Thayer congratulates Williams for engineering casino bill's defeat; Williams says issue is done

02/23/2012 09:24 PM

Key Republican senators on opposite sides of Thursday’s vote on the casino bill vowed to put the saga behind them as the issue is effectively put to rest for the 2012 session.

Soon after the proposed constitutional amendment to allow gambling failed in the Senate by a 16-21 votes, Republican Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown, who sponsored the casino bill, congratulated Senate President David Williams of Burkesville for “orchestrating” the measure’s defeat.

Williams told reporters there would be no retribution against Thayer or any of the other five Republicans who voted in favor of the constitutional amendment. He called the decision to proceed with a vote on Thursday a “caucus decision.”

Votes began to slip away when Williams made it clear that the casino bill would come to the floor Thursday despite the absence of Democratic Sen. Gerald Neal of Louisville, who would have supported the measure.

“I believe under different circumstances, the vote would have been closer, but once people see the vote going a certain way, it becomes easier to vote ‘no,’” Thayer said. “I think without Senator Neal’s vote here today, I think that made it more difficult. I wish he would have been here.”

Thayer said he believed a constitutional amendment to allow casino gambling had the 23 votes at some point.

“I think there’s been an effort to convince people to vote no over the last few weeks, and the vote total showed that,” Thayer said. Here’s what else he said:

Thayer, however, said he was done with the issue for the 2012 session now that the Senate had voted.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.