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Louisiana state senator casts tie-breaking vote for Slidell casino. His wife is one of the lobbyists.



LOUISIANA  – A controversial proposal to move a casino boat to Slidell cleared its first hurdle Monday when a Senate committee chairman, whose wife is a lobbyist for the measure, cast the tie-breaking vote.

State Sen. Gary Smith, D-Norco, cast the deciding vote before the Senate Judiciary B Committee that he chairs. His wife Katherine is one of the 19 lobbyists hired by Brent Stevens, the founder and chairman of P2E, the Los Angeles-based company that wants to move its shuttered casino from Bossier Parish to Slidell.

The extraordinary number of lobbyists has caught the attention of State Capitol insiders who note that it takes only 20 votes to approve legislation in the Senate.