13 September 1999

The Hon. Richard A. Gephardt, Representative
3rd Congressional District, Missouri
1226 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Gephardt:

Your position on the establishment of a casino in the 3rd District is reprehensible. It ignores the many thousands of people who do not want a casino in or near their neighborhoods. Casinos are not good neighbors.

I am writing because Kimmswick seems to have been singled out by the press, by some process of elimination, for a casino on its doorstep. I recall that you visited Kimmswick during the flood of 1993. At the time, I considered it reasonable to assume that your presence indicated your interest in the survival of our little town from the flood. When several gambling companies came into town in September that year to tell us what they would do for us, I made the disparaging observation that it was ironic that Kimmswick was saved from inundation by the great flood of 93 only to be subjected to the intrusion of a gambling casino. Why should our town be surrendered to a predator business? If a casino were to be placed on the Kimmswick site, then the saving of the town from the 93 flood was in vain.

What truly angers and saddens me is that, in spite of all the information that describes the negative attributes of gambling casinos, reason plays no part in the decisions to license casinos.

I personally and objectively recited my objections to gambling before the Jefferson County Commission and the Jefferson County Zoning Commission in 1993 and 94, as did many others. It was one of the most demeaning and discouraging experiences of my life to have been ridiculed, ignored and glared at by these people in government who had no thought about considering the many legitimate views against casinos. They just didn't give a hoot.

I strongly urge to defer on your promotion of a casino in your district. Casinos destroy local businesses and impose expenses on communities that they are never prepared for.