Posts Tagged ‘Kay Bailey Hutchison’

Beltway (Poker) Blogging

by , Jul 22, 2009 | 3:07 pm

I couldn’t resist posting the view of where I’m blogging from. There’s something quite serene about sitting on grass in pinstripe slacks, leaning against a tree, with the view seen here …

I’m in a park just outside the Senate office building, where I just had a meeting with a rising* Kay Bailey Hutchison staffer. Didn’t get to pitch the future governor of Texas senator herself — today is a crazy health care day around the Capitol — but we did get to educate her office on a Senate online poker bill that will supposedly be introduced in the next week or two. This bill — a re-introduction of Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) S-3616 — will be “like the Barney Frank bill, only it’s a cleaner bill … without any political bullshit,” one lobbyist explained to me.

Anyhow, the meeting went well, or at least well-ish. It was clear that KBH’s office hadn’t yet given any consideration to poker nor online gambling … so we got to lead out, and counteract the opposition arguments before they were even made. One noted positive — her staff has already been hit by a mini flood of letters supporting all our anti-UIGEA initiatives, so they know it’s an issue that matters to a sizable enough constituency to make it matter to elected officials, who apparently are very aware of any issue that potentially leaves them losing voters in bulk.

With that said, it also became clear that Hutchison (R-TX) will not be leading the way on this bill. Her staff was most interested in where Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) currently stands. Now while we know him as a previous bad guy, he and other UIGEA strongmen are apparently “coming around”. That’s not to say they’re suddenly going to switch teams, but Howard Lederer specifically made some persuasive arguments that made him far less likely to vehemently oppose us. The estimated $3 billion a year (which doesn’t even count the corporate taxes American-based online poker companies would pay) is resonating loud and clear, particularly this week as those wanting to position themselves as fiscal conservatives are trying to come up with a way to support health care despite its $200 billion shortfall. And being pegged as people who turned down tax revenue generated on behalf of protecting citizens and internet freedoms alike, they know may not sit well with voters.

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RE: Political WTF in Texas (3)

Menendez explains WTF

by , May 8, 2009 | 4:28 pm

Rep. Jose Menendez stepped away briefly from the House floor to talk me off of tilt learn-me-some political sportsmanship and let concerned Pokeratizens know that no, HB 222 isn’t dead yet … but he may well have to put it to sleep if we can’t out-social-network Texas’ well-heeled right-wing-conservative power base. Why this isn’t proving to be a simple yay or nay, according to Menendez and my hastily scrawled (with an extra-large Sharpie) phone-call interview notes:

    [first minute of convo not recorded nor written down]

  • “We’ve got to have a green light from the governor, because if the guys on the floor know he’s going to veto it, I won’t be able to get enough Rs and even conservative Ds.”
  • “If we get to it today — and it looks like it won’t be until Monday” … postpone for 12 hours.”
  • Bringing up “dead bill” = bad process — use up valuable HouseRep time for bill destined for veto, thereby preventing colleagues from getting to their bills.
  • “You have to consider other legislation … I’m not going to lose years of good will built up [with members of both parties] in the House …”
  • need it to get something past [sic.]
  • still have/need [illegible … something shot at … casino bill] … 100 votes [something with a C] … next year].
  • “can’t be pissing people off.”
  • light up the governor’s office with message that I’m a Texas poker player who votes and want to be able to play safely and legally in Texas.
  • don’t lie.

Ahh, right, OK … I think I get it. May need to do a follow-up to clarify some of the above.

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