He does not support the introduction of slot machines at the racetracks — a wise decision, because the model has more negatives and doesn’t generate the kind of jobs and revenues associated with destination casinos. Yet while lobbying House members to kill the casino bill, he promised at least three legislators that he would not block their attempts to bring a racetrack slots bill to the House floor. And this from the leader who predicted Tuesday that casinos would “cause human damage on a grand scale.”
How obtuse can you be? DiMasi allowed the casino bill to come to the floor, where it died a natural death, assisted by DiMasi and state Rep. Dan Bosley, D-North Adams, a recognized expert on the false promises and social ills of casino gambling.
Now certain legislators want a “racino” bill to come to the floor so they can go on record as voting for it, thus pleasing racetrack operators in their districts. That’s fine. As the editorial points out, DiMasi opposes slot machines at casinos, and we can be reasonably sure that a bill allowing them won’t pass.
What’s laughable about the editorial is the inconsistency. DiMasi gets criticized for using his influence to defeat a casino bill that he had allowed to come to the floor. And then he’s criticized for supposed hypocrisy over racinos because — you guessed it — he’s going to allow a bill to come to the floor.
Sounds to me like DiMasi is being perfectly consistent. House members get to vote on controversial legislation. And DiMasi, as speaker, gets to let his members know where he stands. It’s called democracy.