Here we go again. “State leaders agree on casino bill,” reads the headline. “For months, [Governor Patrick] and his aides have worked closely and behind closed doors with DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray to draft the latest proposal.” As if anything of importance is ever done any other way in this one-party state of ours.
“[L]egislative leaders defended their approach, saying they want to prevent another bitter public battle.” Of course they do! Why wouldn’t they? Especially the “public” part. What do we think this is, a democracy?
“‘We all want to see this done,’ DeLeo said in an interview in his office yesterday.” And by “we,” the Speaker means those good folk who have been “working closely and behind closed doors” with him lo these many long months since the last casino effort broke down in a morass of ego clashes and political Schwartz measuring. It was nice of the Speaker to come out briefly for an interview, peevish though it was.
Here’s a good laugh:
The bill attempts to combat the corruption that has historically cropped up around casinos by setting up a five-member commission to monitor the industry and a new State Police unit to enforce the law. The commission would ensure casino developers have “integrity, honesty, [and] good character” and could also ban gamblers with “notorious or unsavory reputations.”
Oh yes. The organized crime and corruption that “historically” (read: always) crops up around casinos won’t have a chance against our mighty… five member commission. And gamblers with “notorious or unsavory reputations” will doubtless steer clear of our casinos, or at least will be forced to abandon their beloved “Notorious and Unsavory” t-shirts and caps.
Much as I hate to admit it, I think this thing might be inevitable this year. Embarrassed each one by last year’s debacle, Patrick, DeLeo and Senate President Murray wouldn’t push a casino bill forward again without greased skids beneath. Still, if there is one truth in government and politics it is that there is no such thing as a sure thing. And every gambler knows that every once in a while the house loses (though in the gambling context the house only loses to keep the saps coming in the door).
Since I started blogging in December ’08, I’ve written as much about Massachusetts casino proposals as any other topic. Rather than re-create all of it from whole cloth this time, it occurred to me to go through my earlier screeds and re-publish only the contra arguments that still apply today with equal force as when they were first typed. Which, it turns out, is most of ’em. Hereafter, then, a condensed digest.
Why, Despite Everything You’ve Heard, Massachusetts Casinos Are A Bad Idea:… READ THE REASONS at CriticalMASS