Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

AL Gov. Bob “Wiley” Riley: May I have your attention, please? THE SKY IS FALLING!!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 6, 2010

“Montgomery is not like NASCAR.”

– Alabama Governor Bob Riley, (R), speaking in Huntsville, Friday, 05 March 2010

Alabama Governor Bob Riley (R), has called for legal reform in the state, disguised as election funding reform, specifically in the case of PAC (Political Action Committee) to PAC transfers.

While there is no doubt such reform is necessary, indeed beneficial and certainly long overdue, to have the lame-duck, er, make that “lame-brain” governor make that assertion demonstrates Wiley Riley’s own “ethics-only-when-it’s-convenient” attitude.

In recent days, Wiley Riley has raised a highly-publicized ruckus about electronic “bingo.” In fact, news of the row has reached other states, and there, no doubt, become fodder for raydeeo talk-show gabfests, and late-night teevee jokesters. But you see, when Wiley Riley came into office, electronic bingo was illegal.

Following is a brief overview of what he said and did about that problematic issue…

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Bupkes. Nada. Nil. Zilch. Zip. Nothin’.

Of course, the good readers are aware, ethics are not always convenient, and rather, are frequently inconvenient.

A particular case in point is Riley’s refusal upon his first election to do anything about illegal casino-style gambling in Alabama.

The Alabama Supreme Court has continued to uphold that such electronic “bingo” games are illegal. Proponents, of course, cite the algorithms as justification or rationale for their legality. Regardless, the Supreme Court has previously ruled on more than one occasion (the legal term is stare decisis, Latin for “the decision stands,” meaning more specifically that a matter has been decided), that electronic bingo is illegal in Alabama. Period.

The Supreme Court’s decision is not based upon whether the law should be ignored (as in unenforced, which is precisely what has happened – thus creating more fodder for blogging), is unjust or unethical, nor does it mean anything about any issue of morality or ethic as it may relate to an individual’s decision to engage or participate in gambling where legal. It simply means that Alabama’s laws as they are written 1.) prohibit gambling, and 2.) recognize that electronic bingo is a form of illegal gambling. Period.

It’s almost as if one might ask Mother Nature or Father Time, “would you please temporarily suspend enforcement of your laws for my benefit and that of others?” A ridiculously ludicrous request, no doubt, yet it is one which has essentially occurred here in Sweet Home Alabama. It’s akin to the Medical Marijuana issue in California and two other western states. Illegal activity on one level (a federal level) is flouted at the state and local level (two lower levels). Boy! This issue is getting convoluted, isn’t it?!

Before any readers jump, er, fall off the deep end, let me make the dear reader aware: I do not gamble, yet neither do I begrudge those whom do. I have on rare occasion purchased a lottery ticket – it was in Georgia, and one in Tennessee, I believe – many years ago, and I have dropped a few tokens into a electronic slot machine (is it bingo?) in Carson City, Nevada, and have walked through every casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, just to see what they looked like – they’re very well-appointed, clean and secure facilities.

And before any readers suffer paroxisms of paranoia or apoplexy, allow me one further indulgence – the citation of now-convicted former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford, whom in ONE DAY, won in several instances, very-nearly $100,000 at Victoryland, one of Milton McGregor’s casinos. And in total, Langford was perhaps the single-most lucky winner In Victoryland’s history, both in terms of dollar amount won and in times won. A uniquely strange coincidence, wouldn’t you say?

Yet, if we in Alabama were to LEGALIZE ALL FORMS OF GAMBLING, the State Legislature could establish regulatory and oversight boards which could also enforce all sorts of laws relating to casinos and gaming, create an enforcement board with licensing and arrest powers, and further empower (burden) other law enforcement officials with additional responsibilities. Of course, there’d be the taxing aspect of the issue, as well.

But as corrupt, and ig’nernt as some of them flatlanders, wiregrassers and hillbillies are, I’m not sure I’d trust ’em to come up with such a plan. They seem to have us twisted, warped and wrapped around their little penises… er, fingers.

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