Iowans for Tax Relief president Ed Failor, Junior, says city employees of Fort Dodge should not be allowed to be on the clock while supporting a proposed casino for the city today during a visit by the state Racing and Gaming Commission. Failor says the government should be doing things in the service in the interest of taxpayers and are putting aside their actual responsibilities to become cheerleaders for the casino. He says its’ not whether the casino is right or wrong, as he the state commission will decide if the city deserves a casino.
Failor says his argument would apply for any business. Failor says he doesn’t care if the business is a Walmart or a manufacturer, the employees are given money to provide services and not to be cheerleaders. “I think it’s an inappropriate expenditure,” Failor says. He says taxpayers expect to get what they pay for.
He says it’s the same as if he gave his kid money for lunch and the kid came home and said he bought a sports magazine instead of eating lunch. Failor says this is just as irresponsible. He says any employees who are not working have the right to go and cheer for the casino.
Failor says every city official and every citizen in Fort Dodge has the right to be in support or opposition of the casino, but he says no one should be forced to do it. He says not everyone voted for the gambling referendum, and those people should not be forced to pay for city employees who are working in opposition to their beliefs.
Anti-gambling advocates have filed an ethics complaint, after learning Fort Dodge employees will be allowed to attend the casino rally. But the Director of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure board, Charlie Smithson, says the law only applies to advocacy for a particular candidate or issue before voters. Smithson says the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission does not involve candidates or ballot issues so the board has no authority to investigate this complaint.