Tuesday, December 07, 2004

PG: The people lose / Needed repairs come to nothing

EditorialThe legislation that brought casino gambling to Pennsylvania was flawed in various ways, but the most flagrant irritant to many ordinary people was the provision allowing public officials to have up to a 1 percent stake in gambling entities. A public outcry went up to fix this open invitation to a conflict of interest, and lawmakers hurried to oblige.

That effort has come to nothing... When Republican Sen. John Pippy of Moon introduced Senate Bill 1209 in August, it was a simple affair dealing with the 1 percent problem. When it reached the governor's desk last month, it was anything but simple. The bill was loaded with amendments and Gov. Ed Rendell vetoed it....

This was a collective failure of the executive and legislative branches, Democrats and Republicans. Many Pennsylvanians wanted something done and what they got was a parody of casino life: a lot of action and no final payout. Shamefully, it is another thing that the politicians did without getting right. It's a piece of unfinished business that must be revived next year."

This goes to the trends of doing too little, doing it too late, and one-step better than the worst possible. We need higher standards. Perhaps our expectations need to be raised? When you aim low, it is hard to miss.

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