Posted by: Scott | Saturday, November 11, 2006

Legislative Committee Takes a Gamble

Last September, I wrote WY HD 17 Rep. Steve Watt (R):

As far as districts are concerned, I am not one of your constituents, but I happened onto your interview on Pilgrim Radio last week, and I must say, I was quite surprised to hear a national network interview a Representative from little ol’ Wyoming. But beyond that, I was blessed by hearing your testimony. God was good to give HD 17 a man like you to represent them and to give WY a man like you to stand up for what is right in the legislative process.

What a blessing it was to hear that there are at least two Christians praying together and fellowshipping around the Word of God in Cheyenne for the legislative sessions. Keep on being a light down there. Until the interview, I had not heard the story about the gambling bill and how you were the vote that defeated it. Thank you for making the effort to get out of the hospital to take a stand and make a difference (Jude 22) on the issue.

Thank you again for your service to the people of HD 17 and the state of Wyoming.

His reply follows (link added):

Thank you for you kind words. In a lot of ways I wish I was going back to the legislature but I have to put my family first. I would like to encourage you to pray for and witness to our legislators as so most of them do not know Christ. Keep informed as to what bill they are considering and write them and give them a Christian view on the things that they will be considering.

There has been a book written about me that you might find up lifting. It is Shots Fired Shots Forgiven the Steve Watt Story by Jim Geeting.

So, why do I bring this up? Well, state gaming has come up again. Rep. Watt argued against this last time it came up on the morality grounds. The LDS is taking the early lead of the charge this time around:

Craig C. Whitehead, president of the Cheyenne Wyoming Stake for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, urged the committee to reject the legislation.

“We call on people of all faiths and interests to join with us in opposing legislation and the government sponsorship of gambling legislation in any form,” Whitehead said.

Whitehead presented the committee with a letter signed by LDS officials from around the state and said his church represents 57,000 people. He said that as religious leaders, they see the adverse effects of gambling.

But alas, the bill has been amended:

The committee adopted an amendment proposed by Sen. Mike Massie, D-Laramie, that would earmark 1 percent of the lottery’s gross receipts for a grant program for local communities to address problems associated with gambling.

“This is the responsible thing to do,” Massie said. “I think this amendment enhances the acceptability of this bill to some members of the (legislative) body.”

Makes sense. Take something that not only is a moral problem, but can also lead to other moral problems, and attempt to make it moral by giving money from the funds received to the communities to address the moral problems that result from the original problem.

In addition to the moral issues, Ray Hunkins questioned the state gaming proposition since the state has plenty of money right now. Gov. Freudenthal opposed state gaming before he supported it.

How about this: just because there is a strong support of gambling by the populous does not make it right! Why is the legislature licking it’s finger and holding it up to see which way the wind is blowing to decide what to do? Why not take a stand and say, “For the good of our society, we are not going to encourage the easy waste of Wyoming families’ money and make the citizens feel good about it by putting the funds to supposed good uses. We the legislature commit to managing the state budget in such a way as to adequately fund services of the state.” Oh, that’s right: it would take effort!

Contact your legislators and encourage them not to support bringing gambling in statewide.



  1. Nothing but problems come from gambling. It’s sold as a method of decreasing taxes, but Nebraska’s Powerball money doesn’t keep their property taxes from being completely unreasonable. It keeps people from moving to the state, and others are leaving due to outrageous property taxes.

    Also, right across the river in Council Bluffs, IA … problems for Omaha include a high number of bank robberies per year. All this thanks to the Casinos on the other side of the river. Fun stuff.

  2. The Representative for Wyomingites for a Better Economy Today and Tomorrow is appearing on BBC. This Billings Gazette article quoted form him and also had this odd quote from one of our state legislators:

    I really don’t think you can legislate morality, and I’ve got a problem with trying to do that. (Rep. Pat Childers, WY HD50)

    If you can’t legislate morality, what is the point of legislating? Doesn’t legislation create a moral issue on whatever the law is?

  3. “If you can’t legislate morality, what is the point of legislating? Doesn’t legislation create a moral issue on whatever the law is?”

    That is so true on every issue. When liberals argue for abortion, they say that we shouldn’t impose our morality on them. What are laws if not rulings on moral issues? Why are murder and rape illegal? Because they’re bad. Wrong. Immoral.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: