—Six months late, President Clinton on April 29 named the final three members to the nine-member National Gambling Impact Study Commission, including Nevada Gambling Control Board Chair Bill Bible. With Bible's appointment, National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling Executive Director Tom Grey says the panel has a triumvirate of "mouthpieces for big Las Vegas casinos." The commission also includes Terrence Lanni, chief executive of MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and John Wilhelm, who represents casino workers through the International Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union. Lanni was appointed by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, while Wilhelm was named by House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt. Yet the panel, which has two years to study the issue before submitting a report to Congress, also includes conservative evangelicals James Dobson and Kay Cole James, who will chair the panel (CT, Jan. 6, 1997, p. 58).
—The Ohio District Court of Appeals ruled 3 to 0 on May 1 that the nation's first voucher program to include religious schools (CT, Oct. 28, 1996, p. 90) is unconstitutional because it "provides direct and substantial non-neutral government aid to sectarian schools." Americans United for Separation of Church and State had opposed the program in Cleveland, which gave low-income parents $2,500 to cover tuition costs at 53 private schools, about 80 percent of them religious. The ruling is being appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.
—Pastor Eugene F. Rivers III has announced plans to expand the Ten-Point Plan he started in Boston (CT, Feb. 5, 1996, p. 14) to become Operation 2006, a national coalition of African-American pastors hoping to fight urban crime and violence. The program includes provisions to use African-American ...1