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Casino Opponents Launch Signature Drive For Ballot Initiative

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Casino opponents in Massachusetts have announced plans for a signature drive this month to try to put a question on the November 2014 ballot to repeal the state’s gaming law.

   As part of the statewide campaign the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts is calling on parishioners to circulate petitions inside churches or out in the parking lots on the last two Sundays of the month.  Episcopal Bishop Douglas Fisher has denounced casinos as an attack on the poor and said he believes anti-casino momentum is building.           

   The coalition of casino opponents must collect signatures from just under 70,000 registered voters by November 20th.    The group has gone to court to challenge the decision by Attorney General Martha Coakley that a voter referendum to repeal the law authorizing casinos is unconstitutional.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.