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Democrats playing politics with south county's future

County Executive Buzz Westfall and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay once again are playing politics with south county's future.

They told a daily newspaper last week they were prepared to share revenue from a south county gambling casino to prevent the Missouri Gaming Commission from awarding Riviera Casinos a gambling license in Barnhart.

But they didn't bother to include south county's elected official in their conversations. When will they ever learn?

After publication of the story, County Councilman John Campisi, R-south county, criticized the pair for discussing his constituents' financial future without seeking his input.

Westfall and Slay fired back, criticizing Campisi's interpretation of the story, while another county official said Campisi had been briefed about the matter. They all said, contrary to published reports, that no plan exists for sharing revenue from a south county casino.

Look in the mirror guys, why would the Gaming Commission want to do business with in-fighting politicians?

In the name of regional cooperation, maybe Slay and Westfall should join Campisi in developing a port and free trade zone at the National Lead site.

True a port at the NL site would compete with a port the Slay family operates just a few miles away. Plans for a port there were dropped shortly after Westfall was elected county executive.

Isle of Capri wants to build a casino near the Jefferson Barracks Bridge and I would be willing to bet it would prove irresistible for Illinois gamblers. Isle of Capri owners made their first fortune in the barge business and in the past they have offered to help develop a port at the NL site.

If St. Louis County is going to ask Isle Of Capri to tackle two developments on the riverfront, make it a JB Casino and multi-modal port at the NL site.

Certainly a port and casino would bring more revenue to Missouri than any other casino proposal.

Ah, politics, St. Louis style. With our economic future on the line, Democrats are attacking Republicans over their interpretation of information the Democrats released to a sympathetic media outlet.

This brings to mind the old Pogo comic strip: "We have met the enemy and he is us.''

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