Attorney General Dustin McDaniel made a bad bet taking a $1,000 contribution from a Mississippi casino operator. Stephens Media noted this morning that McDaniel has more or less provided indirect support for out-of-state casinos by noting that Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's lottery proposal holds the potential for allowing casino-style machine gambling in Arkansas. Folks might like a lottery, but casinos have traditionally done poorly with Arkansas voters. Thus, any criticism McDaniel offers of the lottery tends to help casinos against a potential competitor.
McDaniel is returning the contribution, but his spokesman said it was because the contribution went erroneously to McDaniel's political action committee rather than being sent as a direct campaign contribution. He'd earlier taken $1,000 from the Isle of Capri as a campaign contribution and he won't be sending that money back. The casino has a policy not to contribute to PACs. It all added up, just the same, to publicity about McDaniel getting casino money whilst offering them a little aid and comfort against potential Arkansas competition. (We agree with him, by the way, about the unknown form gambling could take if a lottery is approved.)