PPA Releases a Good List with a Bad Name Highlighting 22 Anti Online Poker Candidates

Poker Players AllianceThe Poker Players Alliance (PPA) released a list of politicians running for office this November, a list they decided (for reasons only known to them) Poker Jokers.

The Poker Joker list is exactly what the PPA should be doing day in and day out. However, while the idea is terrific the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

Again, the idea itself is brilliant, and I applaud the PPA for compiling the list, which even includes the reasons why each person made the list, but I do have a serious issue with the Poker Joker’s list…

The name

It seems like a minor point, but I don’t think it is.

In my opinion, the Poker Players Alliance turned what is a very serious issue into something that reads more like a needle or an ad hominem attack, especially to people only giving the list a cursory glance.

It’s a label that is simply too flippant for such a important issue (voting and knowing the candidates’ political platform), and to use a cartoonish graphic and label someone a “Poker Joker” is not the way a serious organization should identify and target their opponents or rally their supporters.

It’s something I expect to see from a troll on a forum, not from the PPA.

Setting aside the fact that a Joker in poker is basically the best possible card to be dealt, labeling people “jokers” is never a winning argument.  The cheesy font and graphics, and cringe worthy mantra of “It’s time to take the jokers out of the deck,”  are just too much.

So essentially I’m going to pretend the list the PPA compiled is not called Poker Jokers, and is simply called let’s vote out these “Anti-Online Poker Candidates.”

End rant. Criticism over. Let’s get down to business and look at…

The list

Ok, so on to the good, the list of anti-online poker candidates who hold views that every online poker advocate should detest.

The PPA has identified 22 candidates running for state and federal office that have two things in common according to the PPA: “1) they are all up for election in 2014, and 2) they all want to deny your right to play Internet poker.”

At the top of the list are Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the two members of Congress who have introduced Sheldon Adelson’s Restoration of Americas Wire Act (RAWA) bills, which seek to pass a federal online gambling ban.

Moving past Graham and Chaffetz (both of whom are likely to be reelected this year) The list is a bipartisan affair and based on past and current statements or voting records. Each name includes a picture and basic information regarding the office they are running for, as well as a clickable pop-up showing the reason the person made the list as well as contact information.

So which races can your vote make a huge difference?

The Massachusetts Governor Race where Anti-Online Poker Candidate Martha Coakley is facing Charlie Baker.

The Florida Governor race where Anti-Online Poker Candidate Rick Scott is facing off against former Governor Charlie Crist.

Both of these races have long-term implications for gaming in both states, as MA is on most people’s short-list, and the removal of Scot in Florida would add Florida to the list as well.

Here is the full list of the candidates the PPA has identified as Anti-Online Poker Candidates:

  1. Jason Chaffetz (R), House 3rd District, UT
  2. Lindsey Graham (R), SC
  3. Gen. Greg Abbott (R), Candidate for Governor, TX
  4. Emanuel Cleaver (D), House 5th District, MO
  5. Martha Coakley (D), Candidate for Governor, MA
  6. Charles Dent (R), House 15th District, PA
  7. Randy Forbes (R), House 4th District, VA
  8. Trent Franks (R), House 8th District, AZ
  9. Tulsi Gabbard (D), House 2nd District, HI
  10. Louie Gohmert (R), House 1st District, TX
  11. Trey Gowdy (R), House 4th District, SC
  12. Nikki Haley (R), SC
  13. George Holding (R), House 13th District, NC
  14. Jim Jordan (R), House 4th District, OH
  15. Steve King (R), House 5th District, IA
  16. James Lankford (R), House 5th District, OK
  17. Daniel Lipinski (D), House 3rd District, IL
  18. Cedric Richmond (D), House 2nd District, IA
  19. Mike Rogers (R), House 8th District, MI
  20. State Rep. Mario Scavello (R), State House, PA
  21. Rick Scott (R), FL
  22. Lamar Smith (R), House 21st District, TX


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