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Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of gambling expansion — bet on it


Pat Quinn

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Updated: September 29, 2012 6:12AM

The casino bill . . .

It’s D-Day for the casino gaming bill in Illinois!

Watch for Gov. Pat Quinn to veto the state’s controversial gambling expansion bill Tuesday — the last day he could do so before the bill would have become law.

Sneed hears the gaming bill — Senate Bill 1849 — which would have permitted a casino in Chicago, had no ethics “river” card — which displeased Quinn.

Quinn’s gutsy decision also will dash the hopes of powerful Dems such as Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Senate President John Cullerton.

† The deal breaker: After thoroughly reviewing the bill, which would have created five new casinos and permitted slot machines at horse-racing tracks, Quinn “was more convinced than ever the absence of a ban on campaign contributions from gaming licences and casino managers was a deal breaker,” a top source tells Sneed.

† The source added: “With two governors in jail [George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich], ethics is something Gov. Quinn is not willing to risk.”

† Quinn, who had spent the weekend going over the bill line by line because it’s “as thick as a phone book,” decided to play his final hand Monday evening.

† Quinn could have rewritten the bill or used his amendatory veto to put the bill back before legislators, when they return in November.

Postcards from Tampa . . .

Sneed may not be at the bastion of GOPdom in Tampa, but our sources are busy tipping, twittering and tippling at the Republican National Pretention . . . er, Convention.

† Raising Cain: Is former top GOP presidential contender Herman Cain, whose candidacy got torpedoed by a babe bazooka, planning to file defamation and libel suits? Cain, whose “9-9-9” plan is “nein nein nein” to Mitt Romney, is telling folks at the GOP convention he has hired investigators to probe what he calls the coordinated attack/lies about his private life . . . and to stay tuned.

† The Dye is cast: Bets are being wagered on who has the most dramatic bottle-blond hair: U.S. Sen. John McCain’s blogger blond daughter, Meghan — or Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. It’s almost blinding.

† Menu magic: State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who credits Asian and Hispanic voters with swinging his election, inserted “Spanish rice” and “miso soup” on the Illinois delegation’s breakfast menu because “it added a touch of Latin American and Asian flavor . . . and every vote counts.”

The scrubbing board . . .

Does Mitt Romney really wash his shirts.

† Answer: “I know that for a fact,” said Dan Rutherford, who heads Romney’s Illinois campaign. “I’ve traveled a lot with him on the campaign and he has told me he washes his shirts in the sink at the hotel in the evening; hangs them up to dry, and presses them with the hotel iron in the morning.”

A Rose is a Rose . . .

Sneed hears Chicago Bulls basketball star Derrick Rose hosted a baby shower for his pregnant girlfriend, Mieka Blackman-Reese, at his Trump Tower condo recently. (Sneed was the first to report the couple are expecting a son) Is it true guests were presented with an image of the couples’ ultrasound? Just asking.

Jim & Jeremy . . .

Former Bear Jim “Punky QB” McMahon is a tweeting traveler.

† Translation: McMahon and his buddy, former Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick, are negotiating gusty roads on the West Coast in an RV. The QB, who’s helming the 40-foot roadster, tweeted Monday afternoon: “Hard time [driving.] the wind has this bitch all over.”

I spy . . .

Former Chicago Bears Otis Wilson, James “Big Cat” Williams and Richard Dent dining together at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse on Kinzie on Wednesday night . . . Former basketballer Isiah Thomas, actor William Shatner and actor Scott Bakula all spotted recently at Gibsons in Rosemont.

Dreesen data . . .

Comedian Tom Dreesen, who will appear in the Clint Eastwood flick “Trouble with the Curve” later this year, hits the Laugh Factory on Wednesday with a show titled “From Combat to Comedy.”

† The heart shot: Dreesen shares the spotlight with four soldiers-turned-comedians who lost limbs in Iraq or Afghanistan . . . It’s invited guests only.

The Peterson file . . .

Testimony from accused wife murder Drew Peterson’s eldest son with Kathleen Savio — which was expected Monday — has been delayed because the prosecution wants time to prepare cross-examination. Thomas Peterson, 19, is expected to testify that he does not believe his father killed his mother.Sneedlings . . .

Tuesday’s birthdays: Jason Priestley, 43; Shania Twain, 47 (right), and City News Bureau’s beloved Paul Zimbrakos, ageless and priceless.

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