Pro-Casino Committee Doesn’t See Any Leading Language
Leaders of the committee backing the ballot referendum that would expand casino gambling in New York do not believe the ballot language before voters next month is leading or overly rosey.
Business Council President and CEO Heather Briccetti, along with Capital Region-area officials, held a news conference today to push the benefits of expanding non-Indian gaming, focusing in particular on the claim that local communities will see more revenue and be able to lower property taxes.
But the casino referendum is seeing its fair share of controversy, in part thanks to how it’s been presented to voters. The language spells out the benefits of casino gambling revenue, promising that approval would mean education aid, more jobs and and extra revenue for local governments.
The language is even being challenged in state court on Friday, while good-government groups today filed an amicus brief to formally express its concern over how the language is presented.
But Briccetti, who is leading the NY Jobs Now coalition that is registered as a ballot referendum committee with the state Board of Elections, said she doesn’t believe voters are being misled.
“I disagree with the assertion that it is a rosey picture. I think it says what the purpose of the amendment is for,” Briccetti said.
She said the casino wording isn’t out of the norm of other amendments to the constitution.
“I don’t think that is in any way different than most ballot positions than we’ve ever seen,” she added. “You can split hairs if you want, but I don’t see that as any different.”
The ballot lanugage itself is this: “The purpose of the proposed amendment to section 9 of article 1 of the Constitution is to allow the Legislature to authorize and regulate up to seven casinos for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated.”
Meanwhile, it remains unclear when the committee will move forward with an advertising campaign in favor of the amendment.
The coalition is backed by businesses, private sector labor organizations and elected officials, and it can raise unlimited funds to meet his goal, according to Board of Elections guidelines and court rulings.
Briccetti was unsure when the campaign would begin, but it is likely to include TV ads and some mail. She reiterated the campaign is prepared to spend “millions.”
She admitted that Election Day is less than three weeks away at this point and a paid media campaign is yet to start, adding: “You have a short window. Everyone’s attention was on the New York City primary, but this was not a new issue.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on October 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm, and is filed under Gaming. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|