Poker Players Alliance posts more anti-gambling quotes from Baldwin

The Poker Players Alliance’s Rich Muny has updated the groups page on Presidential Candidates and Internet and Poker Rights. Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin still gets an “F” — worse than Barrack Obama (C) and John McCain (D), and far worse than the “A+” received by Barr/Root. But now Rich Muny — who operates the page and says the opinions expressed are his and not necessarily those of the association — has posted more anti-gambling quotes from Baldwin.

From News With Views:

George Barna summarized his findings by saying, “Faith makes very little difference in their [Christians] lives: believers do not train their children to think or act differently [from the world]. It’s no wonder that they [Christian children] grow up to be just as involved in gambling, excessive drinking, and any other unbiblical behavior as everyone else.

Also from News With Views:

Can you imagine a nation without an A.C.L.U. or a N.E.A.? Can you imagine a country that did not legally murder its own unborn children and that would not pander to sexual deviants or criminals? Can you imagine a country that did not glorify, much less sponsor, gambling? Can you imagine a nation with strong state governments and a limited federal government?

Muny offers his interpretation of the above:

Keep in mind that he didn’t write, “Can you imagine a country where individuals each chose of their free will to not gamble.” Rather, he wrote, “Can you imagine a country without legalized gambling.” That’s the key. He’s imaging (and advocating) a country where the majority collectively assert rights over individuals in the area of all gaming. So long as this is at the state level and not the federal, Baldwin is happy.

From The Conservative Voice:

Beyond that, our nation has become addicted, yes, even obsessed, with sports, leisure, and gambling! Sports celebrities are more than icons, they are gods! Leisure is more than a pastime, it is the greatest motivation for living. It seems that all people dream about is having the financial ability to retire. By retirement they mean living a life without responsibility, duty, or obligation. In other words, a life of total self-absorption. And since most are unwilling or even incapable of earning such a life, gambling is the preferred method of obtaining this ultimate life of irresponsibility.

From Renew America:

In our once great America, virginity and chastity were popular virtues, and one could live to old age and never be exposed to the abominations of homosexuality and adultery. There was a time in this great country when, except for a few certain morally corrupt large cities, the most egregious gamblers hung out in bingo parlors, and anyone who even whispered his or her support for state-sponsored gambling would be run out of town on a rail.

39 thoughts on “Poker Players Alliance posts more anti-gambling quotes from Baldwin

  1. inDglass

    Muny writes,

    Keep in mind that he didn’t write, “Can you imagine a country where individuals each chose of their free will to not gamble.” Rather, he wrote, “Can you imagine a country without legalized gambling.”

    Yet, the quotation was actually

    Can you imagine a country that did not glorify, much less sponsor, gambling?

    The PPA’s attack on Baldwin continues, still I have yet to see any indication that Baldwin actually opposes legalized gambling.

  2. Jared

    I was just going to write that inDglass.

    I don’t see anything wrong with what Baldwin wrote. You may disagree with his personal opinion of gambling, but I don’t know of any Libertarians that support state-sponsored gambling.

  3. G.E. Post author

    I would think the private gambling industry would oppose it, also.

  4. TheEngineer

    Online poker is interstate by definition. If the federal government pulled completely out of this issue, states would have difficulty controlling it. Baldwin is on record as desiring the states to have the right to control all gaming. So, one would conclude that he’d be very likely to support legislation prohibiting interstate gaming under the guise of preserving states’ rights.

    However, that’s just a supposition on my part. To verify, I looked for similar issues. Internet pornography is very similar structurally in terms of how it can be controlled at an interstate level. I checked the CP platform on the issue. It addresses the interstate issue by calling for federal legislation prohibiting online pornography.

    http://www.constitutionparty.com/party_platform.php#Pornography

    “With the advent of the Internet and the benevolent neglect of the previous administrations, the pornography industry enjoyed uninhibited growth and expansion until the point today that we live in a sex-saturated society where almost nothing remains untainted by its perversion. While we believe in the responsibility of the individual and corporate entities to regulate themselves, we also believe that our collective representative body we call government plays a vital role in establishing and maintaining the highest level of decency in our community standards.”

  5. G.E. Post author

    “Online poker is interstate by definition.”

    That’s a very good (and obvious) point, and I’m embarrassed that I didn’t think of it already.

  6. TheEngineer

    And, there is no PPA attack on Baldwin. We need all the supporters we can get. I’ve sent several emails to his campaign, along with a few phone calls. I’ve received no replies. If I do receive a reply indicating support for our rights, I’ll gladly update the guide to reflect his change of heart.

  7. TheEngineer

    Based on Baldwin’s statements on gaming, he wants to ensure that states have the ability to stop all gaming if they so choose. I believe he’d see a ban on interstate poker as an affirmation of states’ rights. The CP party platform handles the interstate issue in exactly that manner.

    When I phoned the campaign, I asked the question in precisely that manner. The person with whom I spoke indicated that he wasn’t a campaign spokesman, but that he is placed highly enough in the campaign to know what’s going on. He indicated that he could see the concern that an absence of any federal legislation would result in a condition where states would be unable to control online gaming.

    I’ve seen nothing in Baldwin’s writings that would indicate that he’d champion something that would effectively override the ability of states to control online gaming within their own borders. In fact, Baldwin has been quite clear on his dislike for all of this.

  8. TheEngineer

    From the prior article on this”

    “MattSwartz // Jun 5, 2008 at 3:39 pm…Is it possible that the A for Barr and the F for Baldwin has been influenced by Root’s connections within the industry? Mutual back-scratching is an old innovation, but I know for a fact it’s still practiced in Vegas.”

    I wrote the guide on my own. I was not influenced by anyone at PPA or anywhere else. Root’s grade is pretty straightforward. He supports this right strongly. He’s written about it, and the article is prominently on his website. Barr is strongly with us as well.

    The post above shows the results of my research on Baldwin’s position. Additionally, his campaign has not responded to my repeated inquiries on his position. All of this, combined with the hostile Constitution Party platform, combined to make the rating an easy determination.

    Rich Muny, aka “TheEngineer”

  9. TheEngineer

    “Jared // Jun 8, 2008 at 2:32 pm…. You may disagree with his personal opinion of gambling, but I don’t know of any Libertarians that support state-sponsored gambling.”

    Even a cursory reading of Baldwin’s speeches and articles, when combined with his the Constitution Party platform, lead one to conclude that he’d consider any “legalized gambling” (a problematic term, as it implies the natural state of gaming is illegal) to be considered “state sponsored”. He considers Indian gaming to be “state sponsored”, and he considers Las Vegas casinos to be state sponsored as well.

    I don’t know how online poker could exist without being designated “state sponsored”. Even a repeal of all relevant federal gaming laws would still leave U.S. based sites and players with federal taxes and subject to many U.S. banking laws.

  10. TheEngineer

    One more comment. I wrote this guide without insertion of my personal biases. And, it’s single issue.

    Outside of poker, I like a lot of what Baldwin stands for. If I were rating the candidates for my personal preference, it would be roughly:

    Ron Paul: A+
    Barr/Root: A
    Baldwin/Castle: A-
    McCain: D-
    Obama: F
    Clinton: F-

    I’ve backed up my conclusions on his stand on issues applicable to online poker. If I took Baldwin’s quotes and the party platform (and the fact that they’ve not replied to my inquiry) and substituted “abortion” for “gambling”, such that his quotes were “imagine there were no legalized abortion in America”, with advocacy for ending federal enabling of abortion, one would rightly conclude that he’s pro-life. Likewise, no one would be surprised if NARAL gave him an F. Likewise, if a candidate said similar things in opposition to gun rights, he’d be considered anti-Second Amendment and would obviously receive a low grade from the NRA.

    Also, while I don’t mind Ron Paul saying participation in gaming is dumb [for some people it may be….it depends on the entertainment utility they get for their money…I’m a winning player so it’s not dumb for me 🙂 ], getting blamed for all sorts of social ills and being compared to criminals and degenerates does bother us. We poker players are getting tired of being called immoral, also. We enjoy poker and we’re proud to play.

    Finally, Baldwin was crystal clear when he asked “Can you imagine a country without legalized gambling?”.

    Based on Baldwin’s statements and the CP platform, I do think he has the burden of proof in the matter. I waited as long as I could to update the guide. People are making up their minds now, so it’s perfectly reasonable to share info, IMO.

  11. inDglass

    TheEngineer, I have a much better understanding of where you are coming from now, and I see the quotation you mentioned in Baldwin’s column. Thank you for clearing that up.

    His position is certainly a concern to libertarians and constitutionalists, and I will seek clarification from him. However, I believe this is ultimately a low priority issue in comparison to foreign policy and the economy. This is how I feel about a few Baldwin positions. Like you, I would rate him around an A-, and Paul at an A+. What is interesting though, is that in this campaign, Baldwin has said regarding many of these contraversial social issues that he would support Paul’s legislation. Perhaps, like me, he was pulled in a new direction as he heard Paul discuss the issues. I bet we will hear a more tolerable answer when we ask Baldwin himself about this issue today.

    Barr, I’d have to put at a C considering his congressional record, and still less than spectacular positions now. Let’s hope the last few third party nominations go well so we have an A+ candidate to vote for!

  12. TheEngineer

    inDglass,

    No problem clearing it up. I was unable to log on last time this site covered my guide, so I appreciate the guys at IPR helping me out so I could participate this time.

    I understand some feel this is a low priority issue. However, the one million PPA members do take this rather seriously. I cared a lot when the government tried to take this right from me. Ron Paul did, too. I have other issues, but they all tie together, it seems, as the candidates who support my right to play poker support my other freedoms as well. It seems to be an excellent litmus test on the overall respect for personal freedom, and it has a great correlation so far.

    To clarify, I don’t “have it out” for Baldwin or anything like that. I’ve been writing my guide since long before Baldwin declared his candidacy. I was able to rate Barr/Root rather easily (Root writes articles and makes videos in support of us, and Barr is clearly with us on this issue), and I didn’t think it was fair to leave Baldwin out.

    When I started researching Baldwin’s opinions on poker, I didn’t know what I’d find (though I was aware of the leanings of the Constitution Party, of course), and I was quite surprised at what I found. Once I found what I found, I considered simply leaving him off. After all, I do like him better than McCain or Obama. However, that wouldn’t be right. I had already decided to add him. Omitting him would show bias, and I refuse to bias my guide (as evidenced by Clinton’s “B”). I also have an obligation to the membership to write my guide with no insertion of personal bias. I also wanted to put it out in a timely fashion, so people would have data for making their decisions.

    I hope Baldwin has had a change of heart. I thank you for seeking clarification. If he has changed his stance, I’ll immediately and happily update my guide to reflect it.

  13. TheEngineer

    Also, this quote is from 2008:

    http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/baldwin/060117

    In our once great America, virginity and chastity were popular virtues, and one could live to old age and never be exposed to the abominations of homosexuality and adultery.

    There was a time in this great country when, except for a few certain morally corrupt large cities, the most egregious gamblers hung out in bingo parlors, and anyone who even whispered his or her support for state-sponsored gambling would be run out of town on a rail.

  14. TheEngineer

    Oops. I hit the enter button too fast. I meant to type “Also, this quote is from 2006” (meaning pretty recent).

  15. darolew

    “…but I don’t know of any Libertarians that support state-sponsored gambling.”

    Well, state-sponsored lotteries are often proposed as a way for the government to make money without initiating force. Perhaps the private gambling industry might not be happy with that, but it seems a heck of a lot better than taxation.

  16. G.E. Post author

    darolew – I don’t think state-funded lotteries are better than taxation. By the same logic, the government could infringe into any industry — say shoe-making, television, sandwich shops, plumbing — whatever.

    True radical minarchists (i.e. non-anarchist libertarians) believe the only legitimate role of the government is in the provision of defense (local and national) and court services. Managing gambling services, and thus infringing on the rights of private citizens to do so, is no more legitimate than managing healthcare services.

    But you are correct in saying “some libertarians” think it isn’t such a bad idea.

    It IS the initiation of force, though. Initiation of force against private gambling interests.

  17. Trent Hill

    This seems like a lot of “reading into” Baldwin’s positions. All of the personal quotes just talk about his PERSONAL abhorrance of gambling–they say nothing about the legal structure.

    TheEngineer, Just as Bob Barr’s positions are not identical to the LP’s platform, Baldwin’s positions are not identical to the CP’s platform. Using the CP platform is unfair to Baldwin.

    As for the interstate problem with internet gambling, Baldwin is a strict constitutionalist. If one were to “Read” anything into this, it’d be that Baldwin would say “hands off the internet”. He’s never spoken in favor of the internet pornography plank (and in fact, tried to help us eliminate it in Kansas City).

  18. TheEngineer

    Trent,

    Baldwin asked, “Can you imagine a country without legalized gambling.” Not, “Can you imagine a country where individuals each chose of their free will to not gamble.”

    The only way for America to have no “legalized” gaming is for the federal government to unauthorize Indian gaming (which is in the CP platform), for all 50 states to ban all gaming, and for the federal government to expand the Wire Act to cover all gaming (it covers only sports betting now). That’s what Baldwin was hoping/wishing/daydreaming for. And, again, this was not some offhand remark. This is from an article posted on the CP site.

    I didn’t “read” anything into that. He said this. There are also all the other quotes where he said how horrible gaming and participants in gaming are. And, he’s not ONCE followed up his insults with something like “but they should have a right to do it” as Ron Paul would. Hardly a champion for our rights to date.

    Funny you mentioned pornography. Baldwin had very little to say about that, yet has all of these statements in opposition to gaming. Seems he really doesn’t like poker, as he hates it even more than pornography.

    The bottom line is that this is a guide for poker players. Poker players are not ashamed to play. Rather, we’re very proud to be involved in a great sport. It’s a game of skill, and we’re worked hard to achieve at the game.

    Quite frankly, I’ve received NO comments from PPA members asking for Baldwin to be rated higher. You see, we don’t have to read anything further into his derogatory comments. They are bad enough on their own. Baldwin’s “PERSONAL abhorrence of gambling” is enough to get dropped a grade or so.

    I do hope to hear something from the Baldwin campaign indicating he believes as you hope he does.

  19. G.E. Post author

    TheEngineer – To be fair, there are other ways gambling could be abolished. Each individual state could pass its own laws. The Indian Casinos could voluntarily shut down. Perhaps Baldwin is talking about a utopian (in his view) world where no one wants to gamble.

    I don’t gamble myself, but I certainly support other’s rights to. And I don’t think the world would be better with less gambling, either! But of a libertarian saying, “Imagine a world without poverty.” It doesn’t mean he would advocate anti-poverty laws or subsidies, etc.

  20. TheEngineer

    “Perhaps Baldwin is talking about a utopian (in his view) world where no one wants to gamble.”

    With all the issues the world has, the fact that gaming is consistently so high on Baldwin’s list of what he’d change to turn the world into a utopia is pretty troubling.

    I don’t gamble either (gambling being participating in a game of chance, hoping for luck), but I am troubled by those who’d force their opinions on others. I, like you, support other’s right to play.

  21. Trent Hill

    “Baldwin asked, “Can you imagine a country without legalized gambling.” Not, “Can you imagine a country where individuals each chose of their free will to not gamble.”

    Im not seeing the quote where he said, “Can you imagine a country without legalized gambling”. I see only “Can you imagine a country that did not glorify, much less sponsor, gambling?”
    You linked to a place where the article had been reposted at the CP website and erroneously changes that ONE sentence to mean that he supports illegalized gambling.

  22. TheEngineer

    Trent,

    I realize you’re a big Baldwin fan, so you think anyone who says anything negative about him must be wrong by definition. So, it makes sense that you’d argue with them, debate them, and nitpick them.

    Sorry, but that’s not going to work here. This case is so easy to rate. There’s so much on the record that only a staunch Baldwin supporter could expect poker players to disregard it all.

    Baldwin has my request for information on this. I await his response.

  23. G.E. Post author

    Engineer – You’re largely right, but it is possible that Baldwin has since changed his mind. Ron Paul made me see some issues a whole lot clearer, and maybe he did the same for Rev. Baldwin.

  24. TheEngineer

    Anything’s possible. People change their mind all the time. I can only base my guide on the record, of course. If he publicly changes his mind, I’ll certainly update my guide to reflect it.

  25. G.E. Post author

    I can only base my guide on the record, of course.

    Which is 100% fair.

    I do think a D, D+ or D- would have been more appropriate than an F, though.

  26. TheEngineer

    It’s hard for me to rate Baldwin on what he might do. I do think his record to date justifies a rating below McCain and Obama on this issue, and McCain’s a D.

    I don’t see how a passing grade is appropriate at this stage. If Baldwin spoke this way toward gun owners, people would be up in arms. Some think poker players should expect to be spoken of in a negative manner, I guess. We don’t.

    I’ll keep an eye on my email, hopeful that the Baldwin campaign will share with us their new message of liberty.

  27. Trent Hill

    TheEngineer,

    Im not some “big fan” of Baldwins who is spouting off useless crap. I’v spoken with him personally on this issue, as im a member of his campaign staff. Im not authorized to speak on it, but I’ll certainly urge him to speak with you. A failing grade is simply rediculous–as Baldwin has never said anything more dangerous towards gambling than Bob Barr. Both want a “states-rights” position on gambling. It seems that Baldwin’s F comes from his PERSONAL abhorrance of gambling, rather than any sort of public-policy position. Seems cheap to me.

  28. TheEngineer

    Trent,

    If you’re on his staff, you must support him, right?

    I still don’t get why you think poker players should be thrilled to hear that we’re merely strongly disliked on a personal level. After all, Baldwin doesn’t simply abhor the idea of himself gambling….he abhors others participating in gaming. And, you write all this like it should be a good thing for us. Again, if Baldwin wrote that he hates gun ownership and stated a belief that guns and gun owners are bad for society, gun owners wouldn’t be pleased.

    Anyway, I appreciate your urging him to speak to me. I have several emails out to his campaign, including one to Anita Andrews. I phoned the CP headquarters and the Baldwin campaign itself. I’ve received no reply.

    My interpretation of Baldwin’s position does not concur with yours, at all. Barr/Root advocate permitting interstate poker. How does Baldwin propose to make Internet poker a state issue? By banning interstate poker and permitting only intrastate poker? Would be advocate federal legislation making poker clearly legal but allowing states to “opt-out”? If so, would that not violate his principle of opposition to all “legalized gambling”?

    Barr/Root have spoken publicly on this. How can you compare “I’m not authorized to speak on it” to Root’s articles praising our right to play?

    If you don’t like the F, just have Baldwin put a two-sentence blurb on his site backing our right to play online. What’s so hard about that? Ron Paul always speaks strongly for our right to play. He left a House hearing with Ben Bernanke to testify at the last hearing on Internet gaming. Why are there so similar public statements by Baldwin if he supports us at all? The fact that he won’t, despite you personally asking him to, is certainly of concern.

  29. TheEngineer

    Speaking of the states, here’s the South Dakota Constitution Party platform on gaming:

    GAMBLING:
    We believe that the basic principle of gambling (as defined by the courts) is a game of chance in which money is either lost or won, and as such is an immoral activity. It is a denial of the Biblical teaching of the rule of God’s providence over our lives, a denial of the work-ethic, and a denial of the principles of stewardship of the wealth that God has entrusted to us. Therefore we oppose all forms of gambling, whether illegal or government-sponsored.

  30. TheEngineer

    I just sent this email to Anita Andrews and to the campaign.

    Dear Mr. Baldwin,

    Sorry to trouble you again. I’m writing again to inquire about your position on Internet poker rights. I have added you to my guide, at http://theengineer.pokerplayersalliance.org/presidential-candidates-and-internet-poker-rights, basing your position on your pubic statements on the matter and on the Constitution Party platform. However, I’ll certainly update it if you’ve had a change of heart on this issue. If you have, will you let me know so I can update my guide?

    I did wait for either a reply to my other emails or a public statement from your campaign on this issue prior to adding you to the guide.

    Also, in addition to the Third Party Watches articles, this guide was covered at http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/06/poker-players-alliance-posts-more-anti-gambling-quotes-from-baldwin.

    Thank you.

    Kind regards,

    Rich Muny
    [contact info]

  31. TheEngineer

    typo:

    Also, in addition to the Third Party Watch articles….. (caught before sending)

  32. Pingback: Poker Players Alliance posts more anti-gambling quotes from Baldwin

  33. TheEngineer

    I received a reply from the Baldwin campaign today:

    “Thank you for contacting me at the Baldwin Campaign. Please expect to receive a reply within 48 hours.”

    I’ll let you all know when I hear back.

  34. TheEngineer

    The Baldwin campaign contacted me today asking for more time with this question. I appreciate the fact that they’re working this hard to ensure they’ve answering this accurately.

    I’ll let you all know what I hear.

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