Recently, US Representative John F. Tierney’s wife Patrice plead guilty to being involved in an illegal offshore online gambling operation run out of Antigua with her brother. Despite his wife’s lack of judgment, Tierney himself is beyond reproach in this matter, but that hasn’t taken the bulls eye off his back, now Tierney himself has come under fire. It’s worth noting that Tierney voted against the UIGEA in 2006, so it’s no coincidence that Republicans are all over him on this one, particularly his opponent Bill Hudak.
Aside from the unfortunate turn of events for John Tierney and his family, a big concern should be the potential for this incident to detract from the real issues at hand. It comes at a critical time, especially with Frank’s bill to overturn the UIGEA on the table, an incident like this does nothing but give rise to frivolous arguments.
What Tierney’s wife did was illegal, there’s no debate about that, but if anything, instead of this being used as a black eye towards the push for regulation it should strengthen the argument. Incidents like this and countless others that require tax payers dollars for trials, investigations and court costs can easily be avoided and should serves as an impetus for online gambling regulation.
So while many Republicans are using this as a rallying cry to gain votes in an election, the 600 pound gorilla in the room is that the current regulatory regime, or lack of one is the true problem and one that still needs to be addressed in the country moving forward.