UPDATE ON NEW ANTI-ONLINE GAMBLING BILL
Additional information shows that DoJ opinion on Wire Act targeted.
More detail is emerging on Senate bill S.3376 and its author, Senator Tom Cotton, indicating that Cotton has in the past (2015) signed as a sponsor for Sheldon Adelsons Restoration of Americas Wire Act and opposes the legalization of online gambling in the United States.
Whether he has been engaged as the latest spearhead for another Adelson-inspired attack on the industry is not yet clear.
The Poker Players Alliance, which is monitoring the new bill closely, has published additional information which indicates that the legalization is also a continuation of the RAWA attack on the Department of Justices 2011 opinion that the Wire Act applies only to online sports betting.
The sparse information on the bill includes the following:
“The Memorandum Opinion for the Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, dated September 20, 2011, shall have no force or effect for the purposes of interpreting section 5362(10) of title 31, United States Code.”
Regarding Cotton himself, the Arkansas Republican Party politician is the youngest senator in the US Senate at age 39 and is reported to be ambitious and aggressive.
He served in the House for just two years between 2013 and 2015 before winning a seat in the Senate as the junior Senator from Arkansas and beginning his first term.
He graduated from Harvard Law School but only briefly pursued a legal career, opting instead to join the US Army as an enlisted man and eschewing a commission in the army legal department to which he was entitled by his academic qualifications. He was soon selected for infantry officer training and
went on to attend the U.S. Army Airborne School as well as Ranger School and Air Assault School.
His foreign military service included platoon leadership in the 2006 Operation Iraqi Freedom, and he was at the centre of a media furore when he excoriated The New York Times for publishing sensitive government information and suggested that the journalists concerned should be put on trial for espionage and endangering the lives of US soldiers.
After a brief spell back in the States as a platoon leader for the The Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery Cotton again found himself on foreign military service, this time in Afghanistan as a military logistics officer of a Provincial Reconstruction Team.
Leaving the army in 2010, Cotton remained on the reserve of officers whilst he worked in commerce as a management consultant before returning to the agricultural management of his families ranch.
His political career began in 2010, running for election to the US House of Representatives in 2012.
Interestingly, whilst at Harvard Cotton wrote for the Harvard Crimson, and was subsequently criticized for one article in which he questioned the value of the Internet as a teaching tool in the classroom.
He has since distanced himself from that view, explaining that he believes the Internet has matured significantly over the past decade and has become a "vital tool for education and daily life", unlike the Internet of 1998.
Wikipedia reports that Cotton has a generally hard conservative political background and was supported by and has close ties to both the Tea Party movement, ultra-conservative bodies and the Republican establishment. He has been described as a rising star and "most likely to succeed" by the political media.
In 2013 Cotton won election to the Senate, endorsed by former presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Senator Marco Rubio.
During his service in the Senate Cotton has continued to display conservative tendencies and has proved to be outspoken on a number of issues.
The most high profile of these was his 2015 leadership of 47 Republican Senators in sending a letter over the presidents head to the leadership of Iran on the nuclear issue, a move which attracted criticism from the president and other bodies, but for which Cotton expressed no regrets. The New Yorker described him as an "uber-hawk".
Cotton is married (in 2014) and has one child.