South Carolina residents Joseph Wayne Vinesett, Irvin Keith Comer and Kerry Lee Comer have been indicted in the case of the United States vs. Jackie Willis Shepherd and Western Amusement, Inc. The names of the three had been withheld pending arrest.
Archive for the ‘Gambling’ Category
Posted by Thunder Pig on January 3, 2008
Posted by Thunder Pig on December 14, 2007
There are many outlets covering this arrest, but by far the best covergae is to found at The Asheville City Paper:
Democracy NC, a Raleigh-based election watchdog group, documented more than $100,000 in campaign contributions to state legislators from the video poker industry during the 2004 election. The biggest recipient was former House Speaker Jim Black who used his office to block video poker bans repeatedly passed by the state senate. Finally, in 2006, with Black fending off an onslaught of corruption charges, the ban was approved in a 114-1 House vote and signed into law. The machines became illegal on July 1 of this year. Black is now in prison.
In Buncombe County, contributors tied to video poker made generous donations to Medford’s campaigns. He took in $12,300 from machine owners or operators in 2006 and $2,400 for the 2002 election. In addition, the Medford campaign reported dozens of $100 anonymous cash donations, with cash receipts totaling $4,789 in 2006, and an impressive $17,024 in 2002.
To put this in some perspective, Medford reported total receipts of $72,000 in 2006; so known video poker operators pitched in 17 percent of the total while seven percent of proceeds were anonymous cash. Van Duncan, who defeated Medford in that election, took in $120,000, none of which came from anyone visibly linked to video poker, and collected $2260.56 or two percent in cash. Anonymous cash donations up to $100 each were completely legal until Jan. 1, 2007, when a new campaign finance law reduced that figure to $50.
Looking back to 2002, Medford’s challenger Mike Ruby didn’t record a single donation from a video poker interest while his cash donations totaled $9,074.
Source: Asheville City Paper
Cecil Bothwell, despite his lefty leanings, is a very good reporter. You should include his new venture on your reading list. I fully expect him to cover the eventual arrest of DA Ron Moore someday with equal treatment as he has this case. Perhaps Moore will retire “elsewhere” because the noose is tightening.
My personal view is that corruption of public officials is inevitable where gambling is concerned. I fully believe this type of activity has gone on in all the western counties, and that there is corruption involved in the NC “Education” Lottery, as well as at the Casino in Cherokee. The Casino is a very good place to launder money.
Here are other places covering the arrest, many introducing their own spin (and humor) into the mix:
Tale A Stand done!
(The Audio of the first two hours is mixing down from WAV to MP3 format (still a huge file at 104MB)…will replace with link to WWNC when (or if) they get their copy uploaded to the internet)
Download MP3 if embed doesn’t work for you.