobby they represent.

Garofalo talks a lot about sports gambling, but he speaks much less about gambling addiction problems and the societal issues that result. When you hear about people embezzling from their places of employment, gambling is a major reason. When addictive gambling takes hold, it destroys families.

Pat Garofalo doesn't seem to take that point seriously enough - he is driven to bring in that gambling revenue. He likes it....surely, everyone will get on board.

Funny - but Garofalo is pretty much the only driving force on this. He has made it a personal aspiration; convinced for some reason that the State of Minnesota "needs" this.

But they don't. Gambling can lead to an addiction that ruins people. We have enough gambling - sports gambling already has its place - people still bet on games. But we don't have to make it easier by giving Minnesota a gambling industry to worsen the problem.

Buddy the sports betting dog can continue his predictions without putting Minnesota at risk of more betting problems.
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Gun Safety Advocates Need To Put Their Votes Into Action

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 02/25/18 20:38, Edited: 02/25/18 20:58

by Dave Mindeman

There isn't much that makes me angrier than this stupid suggestion that teachers should be armed and made responsible for protecting kids from gunmen.

Republicans shouldn't pretend that all of a sudden they have some profound respect for the teaching profession and trust them implicitly with saving children in a life or death situation. Damn hypocrites.

They refuse to pay teacher's what they are worth. They cut the funding on basic supplies. They refuse to add funding for school mental health counselors. They get blamed for disciplinary problems...for student failures.....for sub-standard sex education...for what books should or shouldn't be read....and for high parental expectations without parental involvement.

But now, they are the next scapegoat for doing nothing about guns. Republicans know that arming teachers is a ridiculous notion. But they think that people will be distracted by the possibility. That they will be able to change the subject when it comes to guns. Don't take guns off the street - just put more in the schools.

It is assinine. It is hypocritical. And it just adds to the danger.

Stop it. Just stop the insanity. We all know that avoiding the subject of gun proliferation is a smokescreen from gun manufacturers and their congressional campaign donation recipients.

Gun safety laws aren't any threat to the 2nd Amendment. But the more we hide behind that amendment to protect ALL of our 300 million guns, the more dangerous we make America.

No loophole background checks, an enhanced and efficient data system, banning gun stocks, an assault weapons ban are sensible gun regulations which will help save lives. They will not prevent every single shooting incident - we know that. But it will stop more than we do now.

And in addition, we need to stop stupid laws like conceal/carry reciprocity, stand your ground, and refusing to allow gun safety studies by the CDC.

Again, we need common sense and reasonable measures that will take the most lethal weapons out of the hands of the people most likely to abuse them.

I do not understand why responsible gun owners are made to feel threatened by these common sense remedies. But then, I do know why. It is the gun lobby, the NRA, the gun manufacturers who spread the ridiculous notion that their legally obtained guns via proper checks will be taken away if ANYTHING is changed.

The dialogue is always poisoned. The debate unfair and not reasonable. This is about our kids and public safety. The most basic right of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. The Parkland victims were deprived of that basic right because we, as a society, are too cowardly to act.

No more. No more dead students. No more fearmongering. No more threats. No more intimidation.

The majority of America, the 70 to 90% who want gun reform, need to do more that just give an opinion.

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File That Court Suit Against Fischbach

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 02/23/18 22:53

by Dave Mindeman

Just a quick thought about Michele Fischbach as Senator and Lt. Governor.

This is kind of messy. The Democrats must either challenge this or it will be left as the new precedent. It opens a lot of questions about legislation passed in the Senate by a close vote. Fischbach may be casting votes that she is not entitled to do. And when she is chief author of a bill...well it could get complicated.

Bakk and the Senate leadership really need to move this to a court venue. The law should be clearly established in this method and make it clear where we stand.

In addition, if the court would rule that Fischbach cannot hold both offices and an injunction would move her out of the Senate. At least temporarily.

And by temporary, I mean for the entire 2018 session. A special election to replace Fischbach could not possibly happen prior to the end of this short session. So the Senate would be a tie at 33-33.

So, by accident, the Senate would be FORCED to cooperate in a bipartisan manner. Negotiation between the two parties would have to look for an actual remedy rather than just make partisan charges in the press.

Bakk is making a mistake to sit on this. But then, that is nothing new during his leadership tenure.
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