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Marc Dunbar fires back after latest John Sowinski salvo

Gaming industry lobbyist Marc Dunbar is asking No Casinos head John Sowinski whether he’s “ready to end the games.”

Dunbar’s latest “open letter” to Sowinski, released Monday, is the third in an exchange between the two over the proposed “Voter Control of Gambling” constitutional amendment, also known as “Amendment 3.” 

It’s backed by Voters In Charge, a political committee that Sowinski also chairs, and aims to give statewide voters sole authority to approve future expansions of gambling in the state.

Dunbar took issue with “edits” of his oral arguments before the Florida Supreme Court that Sowinski posted on Twitter, saying he’s “further distorting the facts.”

Sowinski had argued that the amendment, if passed by 60 percent or more of voters in November, would retroactively undo, or “de-authorize,” any gambling expansion approved by state lawmakers between now and then.

Lawmakers recently considered – but are now silent – on a Special Session on gambling after they failed to pass any related legislation this past Regular Session.

“You obviously missed or intentionally glossed over the comments of your own lawyer who stated quite succinctly: ‘First of all, this amendment is not retroactive as has been suggested in some of the papers,’ ” Dunbar wrote. 

He then asks Sowinski, “Will (you) make yourself available publicly to clarify for Florida’s voters your organization’s position on Amendment 3 and your desire for its impact on existing Florida businesses, their employees and the government services they help support?”

“Voters deserve a clear picture,” he adds. “… To save you time and ink on your next response, a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer will suffice. We can work the details out later as to the forum for the discussion if the winds of courage blow favorably in your direction.”

The latest letter and previous ones are below. Previous coverage is here and here.

Written By

Jim Rosica covers state government from Tallahassee for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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