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I never understood the reasons behind David Williams' stubborn opposition to casino gambling in Kentucky. He tried to explain them to me but I just didn't buy it. He's been supremely effective in keeping the issue from being put before the people so we can decide for ourselves.
But now that Mr. Williams is about to become Judge Williams, he'll no longer play a role in Kentucky's legislature. Which means the issue of expanded gambling in the Bluegrass may have a new lease on life.
I know the Senate Presidency is virtually sure to remain in Republican hands. But this has never been a Democrat vs. Republican issue. The primary reason Mr. Williams got so much Republican support in opposing casinos was simply that his fellow party members were afraid of disagreeing with him. Few have ever had the power that David Williams had in his position and even fewer have ever been as ruthless in wielding it.
But now that the threat of Williams' retaliation for a perceived challenge to his authority is finally off the table, our remaining lawmakers – on both sides of the aisle – will finally be free to vote their convictions rather than their fears. And I'm hopeful that whoever the new Senate leaders are, they'll finally be willing to give expanded gambling the consideration it deserves as a solution to Kentucky's many economic woes.