If you can’t beat ’em…

On Tuesday I received an e-mail which I found had no shortage of irony, something which made an otherwise boilerplate press release worth the post.

It was a release about how Maryland horsemen are reaping the benefits from Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George’s County – purses are up and preferences are given to Maryland-bred horses, including enhanced purses when seven or more such horses compete in a race with at least eight participants. To be honest I don’t follow horse racing so that meant nothing to me.

Instead, the money quote (literally) was this otherwise throwaway line:

Rosecroft’s owner has submitted a proposal for the Prince George’s gaming license. The proposal includes a $700 million total investment that includes a hotel and first class integrated gaming and racing facility. Maryland’s Video Lottery Facility Location Commission is expected to make a decision on the award of the license sometime in late 2013.

Surely you should remember that Penn National Gaming, the entity which owns Rosemont, was just scant months ago throwing everything but the kitchen sink into an effort to defeat Question 7, the ballot initiative allowing the Prince George’s facility to be constructed. Their worry was a facility there would cut into the profits from a casino they operate in Charles Town, West Virginia. Amazing how principles go out the window when money is at stake.

It’s obvious I’m still on Penn National’s mailing list from the time when Question 7 was on the ballot, particularly since I was also against the ballot question but for different reasons. (I still contend Article XIX of the Maryland Constitution should be stricken so the General Assembly can change these parameters without the need for a popular vote.) If it weren’t for the sheer hypocrisy of Penn National possibly getting the facility they were dead-set against I would have just deleted the release.

I really have nothing against gambling; although I’ve never set foot in a Maryland casino I have enjoyed casino wagering in Delaware, Michigan, Ontario, Atlantic City, and Las Vegas. My contention is strictly one of the Maryland General Assembly not doing its job.

But it seems very fishy to me that an entity can turn on a dime like that – it would almost be like the case where the Susan G. Komen Foundation reversed course regarding donations to Planned Parenthood twice in a short span of time. There won’t be that kind of backlash in this case, but we now see where the priorities for Penn National Gaming lie. It’s all about the Benjamins, isn’t it?

Susan G. Komen backs down

In an abrupt about-face, the Susan G. Komen Foundation decided to once again provide grants to Planned Parenthood for services related to breast cancer screenings and treatment. Needless to say, pro-life activists are up in arms about having defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. But the wailing and gnashing of teeth in the pro-abortion community was intense, and having 26 Democratic Senators send a letter to SGK condemning the move was probably enough to worry the breast cancer research giant into fearing a federal backlash. (By the way, it’s hardly surprising that both Maryland Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin signed the letter.)

Ironically, the amount in question (about $680,000) was matched by several large donors to Planned Parenthood, so they would have been all right financially anyway. Planned Parenthood is a $1 billion-plus business, so in all honesty the SGK grant was a proverbial drop in the bucket to them – yet the screaming which ensued after SGK dropped its grant was enough to bring the abortion issue back to the forefront for a time. It’s sad because SGK does a lot of good but the comparatively tiny amount at stake will likely result in a net loss for that worthwhile organization (because donors will be turned off by the fact they donate to an abortion mill) and they’ll still be on the hook for the $680,000 or so. Meanwhile, I doubt Planned Parenthood is going to return any of the donations they received under what turned out to be somewhat false pretenses.

There’s also another difference between the two that’s worth pointing out. Insofar as I could tell, SGK either receives no or very little federal funding – the vast majority of their revenue comes from donations and the Race for the Cure. On the other hand, Planned Parenthood gets millions of federal dollars each year and uses the money freed up by the funding to perform over 300,000 abortions a year. One promotes a culture of life and hope, the other a culture of death and “convenience.” If they simply stuck to other birth control methods, perhaps Planned Parenthood would be a less controversial organization, but their roots go back to the dark aspect of eugenics and the molding of society as expressed by founder Margaret Sanger.

I suppose the only shock I had wasn’t the fact Komen backed down, but just that they did so quickly.