As promised, the New York Public Interest Research Group has submitted an amicus (friend of the court) brief in support of the lawsuit that challenges the wording of the ballot proposal on casino expansion that voters will be asked to decide on Election Day next month.

NYPIRG is careful to point out in its brief that it does not have a formal position on whether voters should support or reject the constitutional amendment that would allow up to seven non-Indian run casinos to be built across upstate.

But the good government organization does take issue with the wording of the proposal that was tweaked by the Cuomo administration to cast casino expansion in the best possible light and then subsequently approved by the state Board of Elections in a meeting that was not public.

NYPIRG says it is “deeply troubled” by the wording, which “seems to go beyond explanatory or descriptive and trespass into advocacy” by highlighting all the potential benefits of more gaming in New York – lower property taxes, more education aid and job creation – but makes no mention of any of the downsides, like an increase in gambling addiction.

“Simply put, NYPIRG believes that New Yorkers are entitled to a neutral ballot proposal – not one which subtly or overtly nudges a voter in a particular direction,” the brief states.

The case, brought by Brooklyn attorney Eric Snyder, is due in court for a hearing at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow in Albany. The case will be heard by acting state Supreme Court Justice Richard Platkin, who happens to be a former counsel to ex-Gov. George Pataki.

NYPIRG amicus brief submitted in opposition to casino amendment wording by liz_benjamin6490