Del. Gerron Levi leads charge against Baker & slots

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Earlier today former Prince George’s County Delegate Gerron Levi blasted Executive Rushern Baker and Senate President Mike Miller’s plans over the stalled state budget, the plan for a new casino, and the need for expensive special sessions at a cost of about $25,000 per day.

From Delegate Levi:

Former Delegate Gerron Levi (D-23A)

Thomas V. Mike Miller, Maryland’s President of the State Senate, demonstrated just how far gambling supporters will go to force a slots parlor in Fort Washington.  In a gross abuse of power, he blocked a compromise on Maryland’s budget in order to get what he wants — Maryland’s 6th casino in Prince George’s County. As a result, Prince George’s County now faces over $60 million in cuts, and counties, cities, schools, police departments, colleges and popular programs across the state are staring down the prospect of over $500 million in cuts.

You see, Mike Miller is the Master of the Senate, and one of the three most powerful men in the State of Maryland.  Having served in Annapolis for over 40 years, he is also a master of political brinksmanship.  A Special Session of the Maryland General Assembly will now have to be called at taxpayers expense to raise taxes and solve the state budget.  And, if all goes according to Mike Miller’s calculation, a Prince George’s slots parlor will be on the agenda.

Mike Miller’s Plan:  With enough time, the “hue and the cry” of teachers and college students and others across the state facing “doomsday” cuts will be so loud and the pressure on the Governor and the Speaker of the House so great, that one of them will have to blink and bend to His will and give him “something” on the Prince George’s slots deal.  All he needs is for one them to get behind his casino and round up the votes in the House of Delegates to pass it so that it goes to statewide referendum in November.  He knows that no Prince George’s politician wants this on the ballot when they have to run for reelection in 2014.  So, this is the year!  He has been waiting for this day for a long time — slots in Prince George’s within his grasp — and he has no intentions of retiring from the State Senate before he gets it; he has been planning it for over a decade.

Follow the Leader thinking and cold political calculation led a number of Prince George’s lawmakers to shudder their campaign opposition to slots in the county and follow Mike Miller’s model on abuse of power.

These are just a few examples:

  • Cuts to the Education Trust Fund:  Two Prince George’s lawmakers introduced, the County Executive urged support, and  for bills (SB 892) that would cut 15% of slot revenues going education to go instead to profits for casino operators. Recall in 2007/2008 gambling was sold to statewide voters as a way to fund education.   5 Prince George’s Senators voted for that bill.
  • Promised a “Local Vote” for Prince George’s and then took it back:  A County Council resolution sought to condition a county slots parlor on the will of Prince George’s voters.  When casino supporters realized they did not have the votes for a county slots parlor in the House of Delegates they dropped that “local vote” provision, leaving it to voters statewide to decide for Prince George’s County.  5 Prince George’s Senators voted for that bill.
  • Baker’s Exaggerated Revenue Numbers:  While Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker claims the county will win $69 million in revenue from his slots parlor, he fails to mention that the state has yet to reap the revenue promised in 2008 from the existing slots program.  In fact, The Maryland State Lottery Agency reported that the state is spending $71.5 million per year to provide slot machines to three casinos — that is $10 million more than the  leasing cost projected for all 5 casinos in the coming year.
  • End-Run Around Prince George’s Leaders:  The customary rule is this: the will of the Prince George’s Delegation is communicated to the Speaker of House or other House leaders after a discussion among delegates and either a vote of the delegation or a decision to send a delegation letter from the Chairwoman.  At the request of County Executive Rushern Baker, several delegates decided instead to send their own “group letter” to House leadership to express “the will” of the delegation.  12 state delegates signed that letter.
  • The customary rule is this:  the will of the Prince George’s County Council on legislation is communicated to leaders in Annapolis after a discussion of the Council and a vote or a Council letter from the Council Chairwoman.   At the request of the County Executive and Senate President, several County Council Members decided instead to send their own “group letter” to Annapolis to express “the will” of the County County.  6 County Council Members signed that letter.

 
Organizations Opposing A Casino in  Prince George’s County:

 

 

1.   Coalition of Central Prince George’s County Community Organizations

2.    Indian Head Highway Area Action Coalition (IHHAAC)

3.    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

4.    Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

5.    Collective Empowerment Group (CEG)

6.    Prince George’s County PTA Council

7.    Progressive Cheverly

8.    Mission of Love

9.    Men Aiming Higher

10.   Kettering Civic Federation

11.   Executive Committee, Hillcrest-Marlow Heights Civic Association

12.   Suitland Action Team

13.   Mission Baptist Ministers Conference

14.   Original Free Will Baptist Conference

15.   Fairfield Knolls Civic Association

16.   Helping Hand Club

17.   Concerned Citizens of Seabrook Park Estates

18.   Forestville Park Homeowners Association

19.   District III Coffee Club

20.   Page After Page

21.   Integrated Processing Labs

22.   Family, Faith, and Future

23.   Veteran’s Advocacy Group

24.   Former Prince George’s County Councilman Thomas Dernoga

25.   Former Maryland State Delegate Gerron S. Levi

26.   Former Prince George’s County School Board Member Patricia Fletcher

27.   Lewisdale Citizens Association

28.   Community of Hope AME Church

29.   First Baptist Church of Highland Park

30.   Jerusalem AM.E. Church

31.   Greater Mt. Nebo AME Church

32.   Bride of Christ Church

33.   New Creation AME Church

34.   Cornerstone AME Church

35.   Mt. Victory Baptist Church

36.   Triumphant Church

37.   New Hope Baptist Church

38.   Christ Kingdom Church

39.   Wayman Memorial AME Church

40.   United By Faith Christian Church

41.   Solid Rock Missionary Baptist Church

42.   Marlboro Meadows Baptist Church

43.   Embry AME Church

44.   Antioch Baptist Church – Clinton

45.   Shalom Ministries Christian Center

46.   The Sanctuary at Kingdom Square

47.   Judah Temple AME Zion Church

48.   Higher Place of Praise Ministries

49.   New Community Church of God in Christ

50.   Bethel Deliverance Outreach Church

51.   Christ Missionary Baptist Church

52.   Disciples of Christ Christian Church

53.   Carolina Missionary Baptist Church

54.   Mt. Jezreel Baptist Church

55.   Union Bethel AME Church

56.   Mt. Enon Missionary Baptist Church

57.   Ebenezer AME Church

58.   New Vision Baptist Church

59.   Gethsemane AME Church

60.    New Liberation AME Church

61.    Millwood-Waterford Citizens Association

62.    Hunter Memorial Church

63.    South Potomac Citizens Association

64.    Wilburn Civic Association

65.    Central Civic Association (Wilburn Community)

66.    Maryland Family Alliance

67.    Greater Accokeek Civic Association

68.    Laurel Clergy Association

69.    Bethany Community Church

69.    New Chapel Baptist Church

70.    Jericho City of Priaise

71.    Community of Hope AME Church

72.    Reid Temple AME Church (North)

73.    From The Heart Church Ministries

74.    Glenn Dale Citizens’ Association

75.    New Revival Kingdom Church

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One thought on “Del. Gerron Levi leads charge against Baker & slots

  1. I totally agree with being opposed to the new casino. Citizens in Prince George’s County already gamble at the three local race tracks. Therefore, I say add slots to them all. This includes Rosecroft.
    Also, isn’t part of the land dedicated for the MGM casino a slave grave site?

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