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Between the Lines: Our NIMBY Governor

Democrats will pay for casino hypocrisy.

Comments (3)
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Together we can!

That’s what Deval Patrick told us in his magical first campaign to become governor of Massachusetts.

Now, a lame duck with a year left in office, the governor is a bit more qualified in his rallying cry. Today it’s more like, “Together we can... just not in my backyard.”

Appearing last week on an “Ask the Governor” segment on WGBH radio in Boston, Patrick fielded a question from a listener from Palmer who asked if the governor would support putting a casino in Richmond, the Berkshire hamlet where Deval and his family own a lavish home. Patrick’s answer showed that, even in his waning days, he remains smug, tone deaf and utterly incapable of making the case for casinos.

“I can’t speak for my neighbors in Richmond [but] I would vote against it, personally. And the [expanded gaming] law that was enacted by the Legislature—in a democratic process—provides that local residents get a say in whether they want a facility in their community,” he said. The italics are mine, but the smugness is Patrick’s.

In the wake of voters in Palmer and Revere rejecting casino proposals on Nov. 5, joining voters in West Springfield who rejected a proposal earlier this year, the governor and leaders in the Legislature who helped usher in the 2011 expanded gaming law now find themselves at apparent odds with a waking giant. As each day brings another reason to be wary of Patrick’s casino gambit—whether overall, because it’s crappy economic development policy, or in specific cases, as the gaming commission raises questions about the propriety of some of the bidding companies—the electorate seems to be stirring against casinos.

Leave it to a pol like Patrick to show, now, some ambivalence toward casinos (at least the idea of one in his neighborhood), as if he’s been with the voters all along. Such ambivalence should have guided the governor away from his intellectually indefensible casino strategy in the first place. Now he spins the rejection of casinos on Election Day as proof that his beloved “democratic process” is working as it should.

“In terms of whether everybody should get to vote on the question [of casinos], like I said, we have a democratic process in which the Legislature is supposed to take up those kinds of issues on the behalf of the rest of us, and there were robust debates over a couple of years’ time,” Patrick went on to tell the listener from Palmer. “I think I’m right that there’s a referendum...”

Awash in money from casino lobbyists, Patrick and allied Democrats brought gaming back from the dead, after it had been wisely rejected for years by voters and lawmakers. I hope they pay now for their mistake.

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Patrick is indeed "smug" and "tone deaf" and , furthermore, he has a strange set of priorities. He recently visited Monson to view a repaired church steeple. Meanwhile, we're still waiting for full broadband access here in Huntington as well as in other Hilltowns. Patrick and our state and local politicians have been promising full broadband coverage for years, much money has been passed around to various groups, yet there's still no universal broadband. New church steeple; no full broadband coverage. What's more important to Gov. Patrick and the economic development of Western Massachusetts? Talk about "crappy economic development policy"!

Posted by Roger Kiraly on 11.20.13 at 17:53

Voters in Plainville sent a letter to the governor weeks ago, outlining the ways in which we had been disenfranchised in the vote on the casino referendum on September 10th. He never answered. Another missive was sent a couple of weeks ago after the gambling commission agreed to finish its vetting and suitability decision-making for Foxwoods in Milford, but had denied that very process to the people of Plainville for Penn National, the developer that had become the applicant for the slots license less than a week before our referendum. We turned to the governor as a last resort. We had hoped that he might intervene and help us, but instead we discovered that he doesn't have enough respect for the voters even to acknowledge our letters.

Here's a newsflash for the governor: the process ISN'T working. Should the MGC award the slots license to Penn National, the voters of Plainville will be forced to go to the courts to get a ruling on the denial of equal protection. But the governor couldn't care less. There will never be a casino in his town, though he's perfectly happy to dump his and Speaker DeLeo's garbage in my front yard.

Looks like more than one politician was bought and paid for by the casino lobby on the way to expanded predatory gambling in Massachusetts. Our only recourse now is to pass a ballot question that will repeal the casino deal and kill the legislation.

Posted by Mary-Ann Greanier on 11.23.13 at 20:13

The people of Plainville have spoken with an emphatic YES of 76 % in the referendum Mary-Ann Greanier. They have also voted to REJECT the blatant propaganda spread by your group (noplainvilleracino) and the rest of the anti-casino movement in this state. They also voted an emphatic YES to saving the jobs of the horseman, the horse farms, and the Plainridge workers, along with bringing more jobs and revenues to the town of Plainville.

That you attempt to slander Penn Natiional Gaming who happens to be one of the most respected gaming companies in the country at the present time is a testament to how low your group will go to override the will of the vast majority in Plainville. When other towns have voted no, the pro casino groups and the casino advocates moved on and accepted the defeat and the will of the majority in those towns. They did not whine and threaten lawsuits like the irrational zealots that inhabit the anti-casino movement. You lost the vote by an overwhelming margin and it is time for you and your group to accept that and move on.

That you continue to press your agenda and attempt to override the will of the voters says it all about your outlook. Do you realize that you are playing with people's lives and jobs in your zealotry to continue your crusade against not only Plainridge and Penn National Gaming. You and your group should be ashamed of yourselves as you have no values whatsoever that you preach, when it comes to putting people out of work.

There is not a better location in the state than Plainridge and not a better gaming company than Penn National Gaming with a proven track record of working with host communities to locate a gaming venue such as Plainridge Racino. The governer and the Gaming Commission are sick of your act and have responded accordingly with no response at all.

Posted by OrwellsGhost on 11.28.13 at 16:13
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