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Anti-Casino Group Won't Disclose Backers

14 September 2005

COLORADO – As reported by the Pueblo Chieftain: "Leaders of the group fighting a proposed Indian casino say they are not the tools of existing casinos, but rather concerned Puebloans who want to protect their city.

"However, officials for Citizen Action for a Prosperous Pueblo won't say who has contributed money to the group.

"That makes it difficult to determine if any of the group's money has come from the existing casinos in the gaming towns of Black Hawk, Cripple Creek and Central City.

"A developer, Council Tree Communications, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma want to build a casino on a 5-acre site along the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo.

"City Council voted Monday to approve a nonbinding statement of support for the project. The developer will take that to Congress to try to win reservation status for the land. The tribes and city and county must still work out an agreement on the project.

"City Councilman Mike Occhiato said Tuesday he'd been told that the existing casinos will fight the proposal, partly by channeling money and help to opponents in Pueblo.

"…Members of Citizen Action turned out in force at Monday's City Council meeting, filling the meeting room beyond capacity and wearing matching T-shirts and sticker buttons.

"The group has been busy in the few weeks it has existed, deluging council members with phone calls and e-mails, circulating petitions and making plans to lobby Congress against the casino.

"…The group doesn't have to say who gave the money because the gambling issue is not a city or state ballot issue…"

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