Bama Fact Check confirmed my statements this morning in an article from the Anniston Star that Gerald Dial proposed a mandatory raffle which required every taxpayer to pay $52 “contribution. ” The website gave our advertisements a Truth Rating of 4 of 5. (I still think it should have been 5 of 5)
His proposal was reported in Huntville, Birmingham News (“Sen. Dial Proposes Mandatory Raffle”), and Mobile papers. You can read the articles here which reported his proposal.
For context, this effort by Dial was consistent with the rest of his record. Gerald Dial in 2010 represented to Eagle Forum that “he oppose[s] all effort to expand gambling. However, Dial has been one of the most pro-gambling legislators in 25 years and was the leader of the “gambling industry’s other puppet legislators”within the State Senate. In fact, he was so committed to the casino bosses that, in May 2001 , a Birmingham News editorial described Dial as “the toadie of the dog track owners who barks out whatever he’s told to do.”
His record solidly supports these descriptions.
- In 1999-2000, he failed to oppose a single pro-gambling bill (out of twelve);
- In 2000, Dial helped gambling interests by supporting HB 867 to cut the tax on wagers at Alabama’s dog tracks from 1.0% to 0.5%. During late-night Senate-floor debate, Dial said he was concerned that the dog tracks were being “taxed to death.”
- In 2001, Dial actually sponsored SB 461 which allowed Alabama dog tracks to have an actual monopoly of video poker machines.
- In 2004, he sponsored even legislation called “Bingo Bucks for the Bosses Bill” which was described by conservative State Senators as “dishonest, discriminatory and diabolical.“ Bob Riley’s State Finance Director Drayton Nabors stated that the bill would have been a “windfall” for dog track owners.
- Even as far back as 1996, Dial was advocating for gambling’s special interests by sponsoring other of their legislation. At the time, Dial bragged that the “only opposition he has had so far is from ‘some Baptist preachers and anti-gambling people.’”
- And he approved more 1999 as well.
Now, I will likely never be considered pro-gambling nor be described, as my opponent has, as one of the casino boss’s “puppet legislators;” however, I will always support the people’s right to vote on important issues. We have a problem when a Republican Governor and Republican Attorney General cannot agree on what the law states. Accordingly, in order to clarify the legal issue uniformly across the state, I could support a clean bill which allowed the people to vote, up or down, on whether to have electronic bingo and gambling in general in Alabama.