(Rep. Adam Koenig — the sponsor of the “Sports Betting Bill” / Photo Supplied
Every so often, we will be addressing a few things: comments, decisions, people, whatever that – for one reason or another – should be tossed into the literary “muck pit.”
It is in the spirit of cleanliness, recycling, and protecting the environment that we offer this service of “addressing the muck” – free of charge. After all, someone has to do it, right?
And, it didn’t take long for us to find a few pounds of, well, manure.
Here is a look at our “20th Edition”:
Here’s the “Good News:”
Despite what you may be hearing out of the “Family Foundation’s” little pack of liars, the legislation that would permit legal Sports Betting in the Commonwealth is doing just fine and should be headed for a full debate and vote on the floor of the Kentucky House of Representatives.
Truth be known?
(And, we all know in the Commonwealth’s Capitol building that “the truth” is such a foreign concept to those that sit in Frankfort committee rooms professing to be more God-like than the rest of us, and to those that sit in judgment of all of us.)
Here are the truths, so help me God:
Truth #1: Already, there are enough votes among the 100 members of the Kentucky House of Representatives to pass the bill filed by Rep. Adam Koenig (R-Wilder) and passed out of the House’s Licensing & Occupations Committee unanimously a couple of weeks ago. If the bill were called for a vote on Monday? It would pass. If the bill were called for a vote on Tuesday? It would pass. If the bill were called for a vote on Wednesday. It would pass. People that make their living in Frankfort can count votes. And, the votes are there. People that make noise in Frankfort — and you know who you are, Stan Cave –can’t even count the number of fingers on their own hands. And, even if they could? They wouldn’t tell you the truth — even with one of their concealed guns pointed at their heads.
Truth #2: There is significant bi-partisan support for the measure, which will simply move a current “illegal activity” into a more regulated, governed, policed and legal one. In fact, there is a significant number of supporters in both the House Republican and the House Democratic Caucuses. In fact, there is near unanimous support in both of the respective Caucuses’ Leadership ranks. And, in fact, there is likely to be more supporters join the ranks in the hours, days and weeks ahead as we move through this session where a bi-annual budget must be considered and passed.
Truth #3: As you have already heard from newly-elected Governor Andy Beshear and as you will hear in the days ahead from both the House and Senate members that comprise the respective Appropriations and Revenue Committees, there are desperate needs and holes in our proposed budget and the more desperate needs of additional funding for such significant issues such as pension plans; education programs; infrastructure projects; and civil services. How do you raise new revenue to help fill these gaps? Additional taxes? Or, perhaps, new General Fund dollars that could and would be added to the ledger by simply moving a current illegal activity to a legal one?
Truth #4: If you don’t think that there is Sports Betting already going on in our society, then tell me what is the address of your rock? After all, this Sunday, there will be zillions bet — most of it illegally — on the Super Bowl. Like the 49ers? Like the Chiefs? Doesn’t matter. Most like one or the other and are willing to place a wager on it. But that’s not the end of it, either. In about a month, you won’t be able to walk into an office anywhere in the Commonwealth and not see someone with a “Bracket Buster” pool on the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Fill out the bracket. Drop $10 bucks; $20 bucks; any bucks in the envelope and take your shot at a bunch of basketball shots. It is so prevalent that parents take brackets home for the kids to fill out. Get ’em started early, right? And, guess what? Just about a month ago, the current Mayor of Lexington bet the current Mayor of Louisville over what team would win this year’s annual beat-down between the Wildcats and the Cardinals. A sports bet? Damn right it was a bet over a sport.
So, if there is so much support right now why hasn’t the bill been called and voted on yet? Why are the leaders that make the decision to call the bills for votes still holding this measure and waiting?
Well — after spending over 30 years in the river town of Frankfort and lobbying for a myriad of measures through the years, including a number of other bills that have been aimed at and passed to assist the horse racing industry — there are several reasons.
Reason #1: It is better to wait and allow legislators time to think, review, study and resolve these kinds of issues in their own minds before you ask them to vote.
Reason #2: It is better to allow legislators to talk with their counterparts and seat-mates to see where they stand on these kinds of issues. Sort of like internal lobbying by the legislative supporters, if you will.
Reason #3: It is better, sometimes, to allow the budget issues evolve, and allow legislators time to realize that revenue gaps shortchange many expense needs. And, it is better, at times, to allow legislators understand that the opportunities to create needed new revenues are somewhere between slim and none-of-your-business.
Reason #4: It is best to exit the House with the most votes possible to send the prospective legislation to the Senate with as much momentum and as many supporters as possible. Some times, a Senator will look to see where the House member that represents the same legislative district has voted. If the House member can support, some times that has a positive influence on the Senator that represents the same constituencies.
Reason #5: It gives legislators time to see and realize that Indiana has already passed the bill and is already earning money for its’ state coffers. It gives legislators time to understand that Tennessee is passing and implementing, as well. It gives others time to see that 20 other states are taking advantage of this opportunity to legalize something that the “fan base” — the average voter — wants. It is happening. If not here, then there. And, nearly everywhere.
The truth is that House Bill 137 has sufficient support to pass — thanks to the work of many, including the likes of Sponsor and Chair Adam Koenig. He has spilled blood, sweat and tears.
The reasons for passing House Bill 137 are building. Every. Single. Day.
The truth is that Kentucky may join the 21st Century before it becomes the 22nd one.
The reasons for the crazy rumors being spun by the so-called “Family Foundation” is simple. They know the numbers. They know they are losers — yet again. And, the hell fire and damnation crowd has never let the truth get in the way of a good, scary story.
Stay tuned, fans.
If you want to put a bet on whether Kentucky will pass HB 137, I would bet that you can find an illegal bookie to take the action right now. While they still have a chance to stay in business.
Here’s the “Bad News:”
I have known Stan Cave — a lawyer for the Family Foundation — for a very long time. Actually knew him when he was a partner in a Lexington law firm that I have done business with and have known the managing leaders for over 30 years. Really knew him before he ever decided to run for the legislature and attempt to join the Kentucky House of Representatives.
I knew what the General Assembly was getting before he ever arrived.
And, as a matter of a disclaimer, I never liked him. More importantly, I never liked what he stood for. I never liked what he stood against. I never liked it when he would stand up, period. Never.
In fact, in my over 30 years of working in and around state government, I can honestly say and write that I have never met anyone less tolerant of others; more dogmatic of their own opinion; less inclined to consider the thoughts, religious beliefs, and moral compass of others; more vehement of their own, personal so-called virtues; less considerate of others; more disgusting in their high regard for their own thoughts and opinions.
Ask him how he treats people that have a faith other than whatever-it-is that Stan Cave practices and see what answer you will get. Most likely, it will be filled with some vitriolic pronouncement that is less forgiven than the Christianity that I adopt.
Ask him how he feels about the LGBT community? I would really be interested in his answer to this one. Stan, feel free to weigh in here any time. Be happy to print your own thoughts to these questions.
Ask him how he feels about horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering. Ask him how he feels about Historical Racing Machines. Ask him how he feels about the Lottery. Ask him how he feels about bingo at church picnics. Ask him how he feels about office pools on “March Madness.” Ask him how he feels about Dick Vitale’s fund-raising efforts to help prevent childhood cancer — by offering up a chance to win a Mercedes Benz (or two). Ask him how he feels about buying stock in Churchill Downs, or buying any stock for that matter. Ask him how he feels about “betting” that the constituents will vote for you over your opponent.
Ask him. Stan normally doesn’t talk to me. And, I would really rather not talk to him. No need to ruin a perfectly good, God-given day.
But I would be happy to print the results. Because, truth be known, there is no difference in any of the “wagers” above. None. They are all gambles. They are all risks. They are all things that you put up in hopes — and expectations — that you will win.
So, when I read this week that this same Stan Cave called into question the integrity of House Speaker David Osborne with several posts on his “Twitter” account, I was neither surprised nor shocked. Not going to print the preposterous claims and allegations here. Never going to give any credibility to someone that does not have integrity.
After all, Stan Case is a disgusting person. He is known for such tactics. Especially when he is losing. Have seen this behavior before.
But the level that Stan Cave has stooped to this time is an all-time low for an all-time loser.
David Osborne has been a friend of mine for many years. Rarely, do we agree on politics. Often, we disagree on political issues. Always, though, we resolve our debates with a handshake and a laugh. I hold David Osborne’s opinion in high regard. I hold his friendship as one of the greatest pleasures and gifts of my life.
I know this without doubt or question. David Osborne is one of the most ethical people I have ever encountered in any walk of life.
I know this without question or doubt. We would be a better world if we all were a little more like David Osborne.
And, I know this without question or doubt. The Commonwealth of Kentucky and these United States of America are both honored and rewarded to have someone of David Osborne’s credibility; intelligence; ethics; honesty; and credentials to donate all their talents and traits to make this world a better one. Not only for us. But for all our children and grandchildren.
If I were a betting man — and I don’t think you have to study on that a long time to decipher that I am — I would wager on David Osborne in this life and the after-one, as well.
He is a man of great character.
Stan Cave, apparently, has no character.
Here’s the “Ugly News:”
(Stay tuned. We finish with a flurry.)