Gov. Deval Patrick uses hand gestures to demonstrate his chances of getting his casino bill passed.
It takes a little bit to actually shock Porcupine, but Deval Patrick succeeded in doing so today. This morning, in front of the Brookline Chamber he announced his intention to resurrect the failed casino gambling bill.
The Democrat told a Brookline Chamber of Commerce audience that "an unyielding need for property tax relief, the possibility of slot machines at the state's racetracks and ongoing efforts by the Wampanoag Indians to build their own casino will reignite the discussions".
Acccording to the Boston Globe, Patrick said, "There's a lot of interest in it, and issues that die in one session don't die a permanent death. They tend to come back over time." Under one scenario, Patrick said, casino gambling supporters might try to expand the slot machine bill to include the resort-style casinos proposed by the governor. Patrick projected that his plan for three casinos would generate at least $600 million in licensing fees, $400 million in annual tax revenues and 20,000 permanent jobs.
Indeed, there's nothing that Porcupine enjoys more than seeing the Globe exasperated. But what the Globe fails to mention is that the source of these projections is Clyde Barrows of UMass-Dartmouth, and that he is also a recent author of a 'poll' which claims that a majority of the electorate wants casino gambling in Massachusetts - but not in their town. The jobs, the dollars, the concept - all have been thoroughly discredited. To bring three casinos on-line at the same time in a mature and fading market is madness. The profit would be wiped out by the need to have union-run laundry and service contracts in a state owned enterprise - which is why the bill enjoyed such enthusiastic union support. Which of course presupposes that casinos are even an appropriate venture for the state to get into - don't we already have enough problems from a something-for-nothing culture? (Forgive Porcupine - he was a Scout leader, and the Baden-Powell prohibitions against gambling as the ruin of a young character come bubbling up from time to tiem).
What can possess the Governor to follow this path once again? His liberal base is admantly opposed to casinos. The Legislature does not want it. Conservatives do not want it. Indeed, nobody seems to want it but the Governor and SEIU.
The classic definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. The Governor has already publicly embarassed himself, but perhaps his liberal friends can talk him down out of this tree. Indeed, the liberals are castigating the Pioneer Institute for saying that Patrick had devolved into a 'machine politician'. To Porcupine, the only omission was that the machine is a slot machine.
Labels: casino gambling, democrats, deval patrick