- Cullman, Alabama


March 21, 2013

EDITORIAL: Picking the wrong fight

CULLMAN — The state of Alabama’s crusade against what it perceives as gambling slot machines amounts to a grand waste of time and money.

Alabama curiously permits bingo in some counties, but not slot machines. Frankly, determining the difference is too murky for state officials to worry over. But worry they do.

Attorney General Luther Strange is at odds with National Indian Gaming Commission over machines housed at Poarch Creek Indians’ casinos in Atmore, Wetumpka and Montgomery. The acting general counsel of the National Indian Gaming Commission has noted in writing that “Indian tribes are not bound by state definitions of the game of bingo when operating on Indian lands.”

Land owned by the Poarch Creek Indians is recognized by the federal government and, in this case, doesn’t fall under state provisions concerning bingo. That should be clear, but for years the state has made a big show of targeting locations over slot machines.

The state’s habitual attack on what it perceives as illegal gambling operations has more to do with an attempt at governing morals than anything else. Alabama politicians have made careers out of attacking “sin” through the years, mostly to gain votes from people.

Gambling certainly carries some risks. Some people go overboard in an obsession to win money. Others simply enjoy an evening of playing slots and poker and taking in the high quality of entertainment available at many casinos. If Strange is uncertain how much Alabamians appreciate a night at the slots, drive over to Tunica, Miss., on any weekend and count the license plates from this state.

Lawmakers have found different ways to prevent residents from voting on legal gambling and lotteries. Now the state is picking a fight with the Poarch Creek Indians, who are operating within the legal boundaries of the National Indian Gaming Commission.

The state needs to back off in this fight. Lawmakers should bring a simple referendum to the voters and let the issue, outside of the federally protected Poarch Creek lands, be decided at the polling places.

Text Only
  • EDITORIAL: Judge makes the right decision

    Many people are closely following the case of Jay Maynor, the man charged with murdering a man convicted of molesting his daughter 12 years ago.

    July 7, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Truth and independence

    Somewhere along a colonial road between Lexington and Concord, Americans found their courage and resolve to become independent.

    July 4, 2014

  • A new Confederate state or improve Alabama?

    The political leadership in Alabama has some accomplishments to tout during this election year.

    June 8, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Taking charge with a vote

    The Democratic and Republican primaries arrive Tuesday morning across the state, with many election officials and candidates fearing a low turnout could be in store for what otherwise should be cause for a great gathering of citizens.

    June 3, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A state dying from drug use

    Alabama coroners, with the power to order and log results of  toxicology reports, hold the key to important information for families and law enforcement officials.

    May 20, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Looking beyond the standard

    Cullman County schools superintendent Billy Coleman opened a wide door of opportunity when he supported a transition to an appointed executive to lead the local education system.

    May 20, 2014

  • Editorial: Meal money violates trust

    As various local political candidates dash toward the June 3 primary, a troublesome issue remains unattended on the table.

    May 11, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: GSC teams a boost to area

    Cullman is full of a lot of new faces this week as the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference Softball Championship unfolds at Heritage Park.

    May 2, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Learn about candidates for sheriff

    Kissing babies and eating pork barbecue at community gatherings are typical delights for political office seekers. Those moments show a glimpse of the candidates’ personalities, but not much else.

    April 29, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Gaining a lifetime of success

    The arguments for a deeper investment in the arts for public school children are overwhelmingly favorable. The money is simply not following the logic.

    April 6, 2014