Willie Brown joins the Adelson jihad against online gambling
Former California Assembly Speaker and mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown, has switched sides in the battle for online gambling, taking a 180 degree about turn from supporting legalised online poker to seeking a blanket federal ban after joining land casino baron Sheldon Adelson's Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.
Brown will also be working against the legalisation of online poker in California, where two bills supporting legalisation are currently before the state Legislature.
The LA Times reports that Brown has aligned himself with other Californian politicians like former Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez of Los Angeles, a partner in Mercury Public Affairs and an Adelson lobbyist, and Democratic political strategist Chris Lehane.
The newspaper reports that Mercury Public Affairs has been paid $175,000 over the last six months by Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corp. to lobby against Internet poker bills in California introduced by Democrats Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer and Sen. Lou Correa.
Announcing his switch in allegiance, Brown said he is the new national co-chair and California chair of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, which has begun running Internet commercials in California warning of the negative impacts of Internet gambling.
Brown did not give a detailed explanation for his change of position, saying only in an open letter:
"There are a multitude of reasons to oppose the expansion of Internet gambling. I was once on the wrong side of this issue – speaking for and supporting Internet poker – but I have since learned about some of the tactics used by online gambling companies to lure young people."
Asked by reporters whether Brown receives compensation for his involvement in the CSIG, a spokesman said he did not know.
In related news, Ben Swann's Truth in Media has posted a Youtube video criticising big business money in politics and pointing to the Adelson-prompted federal banning bills on internet gambling recently introduced to Congress by Sen Lindsey Graham and Representative Jason Chaffetz.
During the presentation Swann refers to an impromptu video interview in which Ed Mulch asked Sen Graham why he was supporting the Adelson banning bid (see previous InfoPowa reports).
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa