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Arizona Lobbyist Brings Chaos to Gaming Issue

22 May 2002

ARIZONA – As reported by the Arizona Republic: "Look! Out there in the Senate lounge!

"…It's a lobbyist. It's a guy in blue jeans. No, it's Jeff Groscost.

"The former House speaker, drummed out of office 18 months ago in the exhaust stream of the alternative-fuels fiasco, is back plying the waters at the Legislature.

"The mere presence of the former speaker, renowned as a dealmaker extraordinaire, is enough to send ripples through the throngs of lobbyists, lawmakers and loyalists surrounding the heated Indian-gaming issue, which faces a crucial House vote today. Groscost, many claim, is out to jinx Gov. Jane Hull's Indian-gaming plan.

"…And he can't be on this anti-gambling mission out of pure altruism, critics say. There must be some money involved.

"…He readily admits he is out to do what he can to kill off any form of gambling, whether it be Indian casinos or racetrack wagering

"…The best scenario, he said, slipping easily into policy triangulation, is to load up the general-election ballot with competing measures on gambling. Voters would vote `no' on everything to end the confusion and, voila! Gambling would no longer be legal in Arizona.

"…The confuse-'em-all strategy is best embodied in House Concurrent Resolution 2005, which is written to deliberately conflict with the other gaming measures likely to go before voters this fall. Groscost was the creative force behind that bill, but he demurs when asked about his role…"

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