North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Opinion

August 9, 2012

Updated: Our Views: Gilley's ultimate gamble failed

AN NJN EDITORIAL — Editors note: The original editorial mistakenly stated that Milton McGregor had lost his casino and dog track business, which was incorrect. McGreggor still owns and operates Victoryland in Shorter. He decided to temporarily stop greyhound racing and remove the elecronic bingo machines until legal issues are resolved. The business is open for simulcast wagering and dining seven days a week.

Ronnie Gilley is a gambler, just as much as the customers he sought to play the so-called electronic bingo machines at his south Alabama casino. He was just playing much bigger stakes.

He gambled when he tried to bribe state legislators into voting for laws that would favor his project, as well as Milton McGregor’s Victoryland complex at Shorter.

Then he decided to play it safe, sort of, when he agreed to a plea deal in the federal investigation of corruption in the legislature. He assumed that the Justice Department had all the evidence it needed to convict McGregor and a rogue’s gallery of politicians, lobbyists and others, thanks to all the secret recordings made by State Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale. Gilley decided to cut his losses and take a lesser sentence.

In retrospect, he bet when he shouldn’t have, and didn’t when he should. While Gilley awaited his fate, the rest of those charged beat the rap after two trials.

Meanwhile, Gilley was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison, after pleas for home incarceration went for naught. Two others who copped plea deals got lesser sentences.

And at last, this sordid chapter of the state’s political history has come to an end.

So who won and who lost? Hardly anyone really won, actually. McGregor and friends won their continued freedom, but lost so much else. Beason lost his political momentum, and he will be forever linked to the word “aborigines.” The feds lost the case, and slithered back to Washington. Gilley lost the most. The only winners: the Poarch Creek Indians, who now have a monopoly on the state’s slot machines for the moment.

Maybe someday we will legitimately decide which kinds of gambling are truly legal in Alabama.

But don’t bet on it.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Danielle Cater: Be strong in moments of weakness

    A sad scene took place on Sunday at a church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The founding pastor of Calvary Chapel stepped down from his position of head pastor due to “moral failing which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” This church is home to over 20,000 members who worship together in 10 locations across Florida.

    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
    So as an old dog, I’ve been trying to pick up a new trick.

    April 7, 2014

  • Commentary: Bad vacation attitudes won't last forever

    In these photos, everyone else in the family is smiling as if this were their favorite vacation of all times, but I am huffing with my arms crossed and a literal frown on my face.

    March 26, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: I’ll never live down running out of gas

    Have you ever had one of those days where you are functioning on four hours of sleep, and yet you still have to get up at 5:45 a.m. to get the family to church by 7 a.m. on the other side of town? After church you run home to get ready for your 6-year-old’s birthday party and then head straight back to church to help with the services until after 9 p.m.? That just might be a good description of our Sunday afternoon. Whoever said “easy like Sunday morning” obviously didn’t have kids and probably didn’t go to church.

    March 20, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Most people aren’t politically correct

    I probably work in the wrong profession to hate political correctness, but I do. I can’t stand it when I feel as if I need to walk on eggshells all the time to keep from hurting people’s feelings. I don’t try to be excessively offensive, but people are so easily offended these days, it’s almost impossible not to tick someone off by everything that you say or do.

    March 14, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Lessons, fun times make retreats enjoyable

    I did something recently that is apparently out of the ordinary for most people. I went to a marriage conference while I was not in the midst of marital problems.

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks to Gardendale citizens for hospitality

    We, along with many other travelers, spent the next two days and nights in your splendid center. We are of the opinion that we couldn’t have been stranded in a better place.

    February 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be sure to give your kids what they need

    Once the snow melted this week, life went back to normal and we all found ourselves busy with our regular day-to-day activities, and trying to catch up on everything we had put on the back burner during the snow days.
    Our household had a busy weekend, and among the events of the weekend, we celebrated our second birthday in three weeks. That’s right, our perfectly-blended family has given us two daughters who celebrate birthdays within three weeks of each other.

    February 18, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Find excitement in the boring days

    Many people got to take a vacation day this past Monday for MLK Day. What this day stands for is a great cause and an issue that should be addressed, but for many people, it was just another holiday.
    Our office is like most other offices, so we were open to the public Monday. But since schools and daycares were closed, I got the privilege of staying home with the four best daughters in the world. We started off the day with the attitude of fun.

    January 22, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: One year down, rest of my life to go

    Dec. 29, 2013 has come and gone, and for many people it held no lasting significance. But for me, it marked the first anniversary of marriage to my amazing husband.

    January 9, 2014