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Back to Video Lottery Terminal Initiative of 2004 main page

Dorothy Brizill
to Board of Elections and Ethics about
violations of petition circulation laws and regulations by the
proponents of Initiative 68

July 2, 2004




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1327 Girard Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009-4915
202-234-6982, fax 202-234-6982

July 2, 2004

Ms. Wilma Lewis
Chairman of the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics
Crowell & Moring
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

Ms. Alice Miller
Executive Director
District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics
441 4th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Mr. Kenneth McGhie
General Counsel
District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics
441 4th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

BY FAX: Ms. Lewis, 202-628-5116
Ms. Miller, 202-347-2648
Mr. McGhie, 202-628-5952

Dear Ms. Lewis, Ms. Miller, and Mr. McGhie:

I am writing to alert you to several violations of the District of Columbia law regarding petition circulation by proponents of Initiative 68, "The Video Lottery Terminal Initiative of 2004." I am asking the Board to investigate these matters itself; to take appropriate actions to ensure that such violations cease immediately; to gather information that could lead to the charging and prosecution of those who are violating the law and who are instructing the circulators to violate the law; and to accumulate the information necessary to disqualify those petitions gathered through making false statements and providing misleading, incorrect, and deliberately wrong information to petition signers.

Through my own observations, through information gathered by individuals who attended the proponents’ training sessions for petition gatherers, through observations by those who witnessed the signature-gathering process by proponents on July 1, 2004; and through information published in The Washington Post today and The Washington City Paper yesterday, we know the following things:

  1. The trainer, Ross Williams, an employee of Progressive Campaigns Incorporated, has instructed petition circulators not to ask signers whether they are registered voters, "because that just turns people off."
  2. The petition circulators are wearing yellow T-shirts with the deliberately misleading and false slogan: "Sign Up! For Jobs, Schools, and Health Care."
  3. The petition circulators have signs and posters with that slogan and similarly misleading and false statements.
  4. The petition circulators are yelling that slogan and telling signers that the petition is for "jobs, schools, and health care," and avoiding telling signers that the petition is to award an exclusive license for a gambling casino with 3,500 "video lottery terminals," or slot machines.
  5. The petition circulators are distributing a flyer that includes the statement that Initiative 68 will "help create": "a charitable trust with an equity interest to fund a literacy program for DC public school children." This statement is not truthful. A copy of that flyer is included.
  6. Each team of petition circulators who are nonresidents of the District of Columbia and who are from out of town, does seem to include one resident of the District of Columbia who then signs as the circulator. However, these resident circulators are not witnessing each signature personally. They are simply signing the petitions that are actually being gathered by the other, out-of-town members of their team.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. If you have any questions or wish to discuss anything, please call me at 202-234-6982 or E-mail me at dorothy@dcwatch.com.

Dorothy Brizill

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