Do we want casinos in New York State?

I don’t. But that’s just my (moderately educated) opinion.

What this lawsuit was about, though, is the wording on the upcoming election day referendum asking all of us New Yorkers to vote on whether we approve of casinos throughout the State.

Judge Rejects Suit to Block Vote on Casinos

ALBANY — A judge dismissed a lawsuit on Wednesday that sought to stop a casino gambling referendum next month in New York State, saying the legal challenge over the measure’s wording was “untimely and lacking in legal merit.”

Seems that the people who wrote the referendum (which our governor approves of and/or even initiated) deliberately constructed the language in such a way that it suggests advocacy for the casinos. So instead of writing (I’m making this up but if you click above on the “a casino gambling referendum…” link you can read the actual language), “Do you approve of having casinos all over the State? Yes or No,” it says something like, “Given that casinos will be a great boon to State finances and tourism and Native American tribes and people who can’t afford them but are addicted to gambling, and all the many pricey lobbyists who have been paid a shitload of money to get this referendum on the ballot….”

Well, I lost track there, but it all ends with “Don’t you think we should have casinos? Yes or No.”

So a smart lawyer from Brooklyn sued the State over this language. He lost the case, as you see, because the judge decided he didn’t have legal standing to sue and because his lawsuit was filed inconveniently late, given that the election is in a couple of weeks and changing the language would put a huge strain on the already demonized election board.

Eric J. Snyder, a bankruptcy lawyer living in Brooklyn, had objected to the positive descriptive language in the measure’s ballot abstract, which describes the referendum as “promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools and permitting local governments to lower property taxes.” The language was approved by the State Board of Elections in late July after consultation with the administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who supports the measure.

In filing his suit, Mr. Snyder, who opposes casinos, said that the language had unfairly tilted the measure toward passage, something borne out by a recent Siena College poll showing that support for it increased by nine percentage points when the respondents were read the ballot abstract citing jobs, aid to schools and lower taxes that could result from opening the casinos.

I’m with the lawyer and since I do know how to read thoroughly and after years of watching TV commercials am entirely immune to the sort of brainwashing effected by corporations and their lobbyists, I’ll still be voting No. Loudly. In plain ole English.

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