Published May 10, 2009
The new chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party, David Betras, intends to make his bones as a political leader in this region by launching a campaign against the latest plan for casino gambling in Ohio. Betras has been harshly critical of the proponents of the initiative, led by prominent businessmen in Cleveland, because Youngstown isn't one of the cities that will have a Vegas-style casino.
If the constitutional amendment appears on the ballot in November and is approved, there will be facilities in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. The provisions of the amendment do require revenue sharing with all the counties and cities that meet population requirements, which means Mahoning County could receive $6 million a year.
Betras isn't impressed. But, he is not advocating that the region turn down any money from the revenue-sharing plan. He just wants the voters of Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties to send a message to the proponents by voting no.
So, here's a question: Is Betras being hypocritical by pounding his chest about those selfish boobs in Cleveland who don't want Youngstown to have a casino, but is willing to take the money they will offer once the casinos are up and running?