Will KY Governor Ernie Fletcher Distance Himself From Las Vegas Casino Industry's Frontman Mitch McConnell?
Now that Ernie Fletcher has decided to launch his TV ad campaign off on Tuesday with an ad against gambling, it will be interesting to see if he publicly distances himself from Mitch McConnell. What may be most interesting is how McConnell will toe the line on the gambling issue during the campaign, after years of fronting for the Las Vegas casino industry.
The Lexington Herald Leader reported that in 1998 and 2000, while Mitch McConnell was chairman of the NRSC, the American Gaming Association’s chief lobbyist Brett Hale gave the NRSC $2 million. Shortly after, Mitch McConnell played a key role in killing John McCain’s bill to outlaw gambling on college sports:
Doris Dixon, who lobbied the Senate for the bill, said McConnell was part of the effort to keep it from getting a floor vote. Dixon was then director of federal relations for the National Collegiate Athletic Association. She said McConnell and his aides refused even to meet with her side.
“Sen. McConnell was instrumental in blocking it from going forward,” Dixon said. “He was talking to other Republican senators about the problems it would pose for him as chairman of their fund-raising committee, which was taking money from Nevada.”
So the hypocrisy of the Kentucky Republican Party continues? Now, Ernie Fletcher (who has already flip-flopped on whether Kentuckians should be allowed to vote on a ballot-measure on casino gaming) must decide whether to condemn Mitch McConnell’s work on behalf of the Las Vegas casino industry.