U.S. Senate candidate Alan Khazei seemed to come out of left field (they’re all coming out of left field, aren’t they?) when he announced his opposition to casino gambling at an event on Monday morning.
Indeed, one fellow candidate, U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, said he had no plans to get involved in the issue because it’s not something in which the Senate will have a say.
In fact, though, Khazei’s position could prove to be important. Earlier this year the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that would, among other things, prevent the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe from taking property in Middleborough into a trust so that it could build a casino.
But it’s too soon for casino opponents to breathe a sigh of relief — the gambling interests are busily working to undo the court’s sensible decision.
U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, recently wrote a letter to Indian Country Today saying that the ruling “urgently needs to be corrected” with legislation that would, among other things, allow the Middleborough monstrosity to lurch back to life.
Massachusetts’ next senator could very well have to vote on such legislation. Not only is Khazei’s opposition to casinos relevant, but he and the other candidates should be asked how they would vote on the Dorgan bill.