Friday, October 2, 2009

Waking Up On the Bathroom Floor

A couple of years ago, Deval Patrick went to a Kool-Aid kegger at his friend Clyde Barrow's house and overindulged.

The next thing you know he was telling the teachers union that three casinos would bring 20,000 jobs. Tax rates would be something like 27%, and licensing fees? Well they'd start at a cool $200 mil.

That was then.

Today, the only cool in the room is the chilly caress of ceramic flooring as he and the other casino co-eds wake up to reality.

BOSTON - The state should charge casino licensing fees between $25 million and $50 million and level tax rates in the low 20-percent range on gambling revenues, according to a top executive at the Mohegan Sun casino firm, one of several business interests circling as the Legislature considers gambling legislation.

A full-scale facility could be up and running in Palmer within two years of receiving a license, said Jeffrey Hartmann, Mohegan Sun’s chief operating officer. Hartmann said the company would pay fully for associated infrastructure costs around the Palmer site and expects to create between 2,500 and 3,000 permanent jobs, including 500 white-collar positions.

Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but...

$200 mil - $50 mil = $150 difference

3,000 jobs x 3 = 9,000
20,000 jobs - 9,000 jobs = 11,000 jobs difference

And 500 white collar jobs?

Where, exactly, are these 500 white collars coming from?

Are they out in the kitchen, cooking food and loading the dishwasher, or maybe they're in the front of the house, delivering your dinner or refilling your water glass. Perhaps they're patrolling the parking lot, dealing blackjack or breaking kneecaps in the back room.

There is no magic casino, Deval. And Clyde works for the industry. He and his buddies wait for someone like you to show up then hand you a frosty mug of Kool-Aid laced with slot-hypnol.

That's what they do.

And seriously, when things like families and local businesses and crime and addiction are on the line, don't you think you should be downing some sobering facts instead of tripping the light fantastic with the boys in the pinstripe suits? And when their numbers start swimming before your eyes, shouldn't it occur to you that this might not be the kind of party to show up at with a classy gal like Massachusetts on your arm?

It's funny, but about a week ago I was watching Deval Patrick on the news, speaking to the 100 or so Hyatt employees who'd been 'let go' in favor of some cheaper out-of-staters. He listened to their heartfelt stories, heard how they were being pushed out of their jobs, visibly empathized and ultimately stood by them.

And that's when I remembered how, back in 2007, we here in Southeast Mass. asked Deval to meet with us. To listen to our heartfelt stories, to hear how we were being pushed out of our own participation in the democratic process - for an outside chance that our Governor might visibly empathize and ultimately stand by us. We asked him several times. The Regional Task Force on Casino Impacts, representing a half million citizens of Massachusetts even offered to come to him. But then he pawned them off on one of his advisers.

Meanwhile, the Governor took photogenic walks with Glenn Marshall and met with the 1,500 member Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.

As for me, I sat through 13 hours of testimony to speak at the Statehouse casino hearings in 2008 where Deval spoke first, then jetted off to NYC to pen a book deal.

These days Deval is being asked to meet with the members of United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts, but still can't seem to manage to find the time.

Ironically , up next on the news after the Hyatt segment was a piece on Deval's dismally low approval rating.

I think Deval did the right thing with the Hyatt employees, but he has never done the right thing for the people of Massachusetts when it comes to slots and casinos. He needs to stop chugging down an excess of jobs and revenue, and start appreciating the people and gifts the State he governs already has - and what they, and it, could stand to lose from one bad decision.

And he really needs to stop listening to slot lobbyists and so-called 'gaming' 'experts'. Those people are the 'Hyatt corporate management team' of the gambling industry.

The anti-predatory gambling folks, on the other hand, have no frosty mug of Kool-Aid to offer Deval - only a warm cup of reality.

So yeah, it's definitely not as much fun. But at least he won't wake up on the bathroom floor in the morning.


Middleboro Remembers said...

Whoa, Gladys!

I had a brief conversation with the Governor in Franklin at his Community Forum that he just might remember at which he whined about not being allowed to speak.

Of course, that was after I protested that many of us in Middleboro had been gaveled to silence by the tyrannical Gavel Queen.

So, maybe he just wanted to show that we had so much in common about not being allowed to speak or ask questions.

So, frankly, I'm a little confused about why the Governor doesn't want to listen to some pretty dedicated supporters right about now.

Mohegan Sun is taking the page right out of the casino handbook -
I forget the page number right now, but it goes something like --
"Promise endless job creation and pots of gold that will never happen and endless Manna from the Heavens."

I know you have a copy of that handbook that is employed everywhere around the country.

It might seem that all of Southeastern Massachusetts does not appear on the Governor's map. So, why is he ignoring Western Massachusetts as well?

Surely, 'tis a puzzlement for someone up for re-election to ignore supporters.

Carl said...

Why? It is so simple. Governor Devalue coddles to only those who give him attention, money and political power. In other words, other political figures,
unions, lobbyists and campaign contributors. He values not the tax paying constituents of the state. It is all about them and we are just in the way. "Massachusetts, it's all here" ...for them not us.

Kelly Marcimo said...


As always, right on the money!

Kelly Marcimo

Anonymous said...

Gladys, how do you get it so right everytime no matter what or who your writing about??

Please keep us informed on who is doing what, keep on blogging. Maybe, just maybe, the Governor will learn how to read and digest the facts, do some of his own on them???

Anyone can read the newspapers, listen to the news on TV and radio. Read, hear, what is happening all over the United States with all the casino's having a very hard time. Our state want's to get into this risky business???