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Anti-Casino Art Attack

A supporter of Casino Free Philadelphia is currently running a big ol’ anti-casino art contest; they’re looking for t-shirts, posters and videos. The deadline has been extended to March 10, so get cracking if you want your shirt to possibly join this other classy/hilarious one.

It’s going to be tough to win the poster contest, though, because this entry posted on the site is incredibly awesome:

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“Casino”-like Slots Barn is excellent, as is the impressive amount of detail in this poster. As usual, I am jealous of someone who can draw. Just think of all the bad jokes I could make if I could draw!

I can’t tell, though, if it’s saying the casino would ruin Market East (the Funk-O-Mart will never be the same with a casino nearby!) or that The Gallery ruined Market East (could make a convincing case for it, especially if Chinatown is part of Market East). But, hey, what’s with the bullet holes? The only thing shot at The Gallery is good taste.

I also particularly liked “hookers’ entrance.” Is that really any more blatant than the current signage on the brothels in that area?

Update: The artist, FYI, is Dennis Carlisle.

New Casino Shirt Predictably Serious

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Hey, there’s a brand new casino shirt (thanks for the heads up, JJ), and it’s all crazy serious, as one might expect. I don’t know, though; this shirt is okay, but it totally pales in comparison to that other shirt: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Three Sevens on the Center Line.”

Pro-Casino People Join Heckling Fun

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It was way back in Sept. 2006 when Foxwoods protesters attempted to overturn a car that was labeled “abandoned” even though it had an anti-casino sign inside of it (at right). Since then, the anti-casino people have been telling us how the casinos will enter our city and deflower our children. Conversely, there have been a few pro-casino rallies, but where is the yelling when somebody you don’t agree with is talking? Where are the people paying with pennies? Where is the annoying?

Oh, here we go: A Nutter aid was heckled by pro-casino people in Fishtown! A man named “Moon” Mullen attempted to calm the crowd down, but the heckling continued. If Moon Mullen can’t get people to pay attention, who can?

But while fans of a certain presidential candidate (it rhymes with “Pron Haul”) have a near-monopoly on angry comments on the Internet, it appears the casino foes are content to fight in real life. For example, the best this post calling casino opponents racist can do is four comments, one a joke from me, one from the writer himself. Come on, people! If I can’t get to throw away my money yet, I at least want to get to see hilarious arguments on the Internet. (Update: God, it took so long to get this to update with the correct version — see comments — and that’s all I had written? And I missed the double the. Yeesh.)

Oh, and if you’re wondering, National Review (founded by William F. Buckley), has come out against the casinos.

Ha Ha Somebody Said ‘Bullshit’ At A Planning Meeting

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Yesterday, the City Planning Commission approved the development plan for Sugarhouse Casino. Naturally, everybody got angry and yelled at each other.

SugarHouse and city Law Department officials were often greeted with hoots of derision from anti-casino activists, especially when they praised their efforts to work together.

Commission member Pat Eiding lashed out at the audience while complaining about legislation that DiCicco has introduced in Council to slow the process of casino construction.

“Excuse me. I’m talking,” Eiding said when someone in the audience heckled him. “I listened to all your bullshit out there.”

It’s not like the casino is going to host dice games. You don’t have to boo him. It’s not something important like a sporting event.

Planners OK SugarHouse [Daily News]

Casino: Huge Anti-Casino Vote A Victory For Us

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Casino Free Philadelphia released the vote totals of its “citizens ballot” yesterday live on its webcam. In a shocker, most of the people who voted decided the casinos should be kept 1500 feet from residences and churches and whatever.

Exactly 13,319 votes were cast in the election, and 12,592 voted yes on the measure. That’s just a shade under 95 percent of the votes for the yes side. Not surprising, since there were only a small number of people (727) stupid enough to register and then vote no.

Despite the 95 percent vote in favor of the measure, a Foxwoods spokesperson said it was a resounding victory for the casinos:

“We’ve always said that only a vocal minority oppose these casinos,” [Foxwoods spokeswoman Maureen] Garrity said. “This vote dispels the myth that Philadelphians are opposed to casinos.”

If a 95 percent vote against casinos doesn’t prove Philadelphians want casinos, then I don’t know what does.

Anti-casino group claims ‘landslide’ [Daily News]
Yesterday: More Hot Hot Webcam Action This Afternoon

More Hot Hot Webcam Action This Afternoon

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Philly’s Ballot Box/Casino Free Philadelphia/Whatever is holding a press conference this afternoon to announce the results of the citizens ballot taken on May 15. (”First citizens’ ballot in the United States since 1963,” says the release.) Looking at it from a common-sense perspective, the results will almost certainly be “Yes” to the “Should casinos be kept 1500 feet from schools and churches” question, as, uh, who would vote in a non-binding election that takes extra time to fill out forms and gives your personal information to strangers unless they were against casinos? Oh, but apparently Frank DiCicco is going to get a city ordinance passed which will mirror the results of the ballot box, so democracy and whatnot.

The anti-casino people are really operating an excellent media campaign, as they’ve even webcasted the ballot counting and will show today’s press conference live on air as well. Plus, they allowed people to vote in, like, Love Park and Dilworth Plaza. (Some people still managed to vote on the question even though it was removed from the ballot.)

The press conference starts at 3 today, although the above graphic says there’s apparently going to be a half-hour pre-show on the Philly’s Ballot Box, hosted by Joan Rivers.

Live webcam [Philly's Ballot Box]
May 16: Anti-Casino People Provide Compelling Internet TV

Anti-Casino People Provide Compelling Internet TV

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Ballot counting is a really popular spectator sport, I hear.

Live [Philly's Ballot Box]

Casino Foes Strike Back With Allegedly Funny Video

The above was commissioned by Casino Free Philadelphia, the group protesting casinos that — since the question was bumped off the ballot — will be holding its own vote on May 15 asking Philadelphians if they want casinos in the city. (Gee, I wonder who’s going to win the vote.)

The video arrived with a press release from CFP, titled: “CASINO-FREE PHILA USES HUMOR TO HIT BACK AT SUGARHOUSE.” This, of course, prepared me that no humor would be involved in hitting back at SugarHouse. Ha ha! He has a combover! And he’s gambling in a church! I get it!

None of this stopped the release from touting its huge gains among the bloggerati:

Numerous bloggers have supported the casino referendum, including Chris Bowers of myDD.com, Philebrity, and YPP bloggers. Bloggers and online journalists like PhillyIsFunny have used heavy (and sometimes crude) satire to talk about casinos, which such titles as “Council Approves Slots Referendum, Rendell Pees Self” or Philebrity’s “When Cockblocking Goes Wrong: Street Gets His Veto Veto’ed!”

The casinos, confused by this press release, apparently decided they needed to respond with an even lamer idea of their own, i.e. a pro-casino rally yesterday. Yes, a bunch of union workers and guys in suits put aside their differences and banded together to rally for casinos to be built in Philadelphia in what one observer (me) called “the saddest protest ever.”

Coming soon, “older Pennsylvanians” will be protesting for a new lottery instant game featuring Gus the Groundhog, as this will allow them to reap even more benefits from the numbers.

Full Casino Free Philadelphia release after the jump.

More »

Casino Sends Aliens To Harvest Organs Of Anti-Casino Folks

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In their quest to invalidate the petitions attempting to get a question on the May 15 primary ballot banning casinos from the city, lawyers for SugarHouse casino are doing the only thing they can to make the community one day perhaps love their gambling mecca in close proximity to Johnny Brenda’s.

The Daily News writes a lawyer from SugarHouse and a private investigator knocked on the door of petition signer Cindy Farlino and showed her the petition she signed, asking if it was indeed her signature. After replying in the affirmative, they then asked to talk to her lawyer.

“I looked at it and said, ‘Yes, that’s my signature,’ ” Farlino told the Daily News. “Then they said, ‘Do you have a lawyer, because we’ll talk to him.’ That took me aback, made me feel like I did something wrong.”

The woman said she wasn’t answering any more questions after the two men showed her their IDs, and the two people hung out flipping through petitions in front of her house before driving away. (And, apparently they popped the hatchback so the woman couldn’t get a shot of the license plate. Hopefully the car’s spare tire fell out or something.)

Meanwhile, Casino Free Philadelphia filed an appeal against both Foxwoods and SugarHouse, citing “government-sanctioned creation of public nuisances and vice factories.” You might think those words are a bit strong, but look at the photo the Daily News ran on the cover: The casinos are sending green mutant men to intimidate the petition signers. It’s only fair.

Private eye grills petition signer; Judge to hear casino challenge today [Daily News]

Casino Activists, Casinos To Fight Under Queensbury Rules

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Lawyers from Philadelphia casino bid winner SugarHouse have filed suit against the petitions essentially banning casinos from the city, citing “widespread and pervasive fraud” in the petitions.

Pennsport and Fishtown residents worked together earlier this year to get 27,000-plus signatures on a petition for a ballot question to be voted on while citizens choose their next mayor on May 15. Although they only needed 20,000 signatures to get the question before City Council — who must pass it by majority vote to put it on the ballot — lawyers for SugarHouse (who chatted with Foxwoods lawyers, too) say only 25 percent of them can be validated, leaving them far short of the 20k total.

While in the Inquirer yesterday noted bisexual/Philly for Change founder Anne Dicker said, “I don’t think a grassroots group should have to face this onslaught by corporations,” Casino-Free Philadelphia organizer Daniel Hunter has taken on a more chipper tone: “Some people have said this [referendum] won’t stand up in court or that the state will merely come in and take over. The ferocity with which they’re attacking us is a sign that this is a real threat to them.”

Okay, so, as expected, the signatures will be battled in court, probably one-by-one and blah blah blah. So where does this take its usual ridiculous Philly twist? Oh, right here: One of SugarHouse’s lawyers is also an investor in the casino. And he’s, of course, Vince Fumo lawyer and Queensbury rules boxer Richard Sprague.

Casino alleges foes’ petitions are fraudulent [Inquirer]
Casino foes smell fear [Metro]
Feb. 9: Richard Sprague To Defend Fumo, Gentleman Jim Corbett