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Attorney General will not Rule on AFP Claims
By Sam Hartle, Kansan Staff Writer
Kansas Attorney General Stephen Six said Friday he would not issue an opinion on whether three endorsed casino proposals in Wyandotte County violate a law prohibiting the proposals from using public incentives.
Earlier this year, Americans for Prosperity-Kansas, a conservative lobbying group, called on Kansas Lottery Commission Director Ed Van Petten to dismiss three applications in Kansas City, Kan. – Legends Sun, Pinnacle Entertainment and Hard Rock-Kansas Speedway – because AFP claimed the casino proposals directly used public incentives to help fund their casino projects.
The claim was strong enough for Van Petten to ask Six about the legality of the three proposals in question, something Six declined to do on Friday.
“We decline to consider your request because Americans for Prosperity (has) advised this office that it may file an action enjoining the Kansas Lottery, the Kansas Lottery Commission, the Lottery Gaming Review Board and the Kansas Racing & Gaming Commission from considering the applications of the entities that are the subjects of the opinion request,” Six said in the statement. “Moreover, we do not issue opinions where it is necessary to determine questions of fact.”
Lottery spokesperson Sally Lunsford said Six’s decision not to rule won’t interfere with the lottery’s current process of negotiating contracts with endorsed developers.
“It’s an issue that the lottery cannot determine right now,” Lunsford said. She added that the lottery commission’s review of the proposals focuses on the developers ability to finance and operate their proposed developments.
The group isn’t asked to determine whether the proposals follow the all components of Senate Bill 66. The law, passed last year allows state-owned gaming in four zones in Kansas, including Wyandotte County.
“[Six’s statement] doesn’t change what we’re going to do,” Cobb said. “We feel the law was violated.”
Officials from all three proposals in question have repeatedly said they believe their proposals do not violate the law prohibiting public incentives.
Mike Taylor, a spokesperson with the Unified Government, which last December endorsed the three proposals, reiterated Friday the UG’s stance that none of the three proposals are in violation of state law.
July 02, 2013
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