Newsbrief: Bill "Mr. Virtue" Bennett Outed as Heavy Gambler 5/9/03

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

 

William Bennett

Former drug czar and professional moralist Bill Bennett's gambling jones has cost him $8 million, according to the Washington Monthly. According to the magazine, "over the last decade Bennett has made dozens of trips to casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, where he is a 'preferred customer' at several of them, and sources and documents provided to The Washington Monthly put his total losses at more than $8 million."

According to a report in Newsweek that relied on much the same reporting, more than 40 pages of internal casino documents show that Bennett, author of the "Book of Virtue," received treatment befitting a high-roller, including limousine rides, "tens of thousands of dollars in complimentary hotel rooms and other amenities." As well he should: In one two-month period, Bennett wired more than $1.4 million to one casino to cover his losses.

Bennett told the magazines he had broken even at gambling, adding "you don't see what I walk away with."

Gambling is a legal activity, and no one is suggesting that Bennett has committed any crime, but the exposure of Mr. Virtue's vice makes his constant -- and well-paid -- harangues against the vices, sins and moral failures of modern culture ring just a bit hollow. It also threatens his stature among social conservatives, many of whom consider gambling a moral issue, or in the words of former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed, "a cancer on the American body politic" that was "stealing food from the mouths of children."

Bennett has denied having a gambling problem, and likened it to drinking alcohol (although not smoking marijuana). "I view it as drinking," he said. "If you can't handle it, don't do it."

That was last week. On Monday, Bennett released a statement seeking to appease a growing chorus of critics from conservative groups. "My gambling days are over," he said. "It is true that I have gambled large sums of money," Bennett said in his statement. "I have also complied with all laws on reporting wins and losses. Nevertheless, I have done too much gambling, and this is not an example I wish to set."

Ah, sweet schadenfreude.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #286, 5/9/03 Editorial: Time for Bill Bennett to Sit Down | DRCNet Interview: Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, Chairman, Canadian Senate Select Committee on Illegal Drugs | Canada Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Cases that Could End Marijuana Laws | Colombia: Pro-Legalization Governor among FARC Hostages Killed in Failed Monday Rescue Attempt | Bolivia Coca Conflict Heating Up Again | Oregon SWAT Raid Victims to File Suit | Tens of Thousands March Worldwide in Annual Million Marijuana March | Newsbrief: Bill "Mr. Virtue" Bennett Outed as Heavy Gambler | Newsbrief: Bush Twins Outed as Tokers by "That '70s Show" Star | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Newsbrief: Baltimore Grand Jury Calls for Regulated Drug Distribution to Addicts | Newsbrief: Sentencing Reform Measures Moving in Colorado | Newsbrief: Rhode Island Bill Allowing Eviction for Drug Possession on the Move | Newsbrief: Minnesota High Court Bars Suspicionless Consent Searches, Questioning of Motorists | The Reformer's Calendar
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]