Advice to Congresswomen Opposing Online Poker Bills: Man Up?

by , Sep 16, 2009 | 8:07 pm

Nolan Dalla’s latest article on Poker News Daily has a point. Much of the focus is on the men who helped pass the UIGEA, giving little attention to the powerful women in Congress who now oppose our attempts to pass reasonable online poker regulation bills. No argument on that, but when he cites the female members of Congress who stand in the way of positive change, he lists:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Gov. Christine Gregoire (D-WA)

Ummm, the last person is a governor! While she certainly screwed up online poker in Washington in a major way, she has little to do with the passage, or lack thereof, of federal legislation. Methinks Mr. Dalla got a little carried away with women who are “bad for poker.”

His advice to the PPA and the voting public is well-taken, though. The PPA should consider refocusing its media attempts at constituents who can make a difference, whether by votes or campaign donations. His closing remarks after the break:

For far too long, groups like the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) believe they can win the political debate with simple logic. Sure, our argument is better than their argument and most rational people would agree after listing to a five-minute exchange, but this isn’t a high school debate class. It’s a political street fight versus powerful forces camped out on both the right and the left. Until the PPA rolls up its sleeves and dives into the trenches with an all-out media bombardment aimed directly at the oblivious mainstream voter, nothing is going to change. Sure, we might sway a few Ivy League professors and political columnists from time to time. A few poker players might get five minutes of airtime on MSNBC or FOX. That’s all good, but online poker is not going to be legalized and regulated in the United States until some significant changes in strategy take place.

The first rule of politics is that “right” and “wrong” have little to do with any issue of significance. The debate you see on C-SPAN is pretty much scripted and irrelevant. No Congressman or Senator is swayed one way or the other on any legislation without either coercion or compromise.

Indeed, Washington is nothing more than a gigantic power plant fueled by the only lubricant of any real action – money. Lots of money. Whatever your political views may be, I strongly advise against poker players donating money to national party organizations. If you support a political candidate, donate to the person directly and not to the Democratic National Committee or to the Republican National Committee. If you make a donation to either of these organizations, there’s a good chance some of your money is going to be funneled into the re-election campaigns of Kyl and Pelosi. Just say no.


  • Kevin Mathers

    State Senator Margarita Prentice, a woman, was the person responsible for the WA online poker legislation.

    Another point, all of those people are Democrats. Plenty of people love to go Republican (bad), Democrat (good).

  • http://pokerati.com/?author=117 California Jen

    I agree that Dems aren’t necessarily our friends on pro-gaming issues, but just because Nolan listed a group of Dems doesn’t mean they’re the main opposition. There are plenty of Repubs against this too, and they were responsible for the UIGEA in the first place. Just sayin’…this is an equal opportunity fight.

  • Brian G.

    Anyone who doesn’t support Democrats is racist.

  • DanM

    Anyone who supports any one party is a sucker.

  • http://www.JohnnyHughes.com Johnny Hughes

    We should get up a pool where we pick a date online poker would be legal. I will offer to hold the money, until I die of older age.

  • http://wisehandpoker.com scott diamond

    They are the reason along with the Govenator California is so screwed up. Nice article Jen

  • http://jasonkirk.net/blog Spaceman

    Dems may not be the main opposition, but I think Nolan’s point is that they’re the most *powerful* opposition, controlling the government as they do.

  • DanM

    You know the one dangerous wildcard in all we’ve got working?

    Obama.

    Everyone assumes he’s on “our side” because he’s supposedly a poker player. But notice he’s given NO indication of any support whatsoever.

  • Brian G.

    The poker players who love Obama now will really love him when he starts taxing poker winnings big time to help pay for all the spending he is doing. And, as per IRS custom, one big name poker player will be indicted and perhaps end up in jail to make the rest fall into line. You will see. I wrote a long paper in college about the IRS’ history of busting famous people to make others fall into line.

  • DanM

    I actually agree with you, Brian, on the jail time thing.

    As to higher poker taxes … hey man, “Country First!”

  • Nolan Dalla

    Where in my column did I suggest that the GOVERNOR of WASHINGTON had anything to do with the UIEGA or had any influence whatsoever on federal legislation? I merely pointed out that it is a bit of a surprise (to most) that Democratic women (both fedral and state) tend to be the demographic that is most opposed to our agenda. No where in the article do I write nor imply that the Governor is a member of Congress and unless I missed an editing or headline error, I am disappointed to see this comment.

  • http://www.JohnnyHughes.com Johnny Hughes

    There is legal..which probably will not happen, and sanctioned…where it is illegal, but they do not bust for it.

    That is the way poker is in Texas, mostly. However, they still bust some folks.

    Obama has so much on his plate, he has little room for poker or anything else at this time.

  • http://pokerati.com/?author=117 California Jen

    Nolan, I didn’t say that you wrote or implied that Gov. Gregoire was a member of Congress. I only stated that since the crux of your article had to do with the UIGEA and attempts to overturn it, the naming of the Governor seemed out of place with the rest of the list of Congresswomen. You specifically mention, in the paragraph just before the list of Democratic women, “Virtually all of these influential Democratic women are opposed to overturning the UIGEA,” and my only point was that she seemed out of place in that category of women.

    As always, I enjoy your words and views, Nolan, and felt that I expressed that (overall) in the post.

  • DanM

    I re-read both Nolan’s piece and Jen’s piece on Nolan’s piece.

    Though I’m not sure whether or not Gregoire is a federally “powerful” governor or not — I can’t help but think all women governors are — I definitely understood why Nolan included her on his list with his first line about her:

    This politician is guilty of supporting and ultimately signing into law the most draconian sanctions against poker in more than a century.

    Indeed, she’s an example of just how bad and anti-poker some powerful Democrats can be.