Today’s Globe editorial on Middleborough keeps the string alive — there’s no mention of the second vote, to reject the casino itself. But if you look back to those golden days of, oh, last Thursday, you’ll see that at least one Globe reporter thought the second vote was very important indeed.
In a preview of the Middleborough town meeting for Globe South, Christine Wallgren wrote:
The first of the two ballot items authorizes selectmen to enter into an already-negotiated agreement with the Mashpee Wampanoag and their backers to build a casino complex.
The second item — placed on the warrant by the casino opposition — asks voters whether they want a casino built in town at all. While it is nonbinding, casino opponents hope a negative vote will show state and federal authorities that a casino is not welcome under any terms….
Rejection of the idea of a casino in town would send a message to state and federal officials who must act on other aspects of the tribe’s casino proposal.
“This way, people get to actually vote on whether they want a casino, rather than just voting on a flawed agreement,” said casino foe Richard Young. “This would send a message to the selectmen, and I think at least some of them would take it to heart. They could fight this. Other towns have fought and won.”
Another casino foe, Jacqueline Tolosko, said: “I’ve been told by [state] Senator Marc Pacheco and by [US Representative] Barney Frank that if residents of this town don’t want a casino, they will back us. I think the vote on this is very important.”
Opponents have said they hope a negative vote would have some impact on how state and federal authorities react when the tribe looks to put the land in trust and obtain a compact for expanded gambling.
Exactly. So why does the Globe continue to ignore this important wrinkle? Last Thursday, Wallgren got the nuances right: the first vote was on the agreement with the Wampanoags; the second vote was on the casino itself. Today’s editorial blasts past all that. When is the Globe going to get it right?