You haven’t seen Gov. Andrew Cuomo in ads touting the benefits of a casino referendum next month. He hasn’t done a barnstorming tour of the state like he’s done on numerous other issues.
“It’s my proposal. You can’t be anymore linked to it than I am. It’s my idea,” Cuomo told reporters today in Manhattan.
There has been speculation—also outlined in Fred Dicker’s column Monday—that Cuomo is keeping the issue at arm’s length for fear that it might fail.
Editorial boards and casino opponents have knocked the proposition, particularly for its rosy language that the casinos would create jobs, add tax revenue and bolster the upstate economy. The first four casinos would be built upstate—in the Catskills, Southern Tier and Albany area.
Cuomo said he hasn’t campaigned for the proposition because it will be more of a media campaign.
A group backed by Cuomo aides and supporters have launched NY Jobs Now to try to build support for the referendum.
“This an electoral effort where people will vote. This is about television commercials, this is about direct mailings and that’s how this campaign is going to be run and won or lost,” Cuomo said.