latte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd held a “crush the gambling machine” party last week. You may have missed it. You’re busy making sure your Fantasy Football team is ready, playing Draft Kings, scratching Lotto tickets, or pounding the slots at the Isle of Capri and it may have flown under your radar.
Listen, you’d have to peel my fingernails off with pliers to say something bad about Zahnd, so I’m being careful here. Basically, these were five slot machines that were seized in 2018. Apparently, there is a law that these machines must be publicly destroyed and so Zahnd chose the public works yard and a large track hoe to do the duty. Hoes and gambling go way back.
He even had some state dignitaries there and guys that wear badges as necklaces, which always means something important is about to happen.
Anyway, Zahnd is a “law and order” kind of guy, and he followed the Missouri law and seized these machines, prosecuted the people and destroyed the bastard machines; which thankfully made more room for Lottery ticket lines at the guilty convenience stores.
The Missouri Independent reported that many prosecutors in the state don’t think the machines are illegal. Their citizens obviously can’t sleep near as well as Platte County residents. Anyway, the machines are gone, go back to your legalized gambling and rest easy my friends.
I exaggerated. My threshold to criticize Zahnd is probably a bit lower than peeling my fingernails off with pliers. At a minimum, it would take a six pack and Mega Millions ticket.
The Independent also reported that State Sen. Dan Hegeman came to the “event” to watch the smashing. Hegeman does not represent Platte County. He represents Andrew County, but he is also the Budget Appropriations Committee Chair for the Missouri Senate, so he is big on gambling being a state-owned business model. Hegeman was quoted as saying these illegal machines were taking money from education programs.
Remember the good old days when the riverboats were going to save education? How’d that work out?
I’m glad you asked. We then counted on the Lottery to fund our education woes. How’d that one work out?
I’m just being cynical and honest, it is a character flaw.
I love Hegeman equally as much as Zahnd. They’re in my local Republican Hall of Fame that I keep in my frontal lobe until I can find a permanent home. But I’ll not be criticizing Hegeman in this column either. In fact, Hegeman and his brother, who is a commissioner in Andrew County, have basically solved all the problems in Andrew County and Hegeman showing up in Platte County was only a sign that he’s going to loan out his expertise. A thank you from somebody important in Platte County is probably in order.
Anyway, this whole thing looked like a “smashing” good time and I’m pretty disappointed that I did not get an invite. With all of our common Andrew County ties, I figured me and Zahnd and Hegeman were like the three Amigos. We could fight crime together and stuff, or they could fight crime and I could write press releases that tell of their heroic actions. My only criteria for joining is that they get me a badge to hang around my neck.
(Guy Speckman can be reached at email@example.com or only gambling on legal, state authorized, education funding slot machines)