Thursday, November 19, 2009

Duck and Cover

Four of the Six candidates for Ted Kennedy's senate seat continue to demonstrate "bold leadership" by pretending to be neutral on the topic of expanded gambling in the Bay State.

Martha Coakley and Steve Pagliuca, both democrats, as well as republicans Scott Brown and Jack E. Robinson, continue in that courageous, age-old tradition of letting the other guys make the first move. And frankly, I cannot think of a better quality to ask for in our next senator than deliberate avoidance of an issue.

Two democratic candidates, Alan Khazei and Mike Capuano, on the other hand, have foolishly offered their opinions, both of which include support for an independent cost-benefit analysis before legalizing slots/casinos.

Jeesh! Don't they know they're ruining it for the rest of them?

On October 11th United to Stop Slots in Masachusetts submitted a questionnaire to all candidates comprised of the the following four questions:
  • 1. What is your opinion of the SCOTUS decision (Carcieri- February 2009) relative to lands into trust?.
  • 2. How would you vote on the proposals for a "Carcieri fix"? Please explain.
  • 3. What is your opinion of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission Report (1999) and what recommendations should be enacted at this time?
  • 4. Do you support an independent cost-benefit analysis before legalizing any expansion of predatory gambling/slots in the Commonwealth?
While Khazei and Capuano both expressed empathy for Indian Tribes effected by the recent SCOTUS decision, Khazei stated he would vote for a Carcieri fix only if it would "limit the use of lands taken into trust and prohibit their use for gaming."

(But Alan - the Mashpee only want land in trust for "gaming"!)

Capuano stated that "the larger community is affected by decisions governing recourse to the Indian Reorganization Act," and that he was open to "considering legislation addressing the issues around taking land into trust raised in Carcieri v. Salazar."

(Whoa Mike! Don't you understand that the "larger community" revolves around Mashpee - as evidenced by their ability to turn the world upside for over two years for people who'd never heard of them in towns over 40 miles away? )

Oh well, Martha probably doesn't have time to fill out a questionnaire, what with having her hands full avoiding an investigation of slot machines as part of her role as our State's number one consumer advocate - despite MIT professor Natasha Schull's testimony, given three times at the statehouse revealing the advanced, deceptive technology used to addict players. I mean, heck, Martha owes that much to her BFF and big time supporter Therese "Ka-ching" Murray, if not to the rest of us.

And, I'm not really sure what happened to Pagliuca's response. When I first heard him say he didn't know enough about the issue, but stood up for kids and consumer protection etc, I wrote him a nice long letter with links to all sorts of great information about how slots would effect those things and others. His reply back to me must have gotten lost in the mail, along with his response to the questionnaire.

So, while we continue to wait for swift and decisive leadership from the those four candidates for one of the Commonwealth's most powerful offices, you can read Khazei's and Capuano's responses to the USS-Mass questionnaire here:

Alan Khazei
Congressman Capuano

1 comment:

Kathleen Conley Norbut said...

Fabulous, incisive and to the point!