Karen DeWitt, New York Now, 10/15/2013
Blankenhorn says he's reviving a decades old tradition of politicians smashing slot machines. He stood beside a photo of New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia smashing a slot machine in the 1930's. LaGuardia warned New Yorkers that the slots preyed on them and took their money. Today, New York's top politicians support slot machines and other casino gambling. Governor Cuomo and the legislature are pressing for approval of a ballot measure to change the state's constitution to allow up to seven new gambling casinos in the state. They say it will create thousands of jobs, increase state revenue and offset property taxes and provide funding for schools. Blankenhorn and other opponents say the casinos also economically depress surroundings areas, create more problem gamblers, and become essentially a "regressive" tax on those in society least able to afford it. "It's a policy that takes from the have-nots and distributes it to the haves ," said Blankenhorn. "There's a good reason why our constitution prohibits this."