Former governors speak out against local casino plans - KPTV - FOX 12

Former governors speak out against local casino plans

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Three former Oregon governors joined forces Monday to speak out against building a new casino in Multnomah County.

Former Govs. Vic Atiyeh, Barbara Roberts and Ted Kulongoski are urging Oregonians to vote no on measures 82 and 83.

The measures would allow private developers to build The Grange casino in Wood Village - making it the first tax-paying and non-tribal casino in Oregon.

The nine casinos currently open in the state are on tribal land, and Kulongoski doesn't want to break that agreement.

"Part of the deal with them was that they could have their casinos and the state wouldn't get into the casino business.  And this is a step in that direction," said Kulongoski.

Barbara Roberts says she doesn't want voters to be swayed by glossy ads for The Grange and notions of a Disneyland-type atmosphere.

She thinks it will attract big problems.

"You're going to see more drugs, more prostitution, more crime, more traffic, more everything," said Roberts.

But Rick Metsger with the Yes on 82 and 83 campaign has a different perspective.

He thinks more and more voters are drawn to the promise of new jobs and more revenue and he refutes Roberts' claim about increased crime.

"Any time you have a gathering of people, there are always going to be crimes of opportunity," said Metsger.  "But no one's going to close down the Rose Quarter because they get thousands of calls a year around the Rose Quarter.  They're not going to shut down Washington Square."

Recently, current Gov. John Kitzhaber also spoke out against the proposed casino.

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