The pro-casino group, New York Jobs Now, today bashed the unlikely alliance of Sen. Liz Krueger and state Conservative Party chairman Mike Long, who yesterday held a news conference to oppose the casino referendum on Tuesday’s ballot.
The New York Jobs Now coalition of racetracks and business groups has raised more than $3 million to promote the referendum, which would allow for up to seven casinos in New York—with the first four upstate.
“Liz Krueger, Mike Long, and Ramsey Adams have only two things in common – extremism and elitism. They share little more than an extreme anti-jobs philosophy,” the group said in a statement today.
“Mr. Adams’ Catskill Mountainkeeper works to deny resort jobs in the Catskills despite no environmental rationale whatsoever. Resort hotels have been part of the Catskills for over a century, but today the historic Catskills hotels sit in ruins. Mr. Adams would put the Catskills economy in ruins too,” the statement continued.
The group also hit Long. Krueger and Long (left) said that the casinos would essentially be a regressive tax on the poor, and Long questioned whether New York City tourists and residents would travel upstate to the casinos.
The pro-casino group isn’t buying it.
“Chairman Long is apparently a new kind of conservative: a nanny-state conservative. He and Senator Krueger take the view that since they don’t personally like gaming, the state should prevent New Yorkers who do like gaming from having the choice to spend their own money in New York casinos,” the statement said.
“Long is now a big fan of what he has called ‘nanny state proposals that interfere in how we choose to live our lives.’ So vote with Long and Krueger if you want a nanny state that tells you to get out of New York, and take jobs and revenue with you, if you want to go to a casino. No wonder neither has created a single job except their own.”
Updated: Krueger’s office responded by knocking the casino group.
“Sen. Krueger respects and agrees with many of Gov. Cuomo’s initiatives aimed at spurring economic growth and agrees that we need to do everything we can to improve the upstate economy—she just thinks this particular one, in this particular form, comes with too many pitfalls,” Krueger spokesman Andrew Goldston said in a statement.
“Just to set the record straight: while reasonable people can disagree on this one, Sen. Krueger’s position on this is hardly extreme. She thinks this proposal, in its current form, is impractical and flawed—that its chances of creating the hoped-for jobs and revenue are overstated, that upstate communities’ right to home rule aren’t protected, and that gaming industry players seeking to run these casinos in New York could spawn a new wave of corruption unless a strong pay-to-play donation ban is in place.”