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It didn’t take long for former S.C. Sen. Jakie Knotts to land on his feet …

The rotund “Republican in Name Only” – who was defeated by petition candidate Katrina Shealy in his bid for reelection earlier this month – has been hired as a consultant for a company that sells “Magic Minutes” video poker machines.

“Magic Minutes” are machines that sell prepaid calling cards as a pretext for facilitating video poker.  They have been declared illegal by judges in several South Carolina counties, although they are operational in Lexington County – which Knotts’ has represented in the S.C. General Assembly since 1995.

Knotts’ hiring by a gaming firm isn’t surprising given his proximity to the infamous “Lexington Ring” – a cabal of corrupt politicians and crooked cops who have (allegedly) been running an illegal video poker operation out of Lexington County for the last several years.  Federal investigators are currently probing the ring and its various members – and according to our sources are making progress in their efforts.

As we’ve noted on numerous previous occasions, we believe that all forms of gambling should be legalized in South Carolina. State government should not monopolize this market any more than it should monopolize the public education marketplace.

Accordingly, we have no problem with Knotts advancing this company’s interests – although we’re not sure exactly what he brings to the table (other than a healthy appetite, obviously).