As reported Wednesday morning, the Alabama Jobs Foundation released the results of a poll it commissioned that showed strong support (69 percent) for a gaming bill a la Sen. Del Marsh‘s proposal circulating in the Legislature, and overwhelming support (89 percent) for the right to have the debate publicly by way of a referendum on the measure.
Early Wednesday afternoon, AJF officials commented about the numbers and what they mean for Alabama’s economic and political future.
“These results simply confirm what I hear from Alabamians across the state,” said Pat Dye, former head football coach at Auburn University. “They are ready to vote on this issue once and for all. The voters are clear about what they support: an education lottery and gaming that brings jobs, revenue and economic development to our state.”
“Alabamans get it. They see Alabama dollars flowing into other states and they want those dollars stopped and working right here in Alabama for our workers and families. It’s just good old-fashioned common sense,” Dye said.
Marsh — whose gaming proposal is competing for oxygen with the Poarch Creek Indian Tribe’s plan in the public sphere and the Legislature — agreed wholeheartedly.
“The voters of Alabama are speaking as loud and clear as they can on this issue,” said Marsh, a Republican and Senate president pro tempore. “They demand the right to vote on this issue. They support my lottery and gaming constitutional amendment by large numbers.”
“And just as important, they oppose raising taxes, too,” Marsh said as a dig at Gov. Robert Bentley and fellow senators who have proposed balancing the books by increasing tax receipts.
Marsh cited the AJF poll in a news release, which showed 66 percent of voters polled oppose Bentley’s plan to increase taxes and that 63 percent of voters indicated they were inclined to vote against sitting legislators who voting in favor of such a plan .
“I think those are the kind of poll numbers that should get the attention of every legislator in Montgomery,” Marsh said.