July 27th, 2010 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics

Bad News For Backers of Casino Proposal (UPDATED with comment from casino backer)


The Secretary of State's office announced this morning that only one of the two initiatives that would clear the way for a casino at the old dog track in east Multnomah County has gathered enough signatures to make Oregon's Nov. 2 ballot.

In this case, one out of two isn't good enough to get the casino into the Wood Village site because both initiatives require voter approval for the gambling hall to go forward.

Secretary of State Kate Brown said the proposed constitutional amendment to allow the private casino failed to get enough valid signatures while a companion statutory proposal for the casino got enough valid signatures.

The news is good for Oregon's tribal casinos, which had worried about competition from a casino so close to the metropolitan Portland area.

Curiously, the initiative that did get enough signatures will still go to the ballot, according to Brown spokesman Don Hamilton. We've got calls in to backers of the Wood Village casino proposal and will update this with their comment.

UPDATE: Matt Rossman, one of the project's two local developers, says he and his business partner Bruce Studer intend to challenge the Secretary of State's signature-validation method in court.

"We strongly believe it needs to be challenged," Rossman said. "And we will challenge it in the courts."

The proposed constitutional amendment needed 110,358 valid signatures to make the ballot and state elections officials ruled it only got 104,629 valid signatures (a 60.8 percent validity rate of the 172,136 signatures turned in).

The other initiative that did qualify needed only 82,769 valid signatures because it proposes a statutory change—and state elections officials said 82,865 valid signatures were turned in (a 62.6 percent validity rate for the 132,389 signatures turned in for that measure).
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