EAGLE FORUM ALASKA TEMPLATE Eagle Forum Alaska: Poker Room Letter

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Poker Room Letter

January 18, 2006

Dear Eagles and Friends of Eagles:

One of the most hurtful things the Alaska state legislature could do to families in Alaska is to expand gambling in our state. Without your help, that could happen this year! Last spring the state House passed HB272, the Poker Room bill, and sent it to the senate. The measure now sits in the Senate Judiciary committee with only one more committee referral remaining. It only takes eleven senators to send the Poker room bill to the Governor’s desk! If made law, the bill would create “card rooms and card room operations” where people could go into an establishment and play poker against the house.

We have polled Alaska state senators and the results lead us to conclude that this bill could indeed pass the senate this year! Eight senators indicated they would vote NO on HB272. Two indicated support for the bill, four are undecided and six did not respond to our survey.

You and I both know Alaska doesn’t need any more gambling. We have seen the devastation caused all over the Lower 48 by increased gambling. Studies show that young people are even more susceptible to developing gambling addictions than any other segment of the population. Alaska youth already have so many temptations and bad examples to overcome. Albert Schweitzer said, “Adults teach children in three important ways. The first is by example, the second is by example, and the third is by example.” Our children don’t need another roadblock in their way.

Don’t delay calling every senator on the list. It is of utmost importance that we defeat HB272. Any expansion of gambling in Alaska is harmful to families. Please pray about this bill. After you have prayed we need you to put feet to those prayers. The enclosed poll includes phone numbers and most of them are toll free. Please don’t assume someone else will call them. They need to hear from you! If you are as concerned as I am about stopping gambling expansion in Alaska, please call every senator on the list and tell them why we want HB272 defeated.

Please call those who are taking a stand against this bill and thank them for doing what is right for Alaskans. Then call the others, especially those who are undecided and those who have not answered our poll. Please be polite. We were met with very courteous, professional staff and legislators when we made our calls and we need to make sure the same can be said for us!

Gambling lobbyists have already promised legislators they will help start a chapter of Gamblers Anonymous in Alaska if HB272 is passed. What more do we need to hear? Even the purveyors of this bad idea recognize that gambling produces addicts. As Warren Buffet, an internationally respected investment expert from Nebraska, has noted, “Addictions produce crime. If you have a large group of people who are addicted to drugs, you will you will have more crime. If you have a large group of people addicted to gambling, you’ll have more crime. People get into impossible situations when they get addicted to something like that. And some people will opt for crime, some will opt for bankruptcy, some may commit suicide.”

Gambling hurts families. If you are not sure, call a friend or relative in another state and ask them how gambling is affecting their community with bankruptcies, divorces and suicides. As gambling increases social ills increase.

Help us stop HB272. Our senators need to hear that you want this bill defeated. Several are on the fence, in part, because they just don’t have strong convictions on this subject. Let them know you do and you want no increase in gambling in Alaska.

There is one more important way you can help in this battle. If Eagle Forum Alaska will be effective, we will need to pay for mailings and lobbying to insure that we are getting our message across to legislators not only on this bill but on many others important to families in Alaska. Will you please consider giving a donation to Eagle Forum Alaska or a tax-free gift to Alaska Eagle Forum Educational Foundation? Your help is vital if we are to have a voice in Juneau. Our newsletter will go out next month and we will be updating you on other key pieces of legislation important to families.

Thank you for all you do.

Working for the family,

Debbie Joslin


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