Rhode Island Casino Ballot Debate Begins
As reported by the Providence Journal: "The battle over the November casino referendum has begun. "Since late May, the debate has been dominated by the Las Vegas-based Harrah's Entertainment and Harrah's-affiliated advocacy groups with names such as 'CompeteRI' and most recently, 'Rhode Islanders for Jobs and Tax Relief Inc.' "Yesterday, an anti-casino coalition group that counts among its members former state economic development director Michael McMahon, former Attorney General James O'Neil and former Providence College basketball coach and Big East athletic conference founder Dave Gavitt, officially announced its arrival on the battlefield.
"Headed by the blunt-spoken Richard Oster, retired chairman of Cookson America, the new group known as 'Save Our State' (S.O.S.) is hoping to raise at least $3 million for a campaign "that will focus on educating voters as to why the proposal is such a bad deal for Rhode Island."
".But Angelique Pirozzi, campaign manager for the Harrah's-financed 'Rhode Islanders for Jobs and Tax Relief' sought to dismiss the new anti-casino group as a front for the two big Connecticut casinos: Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.
".There was no immediate response from Foxwoods, but Chuck Bunell, chief of staff to the Mohegan tribe, said: 'That is unequivocally false. We have not been approached by anyone asking us to get involved.'."