PORTLAND (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber is planning to make commercials for the opponents of a privately owned casino east of Portland.
Kitzhaber has long opposed expanding gambling in Oregon. His spokesman, Tim Raphael, said Kitzhaber believes the proposed casino would break an agreement made with Indian tribes: One casino per tribe, with no competition.
“They kept their end of the bargain,” said Raphael. “It’s wrong to break our agreement.”
The ad was scheduled to be filmed Friday and would begin appearing on television next week, said Cynara Lilly, a spokeswoman for the committee opposing Measures 82 and 83.
The proponents say the tribes weren’t promised exclusive rights to casinos. They say the state constitution prohibits the Legislature from allowing casinos, but voters can do it.
Kitzhaber, a Democrat in his third term as governor, has relatively high popularity ratings, and his denouncing of the measures as anti-tribe could influence voters who might have considered them.
Investors, led by two Canadian companies, have based their argument on the jobs and government revenue that they say the project would create.
“It’s not surprising that the governor is opposed to gambling; that’s not news to us,” said Stacey Dycus, campaign manager for the casino proponents.