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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Sleazy Pols Push Casinos

Thanks for the article on Steve Abdow and casinos (“Casino Thrills and Chills,” June 26, 2014). I hope voters in Massachusetts will see through the millions of dollars of glossy ads bought by the casino industry and send it packing. Massachusetts is turning to the gambling addiction industry to raise revenues. How sick is that? And the stupid thing is, it doesn’t work. No state with casinos is doing as well as Massachusetts is doing without them. New Jersey is bailing out its casinos! They’re going broke!

I hope voters have had enough of being ripped off by big corporate special interests who are salivating over the Massachusetts gambling market, hovering like vultures, ready to fire up their addictive slots. They don’t care if grandma tosses her food money down the slot hole or daddy loses the house to MGM. We hear so much about the evils of heroin, yet House Speaker Robert “Strong Arm” DeLeo, Senator Therese “Ka-ching” Murray and Governor Deval “Slots” Patrick couldn’t care less about what happens to the families of gambling addicts. They see we’ve got a nickel and they want that nickel.

 

Liberals to Blame for Casinos

The adverse effects of casinos on the most vulnerable members of our society have been too well documented by the Advocate to repeat here. But who inflicted this monstrosity on the people of Massachusetts? A legislature that is 90 percent Democratic, the party that claims to care for the weak and marginalized.

Make no mistake; the casino bill was never about economic development. It was about state revenue for the political class to distribute as its members see fit. Liberals and progressives have made a Faustian bargain by tacitly accepting the proposition that everything the state does is so good, so true and beautiful, that how the money for it is obtained doesn’t matter. Where were they when Stanley Rosenberg, the Senate Majority leader from Uber-Liberal and progressive Amherst, shepherded the casino bill through the Legislature?

The day after the Supreme Judicial Court decision [approving a referendum that, if passed, would repeal the law allowing casinos in the state], speaker DeLeo noted that some $52 million of projected casino revenues had already been spent in the 2015 budget. Dear me. We are sure to hear of “draconian cuts” if the casino bill is repealed. $52 million is all of .2 percent of the $24.3 billion in tax revenue estimated for that year.

I live in Holyoke. For what casinos will mean for the weak and poor, go down to the Super Stop and Shop on Lincoln Street. By the cash registers is an alcove where people scratch their lottery tickets. You won’t find ladies in minks or guys with Rolexes there. Go look them in the eye and tell them that the state needs their money more than they do.

Isaiah 3:15 (King James): “What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord God of hosts.” Who are “ye”? Just look in the mirror.

Pipeline Pushback: Divest

In regard to your piece on Ashfield’s Jim Cutler and his fight against gas pipeline developers (“Not on My Land,” June 26, 2014): It could be time for the Valley towns that currently run their own natural gas distribution infrastructure to think about divesting. What better pressure to put on the next natural gas company trying to lay new pipe than a reduction in the number of people already buying natural gas here? Sure, the natural gas is cheap in Greenfield, but if you don’t want a new pipeline in the hills, perhaps it’s time to stop using it in town.

 

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