Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Indiana Legislators Tied to Casino Lobbyists

According to a study released yesterday by the Americans for Nonsmokers Rights Foundation casino lobbyists spent a significant amount of money on Indiana legislators during the past two legislative sessions. The study draws a direct correlation between dollars spent by the industry and the unwillingness of Indiana lawmakers to pass a comprehensive smoke free air law that includes casinos. The study found:

BIG LOBBYING EXPENDITURES: Gaming interests reported more than $3.6 million in lobbying expenditures between May 1, 2007 and April 30, 2009, according to public records online.

BIG POLITICAL PARTY DONATIONS: Major state political party committees and legislative caucus committees took in more than $228,000 in donations from people employed by lobbying firms that represent Indiana casinos and horse tracks in 2008.

BIG DONATIONS TO A KEY PLAYER: House Speaker Patrick Bauer’s reelection campaign received at least $60,000 in donations in 2008 from horse racing industry supporters, individuals employed by lobbying firms for casinos and affiliated contributors, including $39,000 on a single day.

Hopefully during the next legislative session legislators will be able to see beyond lobbying dollars to pass a strong public health law in which all Indiana businesses are smoke free, including casinos..

No comments: