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.
I'm sure that was just a Freudian slip.
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.
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
And seriously - don't forget the garlic.