Feb. 8, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Rolling the Dice

It seems House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) had a touch of gambling fever but didn’t want to risk luck (or the media) not being a lady at his planned Casino Night fundraiser next week.

Pombo abruptly called off the event amid much grumbling over the fact that the fundraiser coincided with a markup of his off-reservation gaming bill.

Some lobbyists who received invitations turned up their noses. “Pombo doesn’t want you to game anywhere except for his fundraiser next Thursday,” quipped one, whose clients oppose the bill, seeking to restrict American Indian gambling outside of reservations.

According to a committee notice, the markup was originally scheduled for the same day as the fundraiser, but was changed, providing a full day of separation between the doubling down and marking up.

Another lobbyist who got the Casino Night invite, which promised “Texas Hold ’Em and poker lessons,” said the theme seemed “ill advised” given next week’s markup of Pombo’s controversial off-reservation gaming bill and news reports linking Pombo to the infamous Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in a wide-ranging influence-peddling scheme.

Pombo was one of the biggest recipients of tribal funds, according to a report by the watchdog group PoliticalMoneyLine.com.

Yet another lobbyist familiar with the nixed Casino Night fundraiser pointed out there’s no law that “requires fundraisers to be in good taste.”

Brian Kennedy, Pombo’s spokesman, said Casino Night had been in the works for some time. But now that Pombo has gotten the opportunity to have full committee consideration of his bill, he decided to cancel the ill-timed event.

“We’re going to cancel the fundraiser,” Kennedy said. The decision to cancel, he added, came last week after “the right hand talked to the other hand.” However, some lobbyists told HOH they received their invitations just this past week.

No new date for Casino Night has been set. “At this point, it’s just been put off indefinitely,” Kennedy said. “It’s just too easy for opponents to manufacture tempests in a teapot.”

Outlawing Infidelity. During House debate Tuesday on the proposed constitutional amendment barring gay marriage, Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.) offered one of the more eye-popping arguments against it.

Davis said more than the fear that Johnny might marry Bob or that Sue might dare to marry Jane, he worries more about Daddy cheating on Mommy, or vice versa. And somebody ought to go to jail for it.

“I believe infidelity, adultery, is an evil that threatens the heart of marriage, which is commitment,” Davis said. “How can we as a country allow adulterers to go unpunished and continue to make a mockery of marriage?”

Davis went further: “This is why I think the amendment should outlaw adultery and make it a felony.”

No word yet on how many Members are jumping at the chance to co-sponsor such an effort, but HOH will, of course, bring you the very latest tally as soon as it becomes available.

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