Gov. Ted Strickland’s change of heart over the expansion of gambling in Ohio has drawn criticism from two of his bosses – the state’s two United Methodist bishops.
“We suggested it would have been a better expression of his moral leadership if he had stood his ground and offered other ways to balance the budget,” Bishop Ough said. “The United Methodist Church has a longstanding commitment to oppose gambling. It is bad economics. We are obliged not to use forms of generating revenue that cause harm.”
The Rev. John Edgar, a United Methodist pastor and chairman of the East and West Ohio Annual Conferences’ anti-gambling task force, said political leaders have better options for dealing with the budget crisis than to rely on gambling revenue.
“It saddens me that our governor, who is a fellow United Methodist who has publicly talked about how casinos and slot machines harm Ohio families, didn’t see any other alternative he was willing to take,” Mr. Edgar said. “It doesn’t mean I don’t respect him or think he is fundamentally a decent guy. I’m just very sad that he’s done what he’s done.”
The negative ads are just writing themselves, eh?