Voters can’t afford to gamble on David Irons

The gambling industry wants David Irons elected King County Executive…? Who’d have thunk?

Well, if you are a regular HA reader, you‘d have thunk, because I wrote about the $10,000 in campaign contributions he received from gaming interests, way back on September 8: “David Irons… gambling industry lapdog?” Now, thanks to an article in today’s Seattle Times (“Minicasino owners donate to Irons’ campaign“), a couple hundred thousand other voters are aware of what they might lose should Irons win.

A soon-to-open minicasino opposed by King County Executive Ron Sims has given more than $4,000 to David Irons, Sims’ opponent in the Nov. 8 election.

Kingsgate residents who oppose both the cardroom business and its efforts to obtain a liquor license are pressing Irons to detail his position on this cardroom, to be called Casino Caribbean, and on any expansion of gambling in unincorporated King County.

“We’re waiting for him to take a stand,” said Brad Roetcisoender, a neighbor of the casino and an organizer of the opposition group, Stop Neighborhood Casinos.

Don’t hold your breath, Brad. Irons is not going to come out and publicly support expanding gambling, but you know he wouldn’t be the beneficiary of such gaming industry largesse if he hadn’t privately assured his donors that he would, at the very least, step out of their way. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not saying that a political contribution is necessarily an indication of a politician’s stand on one issue or another… but in Irons’ case, he has a proven track record of privately telling donors and supporters what they want to hear, even as he maintains public silence.

Of course, Irons could prove me wrong, and unequivocally state that he opposes expanding gambling, and that he will work as hard as Ron Sims did to block the Kingsgate casino — which stands in the midst of a residential neighborhood, 500 feet from a day care facility and 700 feet from a community swimming pool — from getting a liquor license.

But he won’t.

Anybody who lives in the Kingsgate community, who opposes this casino, but votes for David Irons, is voting against their self interest… as would be every other King County resident who would object to having a casino or cardroom in their neighborhood. The decision to locate Casino Caribbean in a residential neighborhood is not accidental or unusual… it is part of an industry strategy that another Irons contributor, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, describes in a video to investors as “community based gaming.”

In the video, Great Canadian CFO Anthony Martin explains that people tend to game “in close proximity to where they live,” and so they have placed their casinos in the “bedroom communities” surrounding Seattle. He goes on to explain how these “local community casinos” were all purpose built to accommodate the slot machines that I-892 would have allowed. Last year’s failed Eyman initiative was entirely sponsored by the gambling industry, and Great Canadian was its largest donor.

What should be absolutely clear to voters is that the gambling industry — tribal and commercial — has a long history of using its money to manipulate WA’s state and local politics… and they wouldn’t be backing Irons if they didn’t expect to get something in return. That something may in fact be nothing, for all they need is a county executive, unlike Sims, who is willing to quietly sit back and not interfere with their efforts to expand gambling into our local communities.

Quite frankly, the residents of Kingsgate and the rest of King County simply can’t afford to gamble on David Irons.


  1. 1

    yearight spews:

    ‘..has a long history of using its money to manipulate WA’s state and local politics…’

  2. 2

    yearight spews:

    1 con’t. ‘..has a long history of using its money to manipulate WA’s state and local politics…’

    Welcome to politics. And this is something new?

  3. 3

    Goldy spews:

    yearight @2,

    No, it is not something new… and for Irons to shrug off the contributions the way he did in the Times is disingenuous. Irons knows exactly what the casinos want for their money, and dollars to doughnuts he plans to deliver.

  4. 4

    fire_one spews:

    What should be absolutely clear to voters is that the [INSERT YOUR FAVORITE INDUSTRY HERE] – has a long history of using its money to manipulate WA’s state and local politics… and they wouldn’t be backing [INSERT YOUR FAVORITE POLITICIAN HERE] if they didn’t expect to get something in return.

  5. 5

    For the Clueless spews:

    Unlike a lot of people I like the alcohol laws in this state. In California where I was born, unsightly liquor stores which are magnets for crime exist on practically every block.

    Gambling should be similarly regulated. A self-destructive habit like gambling should not be easy to indulge in but not completely out of reach either. Everything in moderation.

    It’s really sad that our country’s economy has been reduced to the ponzi schemes of sprawl and the gambling industry further enabling the predatory behavior of companies like Walmart. Of course this race to the bottom has no future, will collapse and the wingnuts will blame it all on anybody but themselves. It’s even sadder that Democrats are tempted to make concessions to this kind of dysfunction.

  6. 6

    headless lucy spews:

    Goldy’s right. David Irons is a bumbling idiot who butters his English muffin on the wrong side just like Gerald Ford and when confronted with his stupididy, stupidly replies, “I knew that! I just like it that way!”

  7. 8

    Swift Boat Vets For Universal Healthcare spews:

    With any private influence, it ought to be measured against the public good. Is it good for the public that gambling be allowed in residential Kirkland?

  8. 9

    soundcrossing spews:

    Of course Sim’s contributions regarding the same types of donations were completely left out of that article. You can draw the same conclusion that Sims is fighting so hard against the Mini-Casinos BECAUSE of his contributors:

    I love the fact that you jump on the Irons article but then fail to do your homework on Sims. Or to make the same comparisons. It’s very interesting to look up the differing candidates and see who is backing them. But lets not be disengenuous about the fact that all politicos are beholden to some special interest or another.

  9. 11

    Libertarian spews:

    For the Clueless @ 5:

    I actually enjoyed the convenience of going into a Raley’s or other supermarket in Califonia and buying a bottle of booze. From where I lived in CA, it worked pretty well.

  10. 12

    FredFlinstone spews:

    So I guess Sims accepting tribal money is why he endorsed I-901. Since tribes get a free pass at all 29 tribes across the state including the three richest he is placing tribal gambling interests above tax paying businesses. Forgive the pun but C’mon a spapde, a spade. Hypocrite as usual Goldy!!!

  11. 13


    Comment by soundcrossing — 10/17/05 @ 12:50 pm

    Thanks for counter-punching here.

    Gambling is a state issue and Mr. Goldstein, future State Gambling Commissioner, should know this fact.

    But can we gamble on Dean Logan and gang anymore? NNNOOOO!!!

  12. 14

    Mark spews:

    Shiftless Lucy @ 10: “If you take corporate money out of politics the whole game changes.”

    The same applies for money extorted by unions from employees. And, yes, in a “closed shop” state, forcing people to pay to have a job is extortion. Forcing people to join unions is also considered a human rights violation by the UN, but apparently you Lefties only care about human rights violations if someone else is committing them.

  13. 15


    The unions could not survive without the extortion of union dues. That is why I laugh at donks when they complain about too much corporate money in politics. It is even worse for public employee unions which should be outlawed. In effect all taxpayers get money extorted from them that goes to the DNC.

  14. 16

    madison spews:

    how did we get from political payola to unions? but while we’re here, unions have helped make the american economy what it was. walmart on the other hand has hurt the working people of this country. but then service oriented jobs just don’t pay like a skilled profession does.

  15. 17

    Jenny spews:

    Do you guys even bother to read what Irons says? He has not endorsed expanding gambling…not once. Sims, however, has fought to cut back on card rooms on the premise that all gambling is bad. Like all industries, the ganmbling industry is going to support the candidate that doesn’t try to wipe them out. Did the gambling industry give big to Irons, showing they “own” him? NOOOOOOO. The paper says they gave him less than $10,000 total. Irons isn’t in their pocket, he just doesn’t want to drive them out of business – so he is the better candidate for them. I personally don’t want government to tell me I can’t gamble, althought I do want it regulated. Geez, don’t be a knee-jerk Democrat and attack anybody with an R after their name. I’m proud to be an Independant (registered D, actually) and I think Bush is an idiot because he’s proven it….but Irons is a bright guy, with a successful business back-ground, beholden to nobody. Evaluate the candidate, not the party. We need Irons. And as for Republican strong-holds leaning toward Sims…are you on something? KIRO poll shows Irons ahead of Sims county-wide as of yesterday. Come on, talk facts not speculation.

  16. 18

    soundcrossing spews:

    The funniest thing to me is to see a 600 word rant on how Irons is in the pockets of gambling and then no response when the exact same thing could be said for Sims.

    It show the complete lack of integrity in this post as well as many others. It’s a lot like one of the news stories making the rounds in the last two days where the national media is question the Sunni turnout for the referendum in Iraq. Then that same media NOT saying that a majority of the Kurds in that country are Sunni and hated Sadam. So it’s no wonder that they voted yes on the referendum. So par for the course for the libs. Tell a skewed version of a little bit of one side of a story and just expect the world (especially their kool aide drinking flunkies) not question their facts or even do the slightest investigation.

    I supposse the same could be said about the trash coming out of the Bush administration right now ,, but hey ,,, we are talking about Goldy’s posts here.

  17. 19

    Anjha spews:

    As someone who lives in Kingsgate, I think that the point is that Carribean Casino THEMSELVES gave to Irons. We have been fighting Carribean Casino since we first found out about their underhanded sneak into this community.

    If tribal casinos give to Sims, so be it. Tribes have the right to do with Tribal land what they wish. They deserve this right.

    Bottom line – Carribean Casino is a NON-Tribal casino. They are about making money only and will do anything sleazy to support this.

    Have any of you been to Kingsgate? This is a neighborhood. We have houses and schools. This casino is within a few miles of FIVE schools. I do not want it here.

    All this is meaningless really, as far as Irons is concerned, because I have never before voted Republican. I would not have voted for him anyway.

    Just think that the difference between tribal and non-tribal gaming needs to be pointed out.