Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dennis the Menace

Good rule of thumb - never invite a Vampire over for dinner.

So why is it that Middleboro, once again, appears to be hooking up with Dennis Whittlesey, the Indian gaming attorney and all around vampire who 'helped' the town secure an Intergovernmental agreement with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.

And why will the townspeople of Middleboro, many of whom oppose a casino, including by non-binding referendum, once again be asked to foot the bill for the advice of an obviously non-impartial, pro-casino lawyer who apparently never met an Indian tribe he didn't like.

The real problem with a local government hiring Whittlesey is that, despite the turning tide against off-reservation gaming, he continues to spout the myth of inevitability. At the very foundation of his counsel is a rock solid belief that a casino is a "done deal". It does not allow for the possibility that a casino might not materialize.

But heck, it is his bread and butter after all. He and all other Indian gaming attorneys are watching Carcieiri v. Kemthorne like passengers looking for the last life boat on the Titanic.

The fact is, the town got into a bad agreement last year which was recklessly rushed through (most notably by selectman Adam Bond) before all the facts were in, and based on the naive assumption that a casino was written in stone.

I never saw the town bring anyone in except the Tribe, it's lawyers (some of whom may also be investors in AtMashpee LLC), assorted Indian gaming attorneys and Clyde Barrows. And it was pretty obvious to me, if not to Mr. Bond and the rest of the crew, that thanks to this collection of loaded dice, the town's perspective had no where to slant but toward a casino.

So, did Whittlesey give Bond so much as a head's up about the impending new revisions to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act? He would have known about them. And did he even hint at the possibility of the Carcieiri case going before the Supreme Court and it's potential ramifications? 'Cuz I kinda doubt it.

But rest assured, Dennis knew about that too.

The attack on tribal lands is nothing new, Whittlesey said, “It’s been out there for the last several years, the challenge has come up before.” But he said the ramifications of a favorable ruling could have far reaching consequences...

So why should we trust him now to fairly represent the town?

I mean this is a guy who, when speaking about the Carcieiri case, had to restrain himself from bad-mouthing some of the the folks who'd signed on to it.

"The anti-trust people — I could be ruder than that but I won't be — they've persevered and come at it and come at it."

Well naturally he'd feel that way about them. A favorable ruling could kill the goose that laid his golden nest egg. Dennis Whittlesey: A man in denial.

If the justices should find in favor of the suit, “which would astonish me and every other Indian lawyer, Congress would probably move very quickly, warp speed, to authorize the secretary,” Whittlesey said.

I'm sure that was just a Freudian slip.

But it's not like he wasn't a little bit on edge about his livelihood:

“This court has not been particularly friendly towards Indian issues,” he said. He said the ramifications of the suit would be “enormous”.

And I'm sure this is just a misprint from a Crain's Detroit Business article entitled Mass. tribe gets casino help from Detroit:

Entrepreneur Herb Strather and attorneys Laurence Deitch and Dennis Whittlesey are assisting the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe in its pursuit of the project.

Incidentally this same article also included my most favorite Dennis Quote to date:

“The Detroit involvement in this project is no accident,” Whittlesey said, “and don't be surprised if you see more of it around the country.”

So, should Middleboro really be turning to Dennis for sound advice in it's time of need? Should it really be seeking solid impartiality from an affiliated member of Casino Lawyer magazine, and a featured speaker at CasinoFest7 (Yes. That's right. CasinoFest. You cannot make this stuff up.)

Folks, if you plan on showing up at Monday's selectman's meeting, (and you should) you might want to suggest strongly demand that the Board pick another lawyer out of the phone book.

And seriously - don't forget the garlic.

19 comments:

Fiferstone said...

Credit must be given where it's due...the recommendation to go back to the poisoned well for more Kool-Aid mixer comes from none other than former Chairwoman of the BOS - Marsha Brunelle, Gavel Queen extraordinaire - how she must hate seeing herself shaking hands with a grinning Glenn Marshal over and over again in the paper, on the 'net, etc. It's gotta be like watching The Picture of Dorian Grey in reverse. Consider the source for this suggestion.

Gladys Kravitz said...

The Board REALLY needs to stop looking for INDIAN GAMING ATTORNEYS. The conflict of Interest is unbelievable.

I'd personally like to know how much Dennis told Adam (remember all those closed door negotiations??) about the new regs or C v. K. If Adam WAS aware, could this be the real reason behind his blind rush to sign?

Nocasino said...

The town could save about 200K by just dropping the agreement and have Dennis stay in Washington. This was a bad deal from day 1 and now we have an out. TAKE IT!

Now Mimi doesn't want a discussion GEEZ what is this the Bush Adminstration? The next thing all anti-casino people will be put in a fenced area behind the high School and subjected to extreme heat and they will be forced to listen to propoganda broadcasted over loudspeakers. All anti-casino signs will be collected by pro-casino forces and not returned.

Oh wait they already did that:)

Anonymous said...

Adam keeps saying 'I still believe this is a good deal.'
I keep wondering, "Yeah? Who told you that? Dennis?"

This is a Piss Poor Deal.
How 'bout we begin at square 1?

The Tribal leadership was named last year as writing checks for campaign contributions. Anyone who wrote a check participated in money laundering and fraud.

This whole thing smells of RICO!

Is that what the feds are after?

Anonymous said...

If me, a nobody in a small town of Middleboro, was told about the C. vs. K. Amicus Brief being worked on in RI, at the end of summer of 07, you gotta believe that a high priced, very popular "tribal" lawyer, that Middleboro hired???? to represent them??? had to have heard something about this!

Wait, maybe not, I was also told to keep this "very quiet" for one reason being - Dennis Whittlesey! he is on a "dont' trust" list. Many anti casino groups across this country know him, I mean, "KNOW HIM!! and, Yup, here is our BOS calling him back to give Middleboro some more good advice. Really, they think they will be telling him what's what? Haven't our BOS learned anything in the last two years!!! They are so far out of their league when it comes to tribal casinos and the application procedures! Proof of this is in what Gladys and the other bloggers in Middleboro have been writing about for the last two years. True to form, our BOS haven't learned a thing, (maybe they can't read).

Anonymous said...

Ooops! Dennis representing the Tribe? Dennis representing Herb Strather?

Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!

Ooops! We know she can't use a computer, but maybe hubby can repeat this matter to her.

How does anyone not question that?

Sorry! I forgot this was Middleboro where information stops at the borders!

Anonymous said...

Remember how Dennis, Adam and Marcia treatd valid questions, during the meetings leading up to the TMFH?? I do!!

Thanks BB
http://bellicose-bumpkin.blogspot.com/2007/09/how-to-treat-anti-casino-residents.html

Anonymous said...

For personal reasons, I can't use my name and appreciate that you accept anonymous comments. After the abuse that many of you have endured, I salute your public courage and appreciate that you have been there. Maybe I can't speak out but I'm not blind. And I vote. There is not a member of the board I cast a vote for and when Mickey Mouse runs against any of them, he has my vote. Not only my vote, but I'll even contribute to his campaign and put up a sign for him!
Next election, I'll vote for the most qualified candidate and right about now, its Mickey Mouse!

Anonymous said...

Gladys,
You have talked about those closed door session, but how much communication went on between Jack Healey and the Tribe before the Tribe gained recognition?
For the good of the town I hope the AG asks questions.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Dear Anon: 12:01,

I blogged about Healey not too long ago. In that post are some quotes dug up by Sean Murphy which imply "other town officials" knew something before the auction. To auction off the land so cheaply is fairly consistent with the other demonstrations of the board's high standards.

I read something interesting in the Gazette awhile back - I think it was a Jane Lopes editorial - and it mentioned how Jack would always come in at the last minute with some big amount of cash to save the day in a budget crunch. Maybe he was just doing more of the same - and the Board was content (as usual) to follow. Maybe Healey, like so many others, thought a casino would save the day for many years to come after he'd retired.

As far as he and Tribe canoodling prior to recognition - I have no way of knowing - but it certainly wouldn't surprise me. And I share your hope there are questions being asked.

MiddleboroReview: Jack Healey said...

In fairness, Jack Healey worked with many Selectmen who were lazy and allowed him to exceed his authority without question. Yes, Jack pulled the rabbits out of the hat, but a few of us were paying attention to how it was accomplished. (I like Jack and would note that he was the ONLY Middleboro Resident with any connection to town government who attended the Energy Roundtable in Plymouth. The G&E, BOS and all other town departments that are large energy consumers were NOT in attendance. But that doesn't mean that I agree with him on most other things and I reserve my right to do so.)
Regarding the auction of the casino property, not a single member of the BOS questioned the inclusion of the property and several of them were fully aware of its potential use. Wayne Perkins acknowledged such at a public meeting.
Not a single Selectmen even took the time to look up the parcels that were included in the auction list. The initial list included parcels that had been voted at town meeting to go to the Conservation Commission.
There are no heroes on that Board when they all sat blindly like Bobble Heads.
Because of the misuse of the Board's authority, a subsequent town meeting refused to grant the BOS the authority to sell a property. Can you blame them?
Much of what transpired is because voters were not paying attention, a conversation we have had in the past. If voters allow it to recur, expect to be blindsided yet again!
Tonight's BOS meeting is a prime example when the implication of the indictment and plea bargain of Glenn Marshall will be discussed. If you have an opinion, attend the meeting, ask questions and voice your opinion.

Gladys Kravitz said...

If a casino couldn't engage a majority of Middleboro's voters, what will MR? In Bridgewater we got double the number of voters you had at the TMFH for (the zillionth) 2 1/2 override.

My memory of the board's excuses about the land - at least after I came into all this - is consistent with yours - except I think Perkins or Healey (or both - I didn't know who either of them were at the time) denied knowing what the purpose of the sale was.

So, Jack 'worked' with selectmen... Hhhm... What good did it do except to create Middleboro: The revolving door for lackluster public officials.

Sorry I won't be there tonight to have Mimi 'Sqaush' my public voice, due to illness. But please, do give me an update. And please don't let them hire Dennis or any other 'gaming' or 'Indian' attorney. Even that board is smart enough to spell C-O-N-F-L-I-C-T O-F I-N-T-E-R-E-S-T.

Gladys

Nocasino said...

Gladys,

No problem the BOS waited for a week for a letter from Dennis the menace then did not take his advice. Since the tribe asked for time to re-organize the crime family (er, I mean council) they or course went along. We wouldn't want to find out what they are doing now, lets give them time to hide as much as possible.

The BOS will give them until Mid-march or whenever they think it is a good time to meet. Informally of course, we wouldn't want to offend them since they only bribed members of congress and stole from their own people. Everyone involved in this deal is tainted and should be fully investigated.

Seems to me that the BOS is a little too afraid to upset the tribe. Are they afraid of what they might say? Seems to me that they also are stalling in hope that the land into trust will happen before all the details are out.

Middleboro Review said...

OMG, Gladys!

I had a prior commitment due to storm cancellation, but watched the tape!

What a depressing lot!

It appeared to me that, other than Mr. Bond, not a single other Selectmen had read the indictment and plea bargain. Huh?

Shouldn't Middleboro voters have the right to expect their BOS to read the pertinent information that is widely available on the internet, never mind the nonsense about information packets?

And not a single other Selectmen recognized the ramifications of those documents. So, I'm not an attorney and it gives me pause.

A plea bargain?? It would seem that such a drastic reduction in sentence indicates the importance of the squealing pig.

And not a single one had refreshed their piss poor memories by revisiting the IGA.

I'll blog about it, but must commend Mr. Bellanger for making credible points, albeit falling on stone deaf ears.

Note to Middleboro residents -- watch the re-broadcast of the BOS meeting. This isn't only about the casino issue. This is about the caliber of leadership you accept to govern your town. The IGA is a business agreement. It isn't about making nicey nice to a tribe. It's about doing what's right and proper under the circumstances. Please read the indictment and plea bargain. This is about negotiating with an indicted felon and maybe more than one. This is about employing an attorney lacking impartiality.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Thanks NoCasino and MR! Wish I could have gone, but heard we were well represented.

BTW, any 'respect' the Board has for the Tribe and it's 'needs' evaporates at the memory of how they treated Mrs. Bingham last year. So yes, it's definitely more like - let's not offend the cash cow... Let's hope this unpleasantness all just goes quietly away wait for the next check to arrive...

MR, I don't think most of the Board even read the IGA last year. Done deal. Easy money. Just sit back and watch it roll in. Job well done.

Gak.

Jacquie said...

It's like being in a dysfunctional relationship. They keep going back for more and more despite getting slapped across the face.

Anonymous said...

Other than Mini Mae receiving an email from a friendly tribe member, there was no other comment about reading anything on the internet. Sorry, but this is the sorriest bunch of uninformed folks in this town. And these are your leaders? Adam was unaware of the article you posted about Dennis because someone presented it during the comment period. How pathetic. And Marsha? Another pathetic tale of her being the monkey in see no evil, speak no evil except she's the 'hear no evil monkey' who doesn't want to hear anything. True to form! Good job Marsha! Give that woman a gavel!

carverchick said...

When I first heard that the BoS was going to open up talks for renegotiation, my first thought was what?!...do they not understand what is happening here???. I cannot even believe that the Middleboro BoS would even entertain the idea of talking to a group that has shown time and time again that they cannot be trusted. Apparently even a Federal indictment and guilty plea isn't enough to convince them that maybe, just maybe this was a really bad idea. The fact that Sean Hendricks is still in charge should be enough to say...no freaking way! No negotions, no compact, NO CASINO!

As far as the Tribe itself goes, I would think it is going to take a heck of a lot longer than 3 months to weed out the crooked ones and get the Tribe on the path of healing. Let's face it, it appears that the ones who truly care about their heritage and thier Tribe's future have been shunned, or would be shunned if they spoke up.

I hope you, Gladys or Bellicose Bumpkin can and will post video from this meeting. I would have liked to go myself to hear what was said, but could not make it due to family commitments.

Merry Christmas, and a very happy casino free New Year to you and all your readers. Blog on!

Verifiable said...

Now Gladys ... please remember, Uncle Denny is a Southern Boy ... and they're all a little slow. He can't help it!

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