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Campbell: Hanson's Motivations Must Be Brought Into Question

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Published: November 26, 2010 12:38 pm ET

Last Comment: November 30, 2010 6:04 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

If you didn't know what John Campbell's views were about the New Jersey gaming crisis, he has made sure that you do now. "It's a political issue. People have different agendas. When you factor that in, many times common sense goes right out of the equation."

In a New York Daily News article by Dave Little, Campbell was quoted as saying, "I firmly believe that there will be a full-blown casino (at the Meadowlands) in the next three to seven years, with not only slots but gaming tables and everything you can imagine. But I don't know if we'll be able to hold on that long."

He also directly calls out the motivations of Jon Hanson, the founder of Hampshire Real Estate Companies.

"Jon Hanson, even though he's not an elected political official, seems to carry a lot of power in the state of New Jersey for some reason and I don't know what his motivation is," Campbell was quoted as saying. "I think that's something that should be brought into question. What is his motivation for trying to destroy our industry?"

Standardbred Breeders and Owners of New Jersey President Tom Luchento has been, understandably, quite vocal about gaming quagmire the state is currently in.

"He (New Jersey Governor Chris Christie) promised us at a meeting we had with him about a month before he was elected that he would sit down with us in a room with the casinos and he would iron this out," Luchento was quoted as saying. "He never promised slot machines. He said he would save racing one way or another.

"Since that meeting he has never sat down with us one time. He's had his people sit down with us, and that's all just a roundtable of discussions that he doesn't really pay any attention to."

In a précis of the drawn-out situation, writer/horse owner Andrew Cohen has stated on politicsdaily.com that the ball is now firmly in Christie's court.

Cohen concludes his piece by writing:

'Those who oppose the continuation of meaningful horse racing at the Meadowlands, those who don't want to press the casino corporations to allow gaming in Northern New Jersey, frame the issue as one of choice -- the horses or Atlantic City, since the state cannot afford both. But this is a false choice. There is room in New Jersey both for a vibrant casino industry and a revitalized horse industry. There is room to accomplish this without burdening the state any further. But it will require a degree of political courage that is rare these days; it will require leadership that tells the state's most powerful lobby it must give a little more. It will require further inroads into the virtual monopoly, the veto power, Atlantic City has enjoyed for many decades in the state. It will require the strength and clarity of purpose Americans like to see in their political figures.

'Does Chris Christie have what it takes to oversee the comprehensive solution New Jersey desperately needs to raise more revenue and save more jobs? If he does, he's a legitimate national figure on the political scene. If he doesn't, well, it wouldn't be huge shock. State politics have buried the national aspirations of officials with far more impressive pedigrees than he.'

(With files from the New York Daily News and politicsdaily.com)

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November 30, 2010 - 6:04 pmDo the horsemen and woman

Bob Crow SAID...

Do the horsemen and woman really want to survive on handouts from the casino industry?

November 26, 2010 - 4:17 pmJoe

Joe FitzGerald

Unfortunately, John Campbell seems to be the only top driver who cares enough to fight for harness racing in New Jersey.


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