The case book of the 1% solution

Columnist : Albert Paschall

‘Twas weeks ago, late on a foggy London night when an urgent knock came to the door of the famous flats at 221B Baker Street. “Mr. Holmes, you have a visitor,” chimed Mrs. Hudson as she led the burly figure into the warren of the world’s most recognized detective.
“Good evening Mr. Holmes, thank you for receiving me. I am…”

“No need for introduction my good man” Holmes cut his guest short, “you are the governor of the state of Pennsylvania.”

“I guess you’ve seen me on ESPN” the governor replied.
“No, London has yet to be cursed with cable TV,” said the detective, “just some simple deductions on my part.”

The detective’s loyal companion Watson asked incredulously “but Holmes how in the heavens would you know the governor of Pennsylvania?”

“It’s elementary my dear Watson. Peer closely at the bottom of his cravat and you’ll notice a tiny spot of cheese. It’s indigenous to a region known as South Philadelphia where they make something called cheese steaks. In his shirt pocket you’ll see an outline of a ticket stub for a football team called the Eagles also from Philadelphia and on his left shoe a tiny speck of clay that hails from a horse racing track in the region of Bucks County, it couldn’t be anyone else really” Holmes sighed as though lecturing children.

Seeming anxious to move the evening along the detective inquired “so what brings you to our humble abode Governor?”

“Well” the governor said, “I have a mystery back home that I was hoping you might help me solve.” “Go on” Holmes replied somewhat impatiently, “tell us your tale.”

“For two years I’ve been trying to get a bill passed that would legalize slot machines to pay for all kinds of good things but everywhere I turn I seem to hit brick walls,” the governor looking maudlin paced the room, “even Democrats has been all over the map on this one even though I offered to give the licenses away for only $50 million when some say they are worth 10 times that!”

“It is a mistake to confound strangeness with mystery”Holmes snorted, “isn’t it the curious practice in Pennsylvania to have the state run convention center sign multiple union contracts and still be plagued with strikes? What the deuce is in it for taxpayers to subsidize a new skyscraper for the cable TV monopoly? Is it really an obvious fact that the motto of your largest city is pay to play? Have you considered sir following a maxim often used in that same city?” Holmes queried.

“What’s that sir?” the governor asked. “I believe the term used is cut them in on the deal” Holmes replied, “let anyone in state government own up to 1% of a casino and then require that the slot machines be sold by Pennsylvania vendors,” Holmes mused on, “I’ll wager your gambling bill passes overnight!”

The governor was elated and for the first time that dark evening broke into a grin, “Holmes that is brilliant, will you come to Pennsylvania with me and help me put the deal together?” Holmes thought for a moment and then replied: “Alas, I think not dear chap; my schedule such as it is won’t permit it.” Clearly the governor was disappointed nevertheless he thanked Holmes profusely. “Hey,” he said, “if you ever get to Philly call me and we’ll have cheese steaks and catch the Eagles game.”

After the governor left Watson turned to Holmes. “Holmes, my good man, we have nothing on the schedule for at least a fortnight why not a jaunt in Pennsylvania?”

“My dear Watson, ‘tis not the first time I’ve schemed something sordid, nor shall it be the last but gambling is now afoot in that state and someday there could be dastardly repercussions from my nefarious thinking and I shan’t strive to have a record of my role in it.” “I understand,” Watson replied, though he really did not. Thus it was in the dead of night the case book of the 1% solution was closed.

Albert Paschall
Senior Commentator
The Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, Inc.

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