Business & Real Estate

Robocalls and flier from anonymous group target Elk Grove casino plan

Protect Elk Grove

The Elk Grove City Council chambers overflowed Wednesday night with residents eager to weigh in on the proposed Wilton Rancheria casino project.

About 20 people spoke against the casino project and six expressed support, including two former law enforcement officers, though the project wasn’t on the council’s agenda.

Some came out in response to a flier mailed to Elk Grove residents this week urging those upset about the Wilton Rancheria casino project to attend the meeting. The flier came from an anonymous group calling itself “Protect Elk Grove,” and several speakers mentioned getting robotic phone calls in addition to the flier.

Paula Maita said she'd lived in the community for 58 years and was concerned about her neighbors being influenced by an anonymous source.

“Who is paying for the robocalls and the fliers?" she asked. “Who is trying to defeat this is worth knowing.”

Several speakers later, Nanette Rogers said she doesn't think a casino will be the best thing for the Native American community and rebutted Maita's statement about the robocalls.

“We are not robots, and we are not here because someone told us to be here,” she said.

The flier criticized Mayor Gary Davis for demonstrating support for the tribe, if not for the proposed casino. At a town-hall style community meeting last week, the mayor said he hadn’t taken a position on the project.

Neither the flier nor Protect Elk Grove’s website named the individual or individuals responsible for it or the robotic calls, and no one identified themselves as being with the group during the meeting.

Davis said he was curious to know who was behind the anti-casino campaign because, he said, anonymous money usually means there is something to hide.

A request for comment to a phone number on the group’s website was not returned.

Ellen Garrison: 916-321-1920, @EllenGarrison

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