Sen. Buford says Beshear 'did not work' casino bill so measure never had the votes to pass

02/28/2012 05:48 AM

The constitutional amendment to allow casino gambling in Kentucky never had the votes to pass the state Senate partially because the governor and horse industry never ramped up their lobbying efforts, said Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville.

Buford was one of six Republican senators to vote with 10 Democratic senators in favor of the constitutional amendment last Thursday. But he said the measure was never close to getting the 23 votes necessary to pass.

“I think on a good day we had 17 or 18 on the best it could have been,” Buford said.

After Thursday’s vote, Gov. Steve Beshear blamed Senate President David Williams for “sabotaging” the casino bill.

Buford said he was surprised that Beshear didn’t engage in a more forceful lobbying effort considering allowing casino gambling has been a goal of his since his 2007 campaign.

“He, in my opinion, brought the bill forward and just let it lay as the cards would fall,” Buford said (2:00).

In this five-minute interview segment, Buford also talked about what he expected from the horse industry and what happened in the Republican caucus meeting Thursday before the Senate moved forward with a vote on the casino bill.

“I thought that they might have meetings with legislators — try to get you to come to a meeting of a horse farm group or a horse breeders group,” Buford said. “None of that took place to my knowledge.”

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