Letters to the editor - Oct. 14


October 14, 2018

Regarding last week’s racino editorials in The Eastern New Mexico News:

Concerns about racino outweigh potential gains

As I prepared for the coming of the New Mexico Racing Commission, I came across New Mexico Statute 9-7-11.4, which is a statute creating the Compulsive Gambling Council with duties and membership.

Item E. (4) from this statute states: “The Council shall: ‘collaborate with the department (executive department) to improve data collection regarding gambling-related suicide, bankruptcies and domestic violence.’”

After reading this, several points became obvious to me.

First, New Mexico has acknowledged that suicide, bankruptcies and domestic violence are inherent in gambling.

Second, the state has created a database to record the NM statistics from gambling-related suicides, bankruptcies and domestic violence.

Third, the state acknowledges that the issue is serious and worrisome enough that data collection needs improvement.

I believe these issues addressed in the statute are the very core of the division in our community.

Many individuals in our community have considered this situation and made a decision that zero is the only acceptable number of names they want to see added to the New Mexico Compulsive Gambling Council database in exchange for entertainment and economic development.

These individuals are therefore opposed to inviting racetrack and casino gambling into our community.

I don’t believe these individuals have tiny minds, have lost their way, nor do they oppose entertainment and economic development in our community. I do agree that the vast majority of those in opposition live a decent, law-abiding, liberty-loving, faith-based life and have strong moral convictions.

If my post-legislator legacy as an elected official is that I stood up and spoke out against having Clovis citizens added to the New Mexico Compulsive Gambling Council database in exchange for entertainment and economic development, I’m OK with that. I am very much OK with that.

Randal Crowder

State Rep. (R-Clovis)

• • •

Officials represented voters

On Oct. 5, former Lt. Gov. Walter Bradley, State Rep. Randal Crowder, Clovis Mayor David Lansford, City Commissioner Gary Elliott, and County Commissioner Robert Thornton represented many of the voters of Curry County when they presented thoughtful concerns about a racino coming to our county.

There are two sides to every issue. Just because these gentlemen might not agree with you about a casino operating in our county 24/7/365, doesn't mean they didn’t represent the overwhelming majority of their constituents that have voted for them time after time.

That Friday was a work day for most Americans. Many could not afford to take off work to attend an all-day meeting of the racing commission. A free t-shirt and meal does not support your family and pay your taxes. Therefore, I wouldn’t put too much stock in the number of people who were at the meeting to support the racino.

All citizens, including our elected officials, should be able to express their views without ridicule in the newspaper and without being interrupted by shouts and boos when speaking.

Let us debate the issues with civility and honestly report that several public officials spoke on both sides of the issue. Open debate and accurate reporting should be our goals.

Dianne Davis


• • •

Slots would cause economic damage

Your unsigned editorial complained that personal comments, which were negative from government leaders, might make racino developers feel unwelcome. Well, good! Instead of hearing wonderful welcomes from money-hungry groups shouting louder than the rest of us, they heard thoughtful resistance from our most responsible and dedicated citizens.

You went further accusing these leaders of not acting in their elected capacity to represent the will of the people. Of course, they didn’t act in that capacity. The city of Clovis and Curry County don’t get to vote on a racino. They were not representing them.

These courageous leaders spoke from experience and research. They can hear from other cities, and other officials. They can form their own opinions. They should not be restricted just because some people are on this bandwagon. They have a responsibility to take a stand when they believe we will be negatively impacted by what is being imposed on us by the state. There were reports of pressure applied to keep them quiet, but they still spoke.

Investors will bring millions of dollars here to build an enterprise, because it will return millions to them from the local economy yearly. The city won’t be running the casino. It won’t make the money. This is so much money that every scheme, every pressure, and every lie will be used to get the license to be issued. Opposition by any of us is ridiculed on line, and in the News, and by many who believe the pitch, but do not want to look at the severe economic damage done by modern slot machine gambling.

I don’t want to lose our local businesses and the beauty of our family community. I am proud of those leaders who were bold enough to say no.

Carolyn Spence


• • •

Independent thinkers oppose racino

A racino or any other project should be researched thoroughly and that is why commissioners and mayors should not jump on a bandwagon without due diligence.

I seem to recall the Beauty Health and Science Innovations facility in the former FrozFruit plant. That was loudly applauded by our economic development people and city officials who viewed only the benefits of this disaster, which cost the city a great deal of money. Lack of research was the major problem.

The racino benefits and drawbacks were researched by the commissioners who spoke against it. They felt that although the facility would provide a diversion for residents of the city there would be little economic benefit to the city past the construction phase.

As for employment, employees would mainly come from Clovis where they would leave other jobs for higher paying ones in the racino. They benefit at the expense of local restaurants and other employers.

City and Cannon Air Force Base residents who are lauding the racino do not care about the detriments of a gambling facility in the neighborhood. When some gambling addict loses his salary in a slot machine guaranteed to take in more than it pays out the gambler is not the only person affected. His family and relatives are impacted as well. Then he turns to welfare organizations. He may also turn to crime. The city is impacted by each of these people.

These are some of the reasons why several commissioners and the Clovis mayor spoke out about their objections to the racino. I don’t vote for commissioners who simply go with the flow. I want independent thinkers who research a project and give their opinion to the citizens they represent.

This will avoid the problems we saw with BHSI.

Karl Spence


• • •

Differences in opinion should be civil

For 20 years, I enjoyed being your state representative, and I want to thank all who participated in the Oct. 5 presentation to the New Mexico Racing Commission.

We live in a great community and county with no finer individuals who are passionate in their support for or against the prospect of a racino in our area.

Over the years, we have faced many issues together. As your past state representative, myself as well as all elected leaders had access to experiences and volumes of information and data to help share with you and give our opinions, which is why we were elected.

Information disclosed wasn’t always what everyone wanted to hear.

At the end of the day, we always respected each other.

Differences of opinion can and should be debated or written in a civil manner. In a civil society, we must respect each others’ opinion and not resort to name calling and unwarranted action.

This is not Clovis.

I resent the remarks made by a former national leader who said, “When they go low, kick ’em,” rather to the one who said, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Anna Crook



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