Skinner blasts casino deal

Skinner blasts casino deal

By Joe Baker, Senior Editor

Former state Rep. Cal Skinner, Libertarian Party candidate for governor, is calling on his opponent, Jim Ryan, to hold the Illinois Gaming Board accountable for the way it handles casino licenses.

Skinner termed the newest casino deal “more of the same slimy politics Illinois is known for,” and called on Ryan to “make the gambling board stand in the corner until its members come up with open bidding with no guarantees for political insiders.”

Skinner wants to see open bidding in the awarding of these licenses. “What is it about open bidding that gambling board members can’t understand?,” he asks.

Skinner added: “How can Attorney General Ryan even think about approving a deal that gives all their money back, plus expenses, and allows so-called ‘minority’ insiders to invest in the next casino deal?”

Under the latest plan, the stockholders, who invested $63 million in the Chicago area casino proposal, will be repaid that entire amount, plus another $90 million to pay the expenses of the failed venture.

“The investors risked their money on an investment that turned belly up, just like investors in WorldCom and Enron,” Skinner said. “Worse yet, how can Ryan consider allowing the main investors to get their money back before the administrative hearing on their alleged repeated falsehoods has been aired,?” he said.

Skinner said if Ryan approves the plan, it will be a signal that it will be politics as usual if he becomes governor.

In the latest move from the Democrats’ camp, gubernatorial candidate Rod Blagojevich, reiterated his challenge to Attorney General Jim Ryan to debate him on the issues.

Blagojevich noted he first issued this invitation two months ago but got no direct response from the Ryan campaign. Blagojevich’s senior advisor wrote his counterpart in Ryan’s headquarters, suggesting the two meet to work out details of a debate schedule.

The Ryan campaign did not respond to several requests from The Rock River Times for comment.

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