The former mayor of San Francisco and former Assembly Speaker, Willie Brown, announced yesterday that he has joined a coalition which is funded by billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson. The coalition has been created to fight the talks of legalizing online gambling in California, but the strange thing is that Brown used to be in favour of legalizing online gambling.
Included in the coalition he’ll find former Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez from Los Angeles, Chris Lehane who is a Democratic political strategist and a partner from Mercury Public Affairs. Mercury has been paid upwards of $175,000 the past six months to lobby and crusade against the Internet Poker Bill that has been introduced by Reggie Jones-Sawyer and Senator Lou Correa. The Reason? Internet gambling sites might become a huge threat to the land-based Las Vegas casinos.
Brown announced that he will be the new national c-chair and California chair of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, which started doing online internet commercials recently, where the users are being warned about the dangers and the negative impact that online gambling may have on their life.
“There are a multitude of reasons to oppose the expansion of Internet gambling,” Brown said. “I was once on the wrong side of this issue — speaking for and supporting Internet poker — but I have since learned about some of the tactics used by online gambling companies to lure young people.”
It is not confirmed if Brown is receiving any sort of financial aid for participating in the coalition or if he is doing it voluntarily.
The coalition also uses dirty tricks in order to get their message through, as the online commercial, which will soon feature on cable and broadcast television in California, depicts a young kid who is on his iPod Touch and figures out how to go on online gambling sites and use his dad’s login to play casino games, ending the commercial with the sentence “I especially like Blackjack.”