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AGA President a Savvy Insider

3 September 2003

WASHINGTON – As reported by the Sun Herald: ``The money to finance then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care reform plan had to come from somewhere. The Clinton administration thought it had the solution: a 4 percent tax on gambling revenues.

``The casino industry, profoundly shaken, decided it needed a politically connected Washington lobbyist, and in 1994, it turned to Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., a high-powered Washington lawyer and former Republican Party national chairman.

``Gambling interests managed to beat back the proposal without Fahrenkopf's help, but the thought of adding a federal tax on top of state and local taxes on casinos so unsettled the industry that it decided a lobbying organization was the answer to any future threats.

```That's when they decided we better quit screwing around here and form a trade organization,' said Fahrenkopf, who has served as president of the American Gaming Association, the lobby arm of the casino industry, since forming it in 1995.

``Today, the AGA has an annual budget of $4.9 million.

``Fahrenkopf, 64, is a savvy political insider who grew up around gambling in Reno, Nev., and represented casinos as a lawyer.

```He was the best hired gun that money could buy,' said the Rev. Tom Grey, founder and executive director of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling. 'There is no doubt that he plays a very skilled Washington game.'…"

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