Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Anti-casino group second in lobbying spending

Posted By on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 3:52 PM

In the first half of 2014, the No More Casinos Coalition was second only to New York State United Teachers in what it spent on lobbying.

The coalition, which was formed by Western Regional Off-Track Betting and Finger Lakes Gaming and Racing, spent $24,000 on compensation for lobbyists and approximately $1.4 million on lobbying expenses, according to data released today by the state's Joint Commission on Public Ethics. NYSUT spent $328,935 on lobbyist compensation and $2.3 million on expenses.

The JCOPE data included spending between January and June. During part of that period, the No More Casinos Coalition campaigned heavily against a proposed Seneca Nation of Indians casino in Henrietta. Those efforts included press conferences with former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson as the lead speaker; the coalition's filing with JCOPE shows that it paid $1,500 to Johnson's firm, Strategic Community Intervention. The filing says that the company provided research and consulting services.

Metrix Marketing, a local firm that did public relations work for the coalition, received $16,700.

The Henrietta Town Board ultimately approved a resolution opposing the casino. And Town Supervisor Jack Moore made his thoughts on the coalition clear when, during a press conference announcing the resolution, he called it the "No More Casinos Competition Coalition."

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