It’s the gambling lobby.
Today we’ll go into the legislative system, looking up gambling-related bills to show you quite clearly how political corruption works today in the Treasure State.
You can find the 40 gambling-related draft legislative bills here.
We’re just going to start right at the top of that list, and our first bill sponsor is therefore Great Falls Senator Steve Fitzpatrick.
He has a total of three bills to “generally revise gaming laws” and one to “generally revise state gambling laws” and another to “generally revise state lottery laws.”
All five of these bills were put forth in mid-November, aside from one which he drafted at the end of December.
Now, every single one of these bills is a draft bill. That means that Fitzpatrick hasn’t written anything for us to see. In other words, he had an idea that he might like to ‘generally revise gaming laws’ but he never took the time to actually sit down and come up with what he wants to do.
But if he does decide he wants to create a bill, he can.
And what would those bills look like? Remember, Fitzpatrick took hundreds of dollars from the gaming lobby when he was running as a candidate. Those draft bills are most likely his way to pay them back by giving them favorable laws that will allow them to make more money, usually by paying fewer taxes.
Our next legislator is Democrat JP Pomnichowski of Bozeman. She took money from the bosses of Golden Entertainment. Perhaps in return, Pomnichowski agreed to put forth four draft bills to generally revise gaming and gambling and lottery laws in Montana.
I can’t help but think these draft bills are meant to benefit Golden Entertainment, not Montana taxpayers.
After all, that’s why Golden Entertainment paid Pomnichowski during her campaign.
Or did you think it was her charming personality that won the company over?
Our next legislator is Wylie Galt, and he has just one draft bill, to “authorize blackjack to be played in licensed establishments.”
Now, if you remember from a month ago, we determined that Galt is more in the timber lobby’s pocket than the gaming lobby’s, and that makes sense - I doubt the gambling machine bosses would want more live, not video, blackjack...something that could put a dent in their profits.
Our next legislator is Derek Skees, who is pretty clean aside from the bit of Golden Entertainment money he took. Hell...the owners of that company live in Vegas!
Skees wants to “generally revise laws related to sports gambling.”
Our final legislator today is Missoula’s Brad Tschida, who didn’t take a whole lot from the gaming industry, just one donation from a Las Vegas businessman.
He wants a bill to “revise gaming laws.”
Others trying to revise gaming laws include Tom Woods, Ryan Lynch, Tom Jacobson, Ed Buttrey, and a few more.
I’ll be keeping my eye on the legislators we profiled today, and their draft gambling bills.
I want to see the actual bills so we can see how much these legislators are going to benefit the people that paid them during their campaign.
I call this corruption, though it’s all perfectly legal. Still, just because something’s legal doesn’t make it right.
I hope these legislators realize that people are paying attention and ready to call them out. Perhaps that will convince them to work for all Montanans, and not just the people giving them campaign donations.
Of course, these legislators could be so full of pride that they just don’t care what a blogger has to say about them.
And that’s fine.
I’ll be watching, and people around the state will be reading.