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Orange County Focus

Cypress : Card Club Backers Outspend Opponents

May 05, 1993|LYNDA NATALI

Los Alamitos Race Course owner Lloyd Arnold and his partners have outspent their opponents $189,000 to $1,550 in their campaign for Measure A, an initiative that asks city voters whether they will allow a card club at the race track, according to campaign finance statements.

Arnold and partners Chris Bardis and Edward Allred, who propose building a $30-million, 24-hour card parlor called the Derby Club at the race track, are the sole contributors to the Yes on Measure A campaign.

Cypress Citizens Against Card Clubs, a grass-roots group fighting to keep the Derby Club out of the city, has relied on residents' contributions and free legal help to fuel its campaign.

On June 8, Cypress residents will go to the polls to decide whether to allow the Derby Club at the race course. If Measure A passes, the card club could become Orange County's first. A similar measure is on the June ballot in Stanton.

Campaign finance statements, filed with the Cypress city clerk, provide a revealing look into the strategy both sides are using to sway voters.

"We are running a pretty low-profile campaign," said Arnold, adding that campaign spending has been "right on target."

"It is going to be tough because the opponents are church people that don't want gambling," he said.

Since February, the backers of the Derby Club have regularly outspent their opponents. Arnold and his partners have paid out thousands of dollars for everything from political advice from consultant Harvey Englander to photo copies.

Some residents have earned money by walking precincts for the Yes on Measure A campaign.

On the opposing side, Cypress Citizens Against Card Clubs has received more than $23,000 in contributions, including $4,977 in cash and about $17,000 in free legal help, according to the group's finance statements. The group so far has spent $1,588.

Opponents of Measure A said they were happy with what they have accomplished and were expecting more contributions to be made to their effort.

"We are starting to see more money come in," said Councilwoman Cecilia Age, who has taken over as chairwoman of the citizens' group. "I think for the money we have spent, we have been very effective."

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