By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

A $2 million reward

Secretary of State William Galvin might want to take a close look at today’s Enterprise of Brockton, which reports the following:

A town police lieutenant, who was in charge of security for Saturday’s town meeting that approved a casino for Middleboro, and his family could score more than $2 million if the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe buys land they own near the casino site.

Middleboro Police Lt. Bruce Gates and two siblings own 204 acres of land off Precinct and Thompson streets. The land consists of a handful of parcels, which abut 125 acres already in the hands of the tribe.

The tribe is now negotiating with Gates and his family for their land, said Wampanoag spokesman Scott Ferson.

“We hope to have an agreement in the next week or two,” Ferson said.

This, of course, would be the same Middleborough police department that reportedly refused to let casino opponents distribute their leaflets while at the same time allowing supporters to enter wearing orange T-shirts and white caps emblazoned with a pro-casino message.

In other casino-related news:

  • Rich Young, director of the anti-casino group, makes his case on the op-ed page of the Patriot Ledger of Quincy. He writes:

The real story from Saturday’s “vote” was that while a majority at the FedEx-style town meeting supported the warrant article dealing with the agreement, they also voted against the idea of a casino coming to Middleboro in the next warrant article.

This came as a surprise to no one. During the three-week campaign, hundreds of voters we spoke with did not want a casino, but they were afraid if they did not vote for the agreement, the casino was going to come anyway and the town would receive nothing in return.

  • The Globe reports that a challenge is being made to the legitimacy of the town meeting vote, alleging a number of irregularities, including the presence of those orange T-shirts and a videotaped moment of what may have been ballot-stuffing.

The truth is out there.

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  1. Amusedbutinformedobserver

    Check the election laws statues. There’s a difference between electioneering (handing out stuff within a specified distance of a polling place which, in a community with an open town meeting form of goverment includes the locus of the town meeting) and slogans on clothing.

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Amused: This was not an election, it was a town meeting. You get to make your own rules. All kinds of literature gets handed out at town meeting, and there was absolutely no need for the police to ban anti-casino leaflets.

  3. Anonymous

    EB3 here.How can Deval and anti-casiono Sal DiMasi allow this to go through when it is cleart there was some shananigans going on.Answer. Sal Won’t and if Deval favors it he is a….I don ‘t know. You tell me.

  4. Rick in Duxbury

    At the risk of sounding like an ingrate, it would have been nice to know about this 15-year ownership of contiguous land by the cop BEFORE the town meeting. Totally innocent, no doubt, but why not be transparent? Perhaps a knowledgable local reporter would have also noted that the Striar family, owners of other land relevant to the town meeting, are the same folks who tried to bring you a state prison in New Braintree some years ago.

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