The legislature has been in special session this week, and some of the thirty-or-so items on the agenda would be controversial under normal circumstances. But, as we all know, these are not normal circumstances.
The item that is quite controversial is the matter of whether to allow casinos to build on land. Even those who might not think gambling is a bad thing for the state to promote should acknowledge that there is no legitimate reason for the change that is being proposed.
A construction industry expert told me this week that there is no real structural difference between building on the north side of Highway 90 and building over the water using concrete pilings. The legislature authorized building on pilings during the regular session earlier this year.
In other words, the legislature has already done what’s necessary to accomplish the stated purpose of the governor’s proposal, which is to allow for safer, more structurally sound facilities.
In influencing public policy, moral arguments are essential and hopefully will win the day. It is not an abandonment of principle to make practical arguments, especially with those who might not agree with the moral argument. And, if the goal is to defeat this proposal, using practical arguments might add just enough votes to accomplish that goal.