Latest News on Proposition A
MISSOURI
10/5/08 TO 10/11/08


ANALYSIS: Proposition A casino revenues would not reach 27 percent of Missouri students

MO - In fact, about one-quarter of Missouri's public school students attend class in districts that are projected to get nothing next year from the ballot measure. According to that projection (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education), the initiative would result in no new money next fiscal year for 115 of the state's 524 school districts, which teach 27 percent of all students. On the excluded list would be the state's largest districts of St. Louis and Kansas City, some big suburban districts such as Independence and Parkway, Scott Charton, a spokesman for the casino-financed coalition sponsoring the ballot measure, acknowledges that not all schools are guaranteed a funding increase. Sen. Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, an opponent of the initiative's loss limit repeal and chairman of the joint education panel, expressed concern that the ballot initiative could open the state to a new round of legal challenges against Missouri's school funding method.

www.columbiamissourian.com / The Associated Press / BY DAVID A. LIEB / October 5, 2008

Analysis: Some schools get zip from casino measure

MO - The ballot measure is called the "Schools First Elementary and Secondary Education Funding Initiative." But at least at first, not all schools actually would get money from it. In fact, about one-quarter of Missouri's public school students attend class in districts that are projected to get nothing next year from the ballot measure. On the excluded list would be the state's largest districts of St. Louis and Kansas City, some big suburban districts such as Independence and Parkway, and numerous smaller school systems such as Craig, Norborne and the Delta C-7 district of Pemiscot County. Other area school districts that would not receive any additional funding under Proposition A are Risco, North Pemiscot Co. R-1 North Pemiscot Co. R-II and New Madrid Co. R-1. In a memo written near the end of this year's legislative session, one of the Senate staffers involved in developing the 2005 funding formula warned the Joint Committee on Education that the casino initiative could undermine the state's rational school funding approach. Donald Thalhuber said the initiative displays a "lack of foresight" and, if approved by voters, might need to be altered by legislators to make it mesh with the school funding formula.

www.dddnews.com / October 7, 2008

Anti-casino group launching campaign against Proposition A

MO - IProposition A comes before voters when they are facing troubling economic times. *The housing market is in disarray, fuel and gas prices are at all time highs, the cost of living is increasing and people fear they could lose their jobs. IProposition A can only raise $100 Million in new revenue for the state if Missourians lose over $2 billion next year alone. Regardless of your position on gambling, this is the worst possible time to make losers of the people,i Casino Watch spokesperson Evelio Silvera said.

www.stltoday.com / By Jo Mannies / 10.07.2008

Ballot Initiative Would Put More Casino Money Into Education

MO - Opponents of Proposition A argue that despite safeguards being touted to make sure the money gets into classrooms, there could be legal challenges that tie up or divert the money elsewhere. "That tamper proof guarantee doesn't get the Good Housekeeping seal of approval," said Casino Watch Committee spokesperson Evelio Silvera. "Proposition A does away with these tools that law enforcement themselves say they need. We find that dangerous," says Silvera.

www.ky3.com / By Brian Vandenberg / Oct 8, 2008

Both sides of Proposition A sound off

MO - "Now is not the time to be removing the protection of the 500-dollar loss limit," says "No on A" Executive Director Evelio Silvera. "The casinos that are pushing for Proposition A want Missourians to lose an additional $500 million next year, bringing total economic losses in these tough times to $2.1 billion." Beyond the money, the initiative would remove the mandatory identification check of every person who enters a Missouri casino.

www.krcg.com / By Mallory McGowin / October 07, 2008

Casino industry lying to promote Proposition A

MO - As a state legislator, I have had the unfortunate opportunity to witness special interest groups manipulate the legislative process by throwing money around... Never before though, have I witnessed these tactics used to such extremes as the casino industry's Proposition A. Missouri voters need to know that Proposition A was written and sponsored by the casinos. It is all about casinos and it is for casinos. The Ameristar Casino tried to get similar legislation passed in the 2008 legislative session. The General Assembly rejected this legislation...

www.news-leader.com / Ray Salva / October 7, 2008

Gamble Loss-Limit Lifters Begin Attack

MO - But Evelio Silvera of the group calling itself Casino Watch committee says it would also make it harder to identify those banned from gambling, often underworld figures or unsavory characters.

publicbroadcasting.net / KCUR news / Dan Verbeck / 2008-10-08

Is Prop A a good bet for schools?

MO - Missouriis Proposition A to remove gambling loss limits would collect millions of dollars that couldnit be spent for years, its opponents argued Wednesday during a campaign stop in Kansas City. Besides arguing that Proposition A doesnit mesh with the school finance formulas, NO on A group spokesman Evelio Silvera said Proposition A was really just ia cover for casino self-interests and a massive expansion of gambling.i... Silvera also dusted off the argument that gambling revenue earmarked for education is really ia shell gamei with igeneral fund money to be displaced by the gambling money resulting in no net gain for education.i...

www.kansascity.com / The Kansas City Star / By RICK ALM / Oct 9, 2008

Is Prop. A the Tony Soprano of ballot measures?

MO - In the spirit of journalistic objectivity, I asked Kleinsmith (Nixa superintendent): Does Prop. A feel like the mobster uncle who wants to give money to your favorite charity? IExactly, something just doesnit feel right about it,i Kleinsmith said with a laugh.

www.news-leader.com / October 10, 2008

Loss limit foes duel over deception

MO - Rep. Ray Salva, a Sugar Creek Democrat, has penned a commentary sent to dozens of newspapers around the state urging the public to vote inoi on repeal of casino loss limits. Here is Rep. Salvais commentary sent to Missouri newspapers: As a State Legislator, I have had the unfortunate opportunity to witness special interest groups manipulate the legislative process by throwing money around and by fabricating the truth in order to further their agenda. Never before though, have I witnessed these tactics used to such extremes as the casino industries Proposition A. This measure is to be voted on this November 4th in the general election. The casinos then took up the petition process. They passed out petitions at the casinos as patrons entered the building. I personally witnessed the petitioners as they gathered signatures. They asked individuals if they supported education. They asked if they supported their school district and if they would like more money for their childrenis education. They never spoke of lifting the $500.00 loss limit, never divulged the fact about limiting competition or deregulating entrance laws. Their paid signature gatherers were only instructed to talk about the small amount going to the education fund.

luckynumbers.kansascity.com / by Rick Alm / October 7, 2008

Measure aids select schools

MO - The ballot measure is called the "Schools First Elementary and Secondary Education Funding Initiative." In fact, about one-quarter of Missouri's public school students attend class in districts that are projected to get nothing next year from the ballot measure. Among the many complexities of that formula is the fact that some school districts do not receive money through it. That's either because their local revenues place them above what the state considers an adequate amount of money to educate their students, or the formula would result in them getting less money than they got in the 2005-2006 school year. Brad Ketcher, an attorney working with the initiative sponsors, neither agreed nor disagreed with the assertion that the ballot measure would make a philosophical change to Missouri's school funding formula.

www.news-leader.com / The Associated Press / David A. Lieb / October 6, 2008

Missouri casinos seek to end $6,000 a day loss limit

MO - Deacon Larry Weber, executive director of the Missouri Catholic Conference, put it succinctly: "I think $42,000 a week is enough to lose." Do the math, said Evelio Silvera, director of the anti-gambling Casino Watch Committee based in Chesterfield. A $500 loss every two hours means that a gambler can lose $6,000 a day in any one casino. Silvera (Casino Watch Committee, NO on A)noted that the "loss limit" was the gambling industry's idea in the first place to get Missouri voters to approve open casino gambling. Last year, Silvera said, casinos in Missouri alone had gross revenues of $1.6 billion. By contrast, all 32 teams in the National Football League had gross revenues of $6 billion. The social costs are high, Silvera noted. In addition, Gambler's Anonymous said that among its participants seeking help against compulsive gambling, 34 percent had lost their jobs, 44 percent had embezzled from their employers, and 26 percent had lost their marriages.

catholickey.org / Catholic Key / By Kevin Kelly / Oct 10, 2008