Bennett has been a high-roller since at least the early 1990s. A review of one 18-month stretch of gambling showed him visiting casinos, often for two or three days at a time (and enjoying a line of credit of at least $200,000 at several of them). Bennett likes to be discreet. "He'll usually call a host and let us know when he's coming," says one source. "We can limo him in. He prefers the high-limit room, where he's less likely to be seen and where he can play the $500-a-pull slots. He usually plays very late at night or early in the morning--usually between midnight and 6 a.m." The documents show that in one two-month period, Bennett wired more than $1.4 million to cover losses. His desire for privacy is evident in his customer profile at one casino, which lists as his residence the address for Empower.org (the Web site of Empower America, the non-profit group Bennett co-chairs). Typed across the form are the words: "NO CONTACT AT RES OR BIZ!!!"Newsweek and the Washington Monthly have almost quote for quote the same story. Is that usual? Maybe, there is some connection that I'm unaware of, but it does seem a little odd.
As far as the content goes, if the guy has the money, what's the deal? Isn't this his private life? It's legal. I wonder how long ago he developed this habit. Did any of this show up in his confirmation hearings for Secretary of Education? That might be a little more problematic. But, now, he's a private citizen. If people don't like his habits and think they vitiate his standing as a so-called virtue tsar, they can stop buying his books or going to his speeches. But, if you agree with the points he makes in his books, haven't we all been told that a person's private life should not affect their ability to do their job?