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California casinos join forces

7 November 2007

SACRAMENTO, California -- As reported by the Los Angeles Times: "Watching anxiously as the state deals lucrative contracts to Indian gaming groups, a coalition of seven Los Angeles County casinos has anted up to increase its influence with legislative leaders, donating $1.3 million to lawmakers' pet causes in the last 18 months.

"The contributions were made to committees with ties to state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) and others. Legislative leaders have passed a batch of bills this year that relax rules on the casinos.

"At least one of the contributions by the Los Angeles Casinos Political Action Committee has raised eyebrows.

"The casinos gave $250,000 to a Perata-supported political group that is paying petition circulators to gather signatures for a recall of state Sen. Jeff Denham (R-Merced), who has clashed with the Democratic leader over the budget and other issues.

"...Los Angeles County casino operators said their donation to the Voter Fund had more to do with Perata than Denham. In addition to that contribution, the card clubs gave $250,000 to a separate political fund supporting a measure on the February ballot..."

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