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GAMBLOR: Snider Contribution Suspected Of Buying Off Member Of House Gaming Oversight Committee

INQUIRER: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is investigating whether a $15,000 political contribution from Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider, who is a partner in the Foxwoods Casino planned for Center City, edsnidertweaked2_1.jpgviolated the state ban on campaign giving by gambling interests. Snider gave $15,000 on Jan. 15 to Comcast Corp. PAC-USA, a political committee registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State. The 2004 gaming act prohibits any casino principals from contributing “to any political party committee or other political committee in this commonwealth.” […]Snider has 8 percent of the Foxwoods venture as part of Philadelphia Entertainment and Development Partners L.P., which owns the Foxwoods project in partnership with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. One day after the PAC received the $15,000 from Snider, it gave $500 to State Rep. Jim Wansacz’s campaign committee. A Northeastern Pennsylvania Democrat, Wansacz is a member of the House Gaming Oversight Committee. Two months later, Wansacz was threatening to push a bill to withhold $64 million in economic-development money slated for Philadelphia if the city continued to block development of its two casinos. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Not many Philadelphians even know about Ed Snider’s politics, because most of the time we didn’t have to. But he’s quite far to the political right, a devoted acolyte of the late conservative icon Ayn Rand, funding an institute based on her principles and giving speeches about her. (A Philadelphia Magazine profile of Snider said he won’t read anything in the Inquirer except palintongue.thumbnail.pngfor the sports sections because the paper’s too liberal for him.) Fair enough, but in the last two years Snider has veered off. Even though his beloved Rand did not believe in pre-emptive war, Snider is now a major financial support of continuing our very wrongheaded pre-emptive war in Iraq and sending new storm clouds over its neighbor, Iran. According to numerous news accounts, Snider is a leading donor to the group Freedom’s Watch, which is spending millions (here’s the repulsive part I mentioned up top) promoting its lethal policies in the Middle East and right-wing candidates like Sarah Palin and John McCain who support that agenda. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Spectacor Sports Baron Ed Snider Is Funding The Movement To Save The War

PREVIOUSLY: HOCKEY BOMB: Palin Roundly Booed By Flyers Fans

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OFFICIAL: Gloomy Toomey Vs. Snarlin’ Arlen

arlen-specter-100-06.thumbnail.gifINQUIRER: Conservative former congressman Pat Toomey made it official yesterday, signing on for a rematch with moderate Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter in the 2010 Republican Senate primary. Starting with a talk-radio interview in Allentown and a video on his new campaign Web site, Toomey said he was running to stop the “bailouts and the spending stampede” and because Specter had consistently supported “increased government spending and a liberal agenda on social, labor, immigration and national security policies.”

In 2004, Toomey shocked politicos when he came within 17,000 votes – out of 1 million cast – of defeating Specter, despite being outspent, 4-1. This time, he won’t have the element of surprise; Specter, anticipating his challenge, has already aired commercials attacking Toomey’s record. The announcement came on tax-filing day, as toomey3.jpgconservative activists across the country held “tea parties” to protest what they see as out-of-control government spending that will lead to unsustainable debt and higher taxes. Toomey, 47, had been exploring a run for governor until an eruption of anger in the GOP’s conservative base greeted Specter’s crucial vote in February for the Democrats’ $787 billion economic stimulus bill. Two recent independent polls found that a narrow majority of Republicans surveyed favored someone new in the Senate seat. MORE

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