Preservation of Hope Scholarship Committees Meet Today

The House and Senate Study Committees on the Preservation of the Hope Scholarship are scheduled to have a joint meeting this morning to wrap up their business before releasing a final report. According to the agenda, the committee will hear overviews of HB 677, which is Rep. Ron Stephens’s bill to authorize casino gambling, and SR 135, which is Sen. Brandon Beach’s bill to authorize parimutuel wagering on horse races.

Other witnesses include Doug Walker, Professor of Economics, College of Charleston, Rep. Stacey Evans, the Rev. Willie Webb of the Foundation Baptist Church, Dr. James G Emshoff, Associate Professor Emeritus (GSU) and Director of Research, EMSTAR Research, Inc., and Rich Baldwin, Managing Director, Global Head of Union Gaming Analytics, Las Vegas.

While some of the Capitol Hill insiders think that the gambling measures have little chance of being approved during the 2016 session, the Faith & Freedom Coalition isn’t taking any chances. The mailer you see below was sent to at least some residents of Sen. Jeff Mullis’s district, asking recipients to contact the senator to tell him to oppose casino gambling.

Saying, “Don’t leave our children’s future to chance. Casinos will destroy Georgia’s families and economy,” the flyer lists crime, bankruptcies, addiction, job losses, financial ruin and less spending on essentials as reasons to be against casinos.

Faith & Freedom Coalition Mailer
Faith & Freedom Coalition Mailer


  1. saltycracker says:

    New gambling money for education, NO.
    Gambling money for roads, YES.
    Threadjack: Internet sales tax for transportation, YES.

  2. northside101 says:

    So I guess the folks producing the mailer don’t want Georgians to vote on the matter next November? (Perhaps because they are worried it might pass?) Seems like the democratic way would be to vote to put it on the ballot (constitutional amendment), then we could have a debate next fall as to whether the state Constitution should be amended to allow casinos.

    It isn’t widely noted, but in the July 2012 GOP state primary, there was an advisory question on casinos, and it actually passed (though just barely, by about 5,000 votes). And this was just in the supposedly (some might say) far-right GOP primary (the question was not on the Democratic ballot)—the question on the same ballot that day as “Personhood” (which won handily on the GOP side). So a lot of the GOP primary voters that day who supported “personhood” also supported casinos.

    You might think because he is from heavily GOP northwest Georgia, Senator Mullis’s district overwhelmingly voted “no” on the casinos question. But of the 4 counties entirely or partially in his district, 2 (Chattooga and Dade), actually voted yes on casinos, and the other 2, Catoosa and Walker, rejected casinos only by a slight margin (52% no in Catoosa and 53% no in Walker).

      • Will Durant says:

        The more I stew on it the audacity of a Ralph Reed organization lobbying against casinos is beyond being ironic. Who’s paying him this time? Perhaps the Eastern Band of the Cherokee?

        Large casinos might be dwindling to a zero-sum game but on a limited scale tied in with the hotels Atlanta’s convention business could use the added draw. Why let hundreds of millions go out of state because a few sheeple fleecers use it to personally rake in mere millions for themselves?

    • northside101 says:

      David, I see why your region is called the “free state of Dade.” Incidentally, in 1992 Dade County also backed the lottery 52-48%, so you must have a “libertarian wing” up there too (not just the “thou shalt not” wing)…

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