If you want to convince a large number of people to vote No on a given ballot issue the standard strategy is to present as many different objections to the issue as possible hoping that at least one of them will resonate with each voter.

And that is exactly what the anti-issue 3 folks have been doing. The polls still bode positively for the casino backers, but the numbers in support of Issue 3 are down slightly over the past few weeks thanks to the constant, diverse, and often contradictory attacks against the casino plan.

So far we’ve heard that Issue 3 is evil because it is a constitutional amendment, because there isn’t enough oversight over the casinos, because the casinos will hire – gasp! – out-of-state workers, because the casinos will somehow put people out of work, because some washed up former OSU football player can’t control his gambling addiction, because gambling destroys families. One anti-Issue 3 ad actually says that casinos cause people to commit suicide and implies that it causes drunk guys to beat up their wives.

Do any of these things sound plausible? Do any of these things make you want to vote against Issue 3 “just in case” it happens to be true? If so, their strategy is working on you.

But, unfortunately for them, this strategy hasn’t been as effective as it was in past years.

All of the above-listed reasons only brought the poll numbers down by about 2 points. And that’s not enough to cause the issue to fail. So the anti-gambling folks have decided to add one more “reason” to vote against issue 3. And this time the attacks are personal.

Forget WHY you should hate Issue 3. The anti-issue 3 campaigners now want you to focus on WHO you should hate. And that person is Dan Gilbert – owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Forget about the families and the suicides and the jobs. We are now talking about that evil businessman Mr. Gilbert. Do you really want to give HIM a casino?

I expected to see this kind of personal attack from Progress Ohio. They’ve shown they’ll do anything to win this battle. But I am kind of surprised to see that polite, rational people like Jeff Hess are writing about Gilbert’s nearly 30 year old, college-era police report.

I really don’t see how that is relevant to the discussion at hand. And it’s kind of sad that it’s come down to this. But there are only a few days left and it looks like we can finally put the casino/gambling issue behind us.

Once that happens, I promise I won’t bring it up again. More than that, after Issue 3 passes and they finally allow table gaming in Ohio, all of you are invited to come play poker with me and Eric at the new casino in downtown Columbus. The first round of drinks is on me.

 

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