Posts Tagged ‘Evan Smith’

Meet Joe Straus

(Psst … we need this guy)

by , Jan 24, 2009 | 1:42 pm

One of the powerful and important people we’re hoping will support a pending bill that establishes a framework for legal poker in Texas is new House speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), who describes himself as a “pass-the-budget-and-go-home conservative”. Sweet, then he should get it: with HB 222, the state increases its revenue while protecting citizens (and their personal freedoms); without it, state and local authorities have to spend lots of resources to ineffectively shut down poker while seeing more and more money shipped to Oklahoma and an increase in violent crime in otherwise peaceful Texas neighborhoods.

Evan Smith interviewed Straus the other day on Texas Monthly Talks. Specifically the new Speaker discusses his views on gambling-related issues (and his family’s long-time involvement with the horse racing biz) at 20:00:

Don’t tell anyone, but psychologically speaking, we want Straus, through the course of the session, to make a subconscious positive connection when he thinks about HB 222 … remembering fondly a flood of intelligent, warm-hearted, well-crafted emails from from frazzled poker degenerates who just wanna play a friggin’ game!!! concerned poker citizens who are proud to do whatever they can in pursuit of a better Texas.

Email to Joe Straus et al. expressing your support for legal poker in Texas.

I’ve improved the link, btw, so you only have to click once … type a brief message … and then click send. Two clicks for poker! Customize it to your liking — give’em your name and city — and yo, Texans (and non-Texans interested in playing poker in Texas) … conditions are good for this bill, and we know we are on the right side of the law-to-be. But if we can’t show that we’re serious about it, the number of representatives willing to vote for us won’t matter … because, frankly, we won’t ever get that far without this first step. Need some talking points? Here ya go:

* Poker is a game of skill
* It is being played every day for real money in Texas
* Tens of millions of dollars are passing hands unregulated
* Live poker games are increasingly a safety issue
* Poker could bring in millions of dollars in State revenue, and many more millions in economic impact