On Springfield

"Residents Clamoring for MGM" ... Says MGM

The people of Hungry Hill are just dying for MGM to build a casino in the South End.

How do we know? Well, the flack for the casino company tells us so.

Really, am I the only one to feel a wee bit skeptical of some of the details in this morning’s Republican article about a meeting MGM representatives attended last night of the Maple High Six Corners Neighborhood Council? Like, say, the tidbit reporting that Hungry Hill residents heavily favor the MGM plan—an observation attributed to that highly unbiased source, MGM “community relations spokesman” Dennis Murphy? (Yes, that Dennis Murphy, the former Springfield state rep. turned political consultant.)

“Murphy … said Springfield residents in other city neighborhoods have also supported MGM’s plan by a show of hands,” the article reports. “‘In Hungry Hill, the numbers were huge in our favor,’” he said.

People in Maple High Six Corners also prefer MGM’s plan over those offered by rival casino companies—at least according to the Republican’s headline: “Maple High Six Corners residents say they favor MGM Resorts casino in Springfield's South End.” In that case, at least, the assertion is backed up by, presumably, the first-hand observation of reporter Suzanne McLaughlin, who wrote, “Residents at a meeting of the Maple High Six Corners Neighborhood Council said they favor by a show of hands an MGM Resorts casino plan for the tornado ravaged South End”—although the quotes she included from neighborhood residents are not testimonials for the company, but rather focus on their expectations for MGM to work on neighborhood concerns, like public safety and upkeep.

Of course, “show of hands” votes are ultimately meaningless; in the end, Springfield residents will have their say on casino plans at the ballot box (although it’s yet to be decided if all city residents will get a vote, or just those in the affected ward). Meanwhile, let’s keep an eye on the Republican’s coverage of another of the casino proposals: the one proposed by Penn National, which involves Springfield’s Picknelly family, and just so happens to include a plan to buy the Republican’s building.

© 2014 The Valley Advocate