Here’s a pretty powerful anecdote suggesting that people in Middleborough knew exactly what they were doing when they voted in favor of the casino agreement but against the casino itself. From the Associated Press:
A sense of resignation that a casino was a done deal drove the decisions of several voters interviewed as they walked into the meeting.
Michelle Holden, 45, planned to reluctantly vote for a casino deal she called inevitable. Regardless of Saturday’s vote, the tribe owns the necessary land and can build so long as it secures federal and state approval, she said.
If nothing else, Holden hoped the extra revenue could help the town restore services it previously cut, like freshman sports for her 16-year-old son.
“I don’t really want the casinos here, but it’s coming,” she said. “We might as well benefit through the town.”
Over at Blue Mass Group, you’ll see arguments that the “no” vote on the casino itself doesn’t mean much because people were leaving at that point, because the vote was taken by a show of hands, because the town moderator’s visual acuity was wanting, because the vote was non-binding, etc., etc. Even Sabutai makes those points. I’m not saying he’s wrong — I’m saying it’s irrelevant. The vote was the vote, and it is perfectly reflected Holden’s sentiments.
It’s sad that people like Holden have come to believe that the fight is lost already, and that the best they can do is negotiate the most favorable terms of surrender. You can always fight. You can go to court. You can lay down in front of the bulldozers.
But the inevitability of the casino is the prime message being pushed by the cynical casino proponents. Don’t believe it.