Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Casino Gambling Once Again Rears It's Ugly Head

According to stories from today's Boston Globe and Boston Herald, the usual suspects are putting together a new casino bill.

Well, what do you expect? Fowoods has laid off 700 of it's staff while Mohegan Sun does it's darndest not to, while all over the country foreclosures are on the rise, jobs are being lost, credit is drying up and the American taxpayer is bailing out corporate greed and government mismanagement to the tune of several trillion dollars. But it's all good in Casinoland - where they can turn that frown upside down in 2 seconds flat by uttering that simple phrase, "It will be different here!"

Undeterred by the economy and last year's casino shellacking, it appears that some of Massachusetts' legislative visionaries (insert sarcasm emoticon here) are back for more.

Michael Morrisey, (D - Quincy) who demonstrated his utter cluelessness regarding the Mashpee Wampanoag casino issue at a recent debate in New Bedford, has stated that one reason he's drafting the bill now is because "we have to have something filed, at least to give us some bargaining power should the (Wampanoag project) ever get off the ground.”

But please don't be too alarmed, folks. Morrissey also once sponsored a bill to ban male circumcision which, right or wrong, probably won't get very far either.

Another of the bill's supporter is Joan Menard who, ironically, counts domestic violence as one the issues 'paramount' to her in her role as state senator. Ironic because domestic violence is a predictable impact of casino gambling. But hey, what's a few broken bones scattered across the State if we can create some dead-end casino jobs?

Interestingly Menard was also a President - President, God lover her - of the Greater Fall River League of Women Voters from 1974 to 1977. Well, that's OK - she stepped down before they took their decades-long stance on casinos. Maybe Joan could catch up on current events by reading what last year's president had to say about the issue.

And hey look, she's a former teacher! Then surely she must realize the lesson adults teach our children when they promote gambling.

Oh golly, Brian Wallace's name is there too. I remember him from the Statehouse roll call vote last year confidently proclaiming his vast and certain knowledge of everything Wampanoag - while completely mispronouncing their name.

And let's not forget Martin Walsh - you can bet on him. I know I won't forget his impassioned and utterly uninformed defense of casinos at last year's role call any time soon. It's truly amazing to watch how some folks can froth at the mouth about the supposedly superfluous benefits of casinos - seemingly unconscious or uncaring about their social, environmental and economic costs. But then, I suspect Walsh sings the Foxwoods jingle in the shower.

Yup - the brain trust is at it again. Can it only be a matter of time before we start seeing Dave Flynn's (D - Slots) name in the news again?

Because it takes some real high rollers to place their bets on casino gambling in this economy. Or perhaps they're just oblivious to the obvious - that it's the house that always wins.

Take New Jersey's governor who, with the revenue from 43,000 slots at his state's disposal (almost three times the amount Governor Patrick was hoping for) recently went looking for a federal bailout of his own.

So let's blame it all on the turnpike. With pressure mounting to rid our State of that menace - legislators struggle with the problem of where the money's going to come from if it disappears. Heck, who knows? I suppose responsible spending's off the table. Twenty-first century economic development, maybe?

Nah...
Too cerebral.

So, by all means, lets build another type of turnpike - one that picks one, two or three of the commonwealth's pockets while stuffing the proceeds into others - then anchor it with an expensive and impermeable bureaucratic 'gaming' authority - which can then conveniently step in for the expensive and impermeable bureaucracy we've lived with for decades under the Mass Turnpike Authority - so that we can all watch with awe and indignation as our State manages to out-spend up to any increased revenue.

But hey -we can always open more casinos, right? And then... when that stops cutting it - we can raise taxes. Because that seems to be the plan in States with legalized gambling.

Which just goes to show you - real leaders quietly invest in the future, while poor leaders loudly drop quarters into slot machines.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another Brilliant post!
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Smoking Owl said...

Gladys,
Once again you're at the forefront of breaking news. Your post leaves me wondering, isn't anybody paying attention to what is happening with the Wampanoags and the gaming industry in general?

Mr. Morrisey needs to stop thinking about penises for a few minutes and do some research. The ruling against the Kickapoo tribe in Texas shows that no bargaining is required by the State, as long as we don't allow Class III gaming to begin with.
At the most recent BOS meeting some residents voiced opposition to CPA, saying that it is not a good time due to the economy. They said folks don't know where their next dollar is coming from. Now we have idiots in the Statehouse with their Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland mentality.

HEY! LET'S BUILD A CASINO!

Hello! We're being told people don't know where their next dollar is coming from so these jerks in government scheme a way to take that dollar away before it even gets into your wallet.

I thought government was supposed to protect the citizens. Not separate us from our hard earned wages. What's next, state sponsored crystal meth labs at UMASS?

Mr. Morrisey should just continue to occupy his time worrying about foreskins and let this casino fiasco die once and for all.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Smoking Owl! My sentiments exactly! Actually better than my sentiments because you were really able to flesh out the irony of Morrissey's circumcision bill.

At the debate he was SO certain casinos were a done deal. And after we filled him in, I was hopeful he'd take that knowledge and do some research. Guess not.

The main thing I took away from the Statehouse debates was how you could draw a line between good leadership and bad, based almost singularly on this issue.

Because you're right - why NOT open State sponsored crystal meth labs? I mean, they're probably easier on the environment, don't suck up a lot of water, people are already shooting crystal meth anyway and hey - look at all that crystal meth revenue just creeping over the boarder into CT!

We are supposed to be able to trust them with our financial health and our actual health, our safety and our future - but what do some of them come up with? IGAs and Casino Bills. Pretty sad. It would be totally depressing if it weren't for all the reps I watched and listened to who were truly putting people first, and standing tall despite pressure, death threats and rooms full of hired union help.

beverly said...

And God forbid these same clowns begin actually cutting the graft, corruption and political hacks. And maybe instead of painting the fairy tale of the Big Dig to blame others, it needs a good truth telling about the incompetence of those involved.
They were forewarned and refused to listen. The Big Dig stupidity is how we got here.
Now is the time to make necessary cuts because of their own poor planning, and not burden other communities with casino fantasies.
You might want to look at campaign contributions. Limits are placed in this state, but those contributions assure access. And the same names appear over and over for the legislative supporters. Just when you would think Wilkerson's casino connection had alerted them, they speak for lobbyists and casino interests again and again. The average voter and the truth can't compete. If this isn't government for sale, I don't know what is.
Circumcision? That must have a big following!

Gladys Kravitz said...

Beverly - they truly must not have gotten the memo. But I guess that's they way it is you already know everything. Like Morrissey.

Jacquie said...

Here we go again.

Now we have to deal with dim-whits, union thugs and that magical 4 letter word J-O-B-S at the state level.

What a joy

- I feel a migraine coming on.

Gladys Kravitz said...

I hear ya, Jacquie. But this year - I'm bringing a sandwich.

Once more into the breach, my friend.

Smoking Owl said...

Gladys,
You're so witty!! Your response to my comment cracked me up!

Mr. Morrisey must really not have a clue at all. When an elected official sponsors a bill to ban circumcision, he gets what he deserves. The jokes are just too numerous to write here!
I guess Morrisey doesn't want to cut anything! Not even the State's budget. He would rather rely on casino revenues instead of being a responsible voice in the State House.

Anonymous said...

Gladys,

Great Blog.....

I can't believe some of these pols are still using the inevitability of the Wampanoag casino as a playing card. They either don't read the news (unlikely) or are being totaly disingenuous (most likely).

Anonymous said...

Agree with all. Good information Gladys, I didn't know a lot of what you just wrote. Thank you.

Because you mentioned it, I have family living in Roselle, N.J. They live on a residential st. like the 50's every neighbor knows each other and the kids all grew up together, well Casino's has not helped them at all. Out of 25 families my relative are the only original ones left, REAL ESTATE taxes were so high everyone else moved out of state. Now they have to wait for the market to change and hope they can sell and leave.

I'm confused, with all this proof that casino's don't make state's rich, or even comfortable, why are people still talking about having them?????? I don't get it????
Shouldn't they be embarrassed to even bring it up at this time or I should say a second time!!

Again thank you for this info.

Will that so called economist from Dartmouth attempt to put his two cents in again?? I think all the lay offs at casino's, gambling profits down, certainly proved him all wrong!!!

Anonymous said...

Gladys,

In response to anon 4:59 PM, isn't it true that what happens is an
initial appearance of prosperity and job creation?

It's kinda like an adrenaline rush with money pumped in for things like infrastructure, the Route 44 modifications that mandate 'prevailing wage' -- that is union pay.

That feeds the local economy for a short period and boosts local businesses.

Let's say the Wampanoag land is taken into trust (which I don't believe will ever happen when the Carcieri v Kempthorne decision is rendered), they would be a Sovereign Nation over which there is no control. They can hire whomever they want, at whatever wage they want. There is nothing in the agreement that says they will hire union. It was only the Serial Liar who promised that.
There is no agreement to hire Massachusetts residents. There is no agreement that they will comply with building codes.

Remember that there was a casino fire and no sprinklers and guests were killed? No big deal! Try suing a Sovereign Nation.

After the adrenaline rush and construction is complete, the euphoria gradually falls off.

When the politicians who endorsed this fiasco are out of office, the glitter is gone and the veneer wears thin.

Schools begin to fail. Local budgets suffer because of impact costs. Public safety will be a budget buster.

Those who can afford to sell and abandon the community are the first out the door before their homes loose their values.

The median income gradually declines.

And the quality of life we chose is destroyed. You have the 50,000 cars each day, the noise, the lights, the exhaust fumes, the DUIs and accidents from free casino alcohol, and a 24/7 business. There are no holidays because those with a day off, go to the casino.

Instead of gridlock on a hot summer weekend, you have gridlock year round.

Local businesses and prosperity gradully decline until you're 3 years out and realize you're living in an impoverished community that you wouldn't have moved to. No one can compete with the casino that offers tax-free booze, cigs, gas.

And there are no jobs, except for the $8 an hour card dealer working for tips. None of the casino employees live in town and the decay continues.

Katherine said...

anonymous 12:35 AM you said --
"None of the casino employees live in town and the decay continues.

What I believe you meant to say was that the well paid casino employees don't live in town. I've known people who work at the casino in Conn. and they refuse to live near the casino for obvious reasons - crime, poor schools, noise, traffic, prostitution, drugs as much as Middleboro refuses to listen.

Lakeville Observer said...

Adam's blog says he won't accept anonymous comments, but anonymous comments have been posted. And they all seem to come from guess who? Did she get jealous of you because hubby doesn't get many hits on the blog or callers on his show? Not as funny as her rants for sure, but amusing.

Anonymous said...

As I have in the past, I will continue to ask...

"who are these people who landed here and started promoting a casino" ??

Who and why is Adam Bond and Victoria Bond?

Thriving law practice in Middleboro?

Extra time on his hands to do a weekly radio program?

What about his clients needs? Don't they have any on Thursday's

Anonymous said...

Earth to Morrisey!
If the state ONLY allows Class II,
you HAVE your bargaining power.
Wolman and Kerzner will NOT build a bingo hall!
Has anyone explained that to this ..... brilliant Rep?
And what about the state's costs for infrastructure?
The day after TMFH, the Tribe was already begging for state funds for Route 44.
And that doesn't include all of the secondary state roads that would have to be improved because of the volume of traffic.
The entire region would be gridlocked with or without road expansion.
Does anyone remember what happened last year when the tractor trailer overturned at the rotary? Traffic was backed up, re-routed and at a standstill. Route 18,28, 44, 79, 495 were parking lots. It took me 3 hours to get from Lakeville to Middleboro. What would you do in a real emergency?
This guy better stick to circumsisions. He's probably better at it.
And BTW, who would file a stupid bill like that?

Amanda said...

Gladys,
to a great extent, this issue has focused attention on the beanheads in the legislature.
There are some who are competent, do their research and actually have brains. They have based their casino opposition on the facts, the research and the experience of other states. And then there are the casino supporters who see only glitter and refuse to do the hard work of thinking about the consequences of their actions.

Stupidity isn't a crime, but maybe it should be one reason not to elect people.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 2:06 PM
Have you raised the question with letters to the addresses that Gladys provided?
Who knew that Jack Healey was negotiating with the Tribe before they received Tribal recognition, other than Wayne Perkins who admitted it in a public meeting?
Lincoln Andrews was on the BoS at the time. Did he know? Is that why he gets hostile every time he's challenged?
Writing letters is key IMO.
Someone needs to ask your questions. And why is VV so inflamed? She was looking around for a new house after TMFH.

Alice said...

I'm thinkin' that Morrisey needs to get his head out of other people's privates and read the financials of these casino dudes.
Strather is begging for investors the best he can without begging.
Twin Rivers is about to be underwater.
NV has one of the highest foreclosure and unemployment rates.
Gladys, you alrady posted stuf about casino states tanking.
Pot o' Gold t'aint there.
It will be another 5 years until a new casino anywhere makes any cents economically.

Anonymous said...

Gladys,
I'm glad you pointed out that Rep Slots hasn't been monopolizing the local papers recently and lamenting about greyhound racing.

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