Niagara Gazette

Local News

September 30, 2013

Poll: Albany's political spin of casino referendum fools voters

Unusually rosy wording of the referendum to legalize Las Vegas-type casinos appears to have loaded the dice for approval in New York, according to a poll released Monday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders facing a split electorate are promising jobs, tax cuts and school aid if voters approve the casino measure they want. All those benefits are disputed. But The Associated Press found earlier this month that the politicians had rewritten the referendum anyway to coax "yes" votes.

When the Siena College poll asked voters without the political spin if they favored authorizing severalcasinos, New York voters were split at 46 percent.

But when shown the glowing wording of the referendum, 55 percent approved it.

"Clearly the wording on the ballot for the casino amendment matters," said Steven Greenberg of the Siena poll.

Voters are divided on whether they think the question is worded fairly. Fifty-one percent say it is, while 43 percent agreed "it only includes arguments in support, ignoring arguments in opposition." The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. It questioned 807 registered voters from Sept. 22-26.

Good-government advocates and newspaper editorials statewide had criticized the political spin in the question to be put to voters on the November ballot.

In a Sept. 16 editorial, the Poughkeepsie Journal called the political spin "incredible.... they apparently are trying to dupe New York voters."

The AP had obtained an earlier draft of the referendum. It included no promises of tax breaks, or more school aid or jobs. Those disputed claims also aren't included in the law the referendum is supposed to reflect. But the Cuomo administration and legislative leaders recast the question to voters over the summer without announcing changes.

The casino deal is a major element of Cuomo's effort to resurrect the long moribund upstate economy, an effort that eluded the past three governors. He needs voters to amend the state constitution, which prohibits casinos off Indian land. But he and the Legislature have also passed a law that if voters reject Las Vegas-type casinos, the state will proceed with expanding electronic gambling sites called racinos that offer video slot machines and electronic table games.

Cuomo declined to comment Monday.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results