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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

'Open-minded' Crist breaks no-new-gaming pledge



Gov. Charlie Crist acknowledged Wednesday that he not only supports the Senate's latest gambling bill, but that it's an expansion of gaming. Crist campaigned in '06 as a no-new-gambling Republican. But, he says now, times have changed the state's finances and, therefore, his position.

"You know we’ve had probably the most profound economic change since the Great Depression. We have to adapt and we have to adjust and we have to be open-minded in order to get through this. And that’s what has changed.”

Some news clips:

Does he favor repealing the (slots) amendment? "I do. I do," Crist said. "I don't think we need to expand it (gambling)." The St. Petersburg Times, 12/06/05

Crist renewed negotiations in January after they broke down under former Gov. Jeb Bush. Crist, who has said he opposes the expansion of gambling, said he nonetheless supports giving the Seminoles Vegas-type slots as long as it will result in more money for the state. Miami Herald, June 28, 2007

Crist was asked by a reporter in late April when the legislation was approved if it constituted a gambling expansion. His reply: "It's all in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. It depends on whether or not they're things that already exist. I think my approach to it is to see what passes and then have a chance to evaluate it." Crist allowed the bill to become law without his signature -- or without his veto either. … "I thought that it was important that the Legislature had adopted it," Crist told the St. Petersburg Times. "You know, I'm not a big fan of gambling, so I thought it was appropriate to respect their work and let it become law." The Ledger (Lakeland, FL), July 09, 2007

''I oppose the expansion of gambling,'' Republican Gov. Charlie Crist said repeatedly during his campaign. Granted, he said it with a wink and a nod, as casino boss Donald Trump hosted fundraisers for his campaign, and the gambling industry and the Indian tribes poured in millions of dollars. But he said it. ''I oppose the expansion of gambling,'' he said. Crist refused to elaborate. At one point, a campaign spokeswoman explained: "When (he) says he's against the expansion of gambling, that's just what he means.''  Miami Herald, June 30, 2007

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:33pm]


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