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Turn to - Fogarty Appears With SOS To Oppose Casino

Location: Providence, RI

Turn to - Fogarty Appears With SOS To Oppose Casino

Candidate's Position At Odds With Labor Supporters

PROVIDENCE -- The Save our State coalition against the proposed West Warwick casino has a new supporter in Charlie Fogarty, the Democratic candidate for governor.

NBC 10's Bill Rappleye reported that Fogarty clearly stated his position against the casino Thursday during a news conference, his first on the subject. But some say Fogarty has come to the party a little late.

Fogarty, a Democrat, appeared with former Republican Gov. Lincoln Almond, who heads Save our State.

"I urge all Rhode Islanders to join with me in voting 'no.' It's the right vote on Nov. 7 on this question," Fogarty said.

The Chamber of Commerce said it also opposes the casino, so it was happy to host the news conference. But Gov. Don Carcieri's campaign said it was a political stunt.

"From a policy perspective, the guy's been completely silent on it. He has no record, like the governor's record, of fighting corruption and the back-room deals at the State House, of which this is one. This casino proposal is nothing more than another insider gambit to take money out of the taxpayers' pocket," Carcieri campaign spokesman Ken McKay said.

The Narragansett Indian tribe and building trade union leaders condemned Fogarty's position.

"Today, we're disappointed to learn that Lt. Gov. Charles Fogarty is joining forces with the SOS folks, his political opponent for governor," Narragansett First Councilman Randy Noka said.

Fogarty said he's told the tribe before he would not back a casino. He admitted he's accepted campaign contributions from lobbyists for casino interests, but he said that won't change his position.

"I have the support of organized labor. I am proud of that. But this is an area that they strongly disagree with me, but that's the position I have. I am comfortable with it. I believe it's the right position, and whether I'm governor or lieutenant governor, that's the position I take. It's not going to be influenced by who may or may not vote for me. It's not going to be influenced by who may or may not contribute to me," Fogarty said.

Fogarty said he's not returning money from Harrah's lobbyists.

He said he's always been against a casino, but in favor of the people's right to vote on one.

The chamber said it would host any other news conference for an official to oppose Question 1.

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