WAMC reports: The New York Public Interest Research Group is out with a paper indicating that casino interests have poured millions of dollars into advancing their agendas in Albany over the past two years. NYPIRG Research Co-ordinator Bill Mahoney: "Our analysis of casino bidders and some of the groups and individuals they're working with found that they've spent nearly 11 million dollars in the past two years either lobbying or making campaign contributions to political committees in New York State. It does seem that by creating this new interest group, Governor Cuomo and the state legislature have created a bonanza of special interest money of a new sort that hasn't been involved in New York Politics before."
The NYPIRG report prompted the group Residents of East Greenbush Opposed to a Casino to issue a call to the Governor and his appointees at the Gaming Facility Location Board to respond to concerns over undue influence of casino lobbying contributions. Group spokesperson Cara Benson: "What's most troubling about this report is that many of the players are not even named. We know that they gave two million dollars to Cuomo already. How else could a bid for a casino next to a girl scout camp, two schools, and facing strong resident opposition still be in the running? We'd like to know."
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