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Cuomo, Legislature already winners

ALBANY — A new report shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo has collected more than $361,000 and the Legislature has raked in over $1 million from gambling interests leading up to the Nov. 5 referendum that would legalize more casinos in New York.

Common Cause New York compiled the campaign contribution totals from 2001 to July.

Soon after, the governor and legislative leaders changed the wording of the referendum to an unusually rosy tone, promising casinos will bring lower taxes, more school aid and more jobs. Good-government groups and newspaper editorials have criticized the unusual wording of the referendum that must be decided by New Yorkers split over the issue.

The law enacting the referendum had once prohibited campaign contributions from gambling interests, but that was dropped during closed-door negotiations.

The Common Cause report was released Monday.