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Posted on 05/26/2009 10:54 AM EST
Letter to the Editor

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Eric Bodenweiser
May 24, 2009 -- Rep Atkins apparently felt guilty enough that he had to try explaining his recent liberal vote in favor of expanding gambling. He points out that two generally conservative representatives changed their votes as if their two wrongs make his wrong vote right. He says that because it is our fourth largest source of revenue, we need to have an advantage over Maryland, where not one slot machine is even up and running. He says we are allowed to have sports betting in Delaware, yet it will be tied up in the courts for quite some time before that issue is decided. Our state will be fighting the deep pockets of the NFL and paying out a lot of your hard earned tax dollars to high priced lawyers to finally be allowed the right to ruin more innocent lives with gambling habits. Rep. Atkins says his vote was for the state workers. Was he referring to all the new state jobs that will be generated through the commissions and regulatory boards that will be needed to control sports betting and table games? More high paying, cushy state jobs created! Threatening state workers with an 8% percent pay cut is allowing “Jump Back Jack” to get his way. He won’t do it and will be a hero when he doesn’t. The late conservative radio commentator Paul Harvey in his August 16th, 1999 commentary proclaimed that if he were the devil he would first “gain control of the most powerful nation in the world” and then among other things he “would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue”. Look it up, all of it is coming true. There is no money left to gamble away. Pray for our nation.

Rep. Atkins has also slipped over to the left on two other pieces of legislation of which he is the primary sponsor. HB 107 forces mobile home park owners to accept monthly rent payments from tenants that have written contracts spelling out annual payments. To Rep. Atkins some tenants lack the personal responsibility to save for the annual payment and therefore monthly payments must be legislated. At first read it seems harmless enough, but then you realize this bill is just more government intervention into how business is conducted. The bill is pointed directly at Robby Tunnell and the Pot Nets Communities. His parks are basically the only ones that have the annual payment plan. It is hard for this writer to believe that Mr. Tunnell would turn away checks mailed to him monthly instead of yearly. The problem could be solved in many ways without the need for legislation. Smells like more of Pres. Obama’s “punish success and reward failure” to me. Mr. Tunnell’s parks are filled to capacity, proving his market price. He puts his money right back in our local economy, keeps his parks in top condition, treats and pays his employees well and is amazingly generous to local charities. Many people are thankful for every breath that man takes. Furthering government intervention, Rep. Atkins’ HB105 forces all mobile home park owners to maintain, care for and remove trees depending on who “owns” the tree. If Rep. Atkins is successful in passing both bills, his next logical step is rent justification (aka rent control). Rent levels will then be capped and park owners will not be able to recoup any of the lost increases by cutting back the expenses involved in keeping the landscaping properly maintained. Rep. Atkins says he has over 8000 constituents on Long Neck road yet the 41st district vote total was only 10,148 in the red hot Atkins/Hastings contest.

With the exception of HB 5, the gay rights bill (his vote was not needed to pass it), Rep. Atkins has voted in lockstep with Rep. Schwartzkopf who is Delaware’s most liberal legislator and self proclaimed as the Governor’s waterboy. If Rep. Atkins does not want to be labeled the waterboy’s waterboy he had better reevaluate his liberal stance on upcoming legislation especially the Del Pointe project. If he votes and legislates like a liberal, he must be a liberal.

Eric Bodenweiser


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