- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Conservatives and Casinos
The big winner of the May 16th primary was the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Moderate incumbents across the state were bested by right-wing challengers riding a wave of voter discontent over the pay raise, spending increases, and other grievances. Make no mistake—this was not a progressive impulse. The GOP legislative caucus has become more conservative and by extension so has state government. While this new reality is certainly problematic for most progressive causes, it might provide a glimmer of hope for casino opponents.
The new rightward bend of the state GOP might lead to a reexamination of the legalization of slots. The religious right has long been opposed to an expansion of gambling on moral grounds. According to an article in the Harrisburg Patriot-News, Speaker John Perzel and Majority Leader Sam Smith are under pressure from their caucus to stop working so closely with Gov. Rendell:
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Smith, meanwhile, said he has heard the pleas from members angered by deals cut by leaders on issues such as tax increases and legalization of slot machines. They want "Republicans ... to lead like Republicans," the Jefferson countian said, adding that he will use that to focus on negotiating a budget that tightly controls new spending.
The primary losses combined with the upcoming gubernatorial campaign make it likely that Republicans will aggressively try to block Rendell’s agenda in the coming months. While this might mean trouble for the minimum wage coalition, it could be an opening for anti-casino activists. Politicians might claim that gambling is inevitable, but the primary election proved that nothing is certain.