Republicans flip flop on online gambling

Hands tied

As the Republican Convention looms in the near future, the Republican Platform Committee has been busy trying to hammer out the details for the 2008 campaign platform.

Initially it looked like the party may have decided to drop their opposition to online gambling from the official line, but CQ Politics reported on Tuesday, the language has once again been added.

In 2000 and 2004, the platform for the Republican Party had included, "Millions of Americans suffer from problem or pathological gambling that can destroy families. We support legislation prohibiting gambling over the Internet or in student athletics by student athletes who are participating in competitive sports."

Several online media sources reported yesterday that passage had been removed in response to the party wanting to widen its appeal to a broader audience.

The Poker Players Alliance has also been lobbying pretty heavily to have the Republican Party change its stance on online gambling and return to its traditional stance of protecting people's personal freedoms and individual responsibility.

As a result the PPA encouraged its Republican members to post comments on the site which the committee is using to help shape this year's platform.

By mid August more than 160 poker players had posted comments on the site, including Greg Raymer and players from all over the country.

On Tuesday, word went out that the Republican Party was removing the call for an online gambling ban from its platform, but later in the day CQ Politics reported the language had been returned.

Already the GOP Platform site has seen feedback on the flip flop from members.

"Wow ... great job guys. Way to throw all of us who enjoy the freedom to play Internet poker in our homes a bone by initially saying that you were going to pull the draconian language from the platform that says Internet gambling is a scourge on society, then caving to Chad Hills and Focus on the Family when they applied a little pressure three hours later," writes Aaron from Norwood, Mass.

"No wonder the Democrats are the party of the people. They actually listen to them, as opposed to small fringe groups that pull the strings in the GOP. Well I know how I'm voting in 2008, and for the foreseeable future, and sorry John (McCain), it ain't for you."

His sentiment was shared by Dave from Weston, W. Va., who wrote that he was given a ray of hope for the GOP when the news came out that the language for an online gambling ban was taken out of the party platform.

However, when news of the reversal came out later in the day, he was once again turned off by the Republican Party.

"You have LOST my vote and more importantly I will be actively working against the GOP in my SWING state of West Virginia which is, as you know, in play this year," Dave wrote.

"Though I am only one, there are MILLIONS of regular folks who enjoy a game of cards with other ADULTS and since you seem to want to manage my life you have. Ironically you have managed to harden my heart AGAIN against the GOP. Oh well."

The GOP site is still open for comments on what should be put in the 2008 Republican Party platform. The platform committee is meeting again today to write up a document for the party to adopt on the first day of the Republican Convention, Sept. 1, in St. Paul, Minn.

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