MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Here are official reactions to Friday morning's attempted raids on Country Crossing and Victoryland: More will be added as they become available.
ALABAMA CHRISTIAN COALITION -
The incidences today both at Country Crossings and Victoryland in Macon County further substantiate the need for both sides in the debate over the legality of gambling in the state to pause and step back so that a reasoned and thoughtful approach to addressing gambling can be formulated. I was terribly grieved by the fact that at a time when there is limited resources to address both public safety and job creation in the state, the governor dispatched hundreds of troopers and other public safety officials to conduct these operations, with little regard for the exposure of the public to dangerous drivers or other potential public safety hazards across the state.
The Attorney General correctly asserted that he is the dutifully elected official to deal with the enforcement of the laws of our state, including those that deal with gambling. The actions by the governor if found to be in violation of the Constitution, further exposes the taxpayers to litigation and costly damages that would be borne by all of us. The statement by DA John Tyson that the state statues prohibit the operation of slot machines is irrelevant if there is a constitutional amendment that allows for electronic bingo.. This particularly relevant since recognized experts in the field of gambling legislation have asserted that as long as any bingo operations are allowed, including paper bingo in the state of Alabama, then the state will have no legal recourse to deal with Indian gambling on Indian sovereign land, where the same electronic bingo machines have not been designated slot machines by the federal government.
Endless court challenges and legal maneuvers are clearly not the answer to solving these differences, It is clearly the need for a vote of the people to either allow or eliminate gambling in the state, and do so in a responsible manner. I fear that the continued activity by the governor with little regard for settled case law, only lends more credibility to those that want to see gambling proliferate and weakens the public support for those of us that seek its elimination.
Dr. Randy Brinson
AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER RON SPARKS - (Running as a Democrat for Governor 2010)
This is an outrageous waste of limited state resources designed to kill thousands of jobs for working Alabamians," Sparks said. "We need to be using the state's resources to protect our jobs and create new ones. This insanity needs to stop and instead of spending money to take jobs away we need to be taxing gaming to educate our children. The state is broke and we are wasting money to kill jobs at a time of 11 percent unemployment. When I'm governor I will encourage, not discourage, job growth in Alabama and make sure our kids get the education and care they deserve."
CONGRESSMAN ARTUR DAVIS - (Running as a Democrat for Governor 2010)
"I recognize that Alabamians are deeply divided over gambling, and that the law is all too unclear on what kind of gaming is legal in our state. But midnight raids that leave thousands of workers unemployed are not the answer. Alabama voters should have an opportunity to participate in a statewide vote that would clarify the legal definition of gaming. Then, each county should make its own choice as to whether it wants gaming facilities within its borders. Ultimately, the citizens of Houston County and Macon County should be the judge of whether Country Crossing and VictoryLand survive. I will never believe that we go wrong letting the people decide."