New This Week
|(FL) 7/12 - MALAYSIA, GAMBLING, ELECT...
Post Number: 11706
Best of Black Box?
Votes: 3 (A keeper?)
|Posted on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 3:22 pm: ||
In my story last week, I described the transnational nature of today's privatized electronic vote-counting vendors, leading with a ramped-up effort to install machines into several U.S. states by Unisyn, a firm owned by Malaysian gambling behemoth Berjaya subsidiary, International Lottery and Totalizator (More: http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/8/82176.html )
What would Malaysian gambling corporations want with American elections, you might ask. Well, clearly they want the state of Florida. Another Malaysian gambling outfit, the Genting Group, owned by another set of billionaires, had its stock price questioned when it ran into a "legislative blockage" in Florida; undaunted, this firm has now teamed up with a former Rick Scott spokesman to see if it can rewrite some of Florida's state constitution, while pushing some legislators to get new laws drafted.
Las Vegas-style casinos in Miami, here we come.
Read through the excerpts below and you'll see what I mean. This Malaysian gambling corporation is throwing money at Republicans and Democrats alike, but at a ratio of 4:1 towards Republicans. Politics is about big money.
Times/Herald - July 21, 2012, by Mary Ellen Klas
Casino giant hedging its bets on gambling expansion in Florida
" TALLAHASSEE — The Genting Group, the Malaysian casino giant, is seeding its bets across Florida's political spectrum this election year as it continues to secure the foothold it needs to build a Miami casino empire.
"The company, which bought the Miami Herald building in downtown Miami with $236 million in cash in 2011 and tried unsuccessfully to get destination resort casinos approved by lawmakers this year, has spent $1.3 million so far in the 2012 election cycle and has embarked on a two-pronged political strategy.
"Half of its money has been steered into a petition drive for a pro-casino amendment to the state Constitution that would bypass the Legislature to bring casinos to Florida. The other half of its cash so far — $486,000 to the Republican Party of Florida and $111,000 to the Florida Democratic Party — was primarily given before the legislative session and is being used to back incumbents in or political committees, according to a Times/Herald analysis of campaign reports.
"But, its opponents say, the size of Genting's checks to the party leaders, its cash-rich approach to business, and the emergence of a ballot initiative is changing the political game in Tallahassee.
"Meanwhile, Genting appears ready to overpower all those forces by going directly to voters with a constitutional amendment on the 2014 statewide ballot. The company is not revealing its plans. But as soon as the language is drafted, it could start gathering signatures at polling sites as early as the August primary or November general election.
"The current effort is still at the exploratory phase,'' said Brian Hughes, former spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott hired by Genting's political committee formed to pursue the ballot amendment, New Jobs and Revenues for Florida.
"The committee has hired Tony Fabrizio, the pollster who helped shape Scott's successful election, and he has begun testing ballot language and conducting focus groups.
"Genting has also retained constitutional law expert Bruce Rogow to write the amendment and hired a Nevada-based firm that specializes in organizing petitions.
"Another key question: Will Genting move forward with a ballot amendment in the same year the governor seeks re-election, potentially drawing casino supporters to the polls in a dicey election year? Whatever the company decides, observers say the threat of the amendment gives Genting added leverage against a recalcitrant Legislature and a reluctant governor in the meantime.
Meanwhile, Genting is keeping its cards close to the vest. The company's political and legislative strategy "is an evolving process,:" said Cory Tilley, Genting spokesman. "It will come into shape in the coming months."
The public must be able to see and authenticate these four essential steps for an election to be public, democratic, and valid: (1) Who can vote (voter list); (2) Who did vote (3) The original count; (4) Chain of custody.