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Atlantic City, Atlantic City's Legislated Monopolies, Casino Gaming, Political, Press of AC

Casino Workers Closer To Standing For Elected Office

   On September 15 Assembly Bill 3122was reported out of the Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee.   A3122 would allow casino employees to run for elected office in Atlantic City.   Atlantic City’s Assemblyman Vince Polistina is a member of that Committee.   Asm. Polistina is a co-sponsor of A3122.

   The Press of Atlantic City published an editorial in support of A3122.   They summarize the situation as follows:

 A state Assembly committee has taken an important step toward expanding the pool of people who can hold elective office in Atlantic City. The rest of the Legislature should follow suit.
Current state law prohibits elected city officials from being employed by a casino. The effect of that ban has been to make nearly a third of the resort’s adult population ineligible to hold city office. They would have to give up their livelihoods to pursue public service.

A bill (A-3122) sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland, would lift that prohibition. It would also allow a small exemption in the state ban against casino employees making political contributions at the state and local levels. Under Burzichelli’s bill, casino employees could contribute to their own campaigns for city office.

   Under the current law casino employees are not able to run for municipal offices in Atlantic City.   Lawmakers did not want such a large employer to exert undue influence on the political process.   Yet Local 54 employees are able to run for elected office.  The union can also effectively influence the casino licensing process, as they so successfully did with Columbia Sussex and Tropicana.

   District 2 legislators, Assemblymen Vince Polistina and John Amodeo and Senator James Whelan are all trying to restore the rights of casino employees to run for elected office.   While I am torn on the issue, there is an inherent unfairness that Local 54 and UAW employees can run for elected office, but not casino employees.   Casino employees running for office will also help to challenge the existing structures and coalitions of corruption in Atlantic City government.

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About Jesse O. Kurtz

I am committed to fulfilling the promise of Atlantic City. The town would benefit from greater political participation by average citizens. Hopefully, some of the posts herein will encourage you to get more involved in your community. This blog will also feature other topics and subjects beyond Atlantic City. I hope that you will come to love Atlantic City as much, or more than I do.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Casino Workers Closer To Standing For Elected Office

  1. An Amendment should also be inserted into the Bill for Casino Key Licensed Employees….If you live outside of Atlantic City, a Key Licensed Employee should be able to run for Political Office in the community they live in….It will have no effect whatsoever to the Casinos or Atlantic City….

    Posted by Pete | September 20, 2008, 10:15 pm
  2. This bill is not good enough. Casino workers need all restrictions removed. If they’re good enough to run for office in AC why are they not good enough to run for office at the state level? Let’s do it all at once instead of this piecemeal garbage that politicians always want to pass out….

    Posted by dave202 | September 22, 2008, 12:07 pm
  3. I want to thank soon-to-be-ex Mayor Evans and the rest of the Atlantic City council for saving me a substantial amount of money. As a smoker I doubt I’ll head down the shore from NYC to fork over my money to them nearly as often, and even when my friends do drag me down there once a year I’ll be blowing a significantly less amount of cash on the slots and at the tables since I’ll be outside smoking half the time. I offer my sincerest thanks for all the dough you guys are about to save me, and I’m sure the nice people from the Pequot and Mohegan tribes in Connecticut also will thank you when I blow my money at their gaming establishments instead of yours. It’s also good to know that all those casino employees this bill protects will have healthy lungs. They’ll need them when they’re singing for change on the street corners as they’ll all be out of work in the near future. Have fun slipping further into the abyss, A.C. I’ll miss you.

    Posted by Bob | September 25, 2008, 10:06 am

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