The attention this morning is right where Middleborough casino supporters want it: on Glenn Marshall. After all, the tribal leader is gone now, so learning that his long list of misdeeds also includes a cocaine conviction and falsely claiming to have been a police officer (as reported by the Boston Globe, which got the only interview) doesn’t really matter.
I do enjoy the Cape Cod Times’ reference to Marshall’s protean ethnicity (“He always talked about being Portuguese,” a high-school classmate tells George Brennan). But that’s tame stuff compared to a post written recently by the “Great Gladfly,” Peter Kenney, who spoke with Amelia Bingham, an 84-year-old elder in the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. Kenney, who says Marshall had an earlier incarnation as “a Cape Verdean activist,” wrote:
Bingham say she remembers Marshall when he was in school with her children, “He wasn’t an Indian then. He used to tease my kids and bully them because they were Wampanoags. He was a mean kid and he is a mean adult.”
Given that Marshall is no longer the issue, what’s next? In the Boston Herald, reporter Scott Van Voorhis gets at a key point that needs to be explored in the days ahead: Marshall’s role as a mere tool of the moneyed interests that are calling the shots. Van Voorhis only scratches a bit at the surface, but he’s picked the right place to scratch.
And here’s the best part: This is all tied up with Jack Abramoff, the superlobbyist now in prison, who dealt with Indian tribes on gaming matters across the country. Kenney wrote about it in January 2006, but was pretty much ignored at the time. It won’t be now. Even if the tie-in proves to be tenuous, it would behoove state officials to look very, very carefully at this.
A final observation. In reading the coverage since yesterday morning, I haven’t found one solitary reference in the mainstream media to Peter Kenney’s work. Is it really that difficult to credit a blogger? He had a good chunk of the story out there last Monday, and reporters are still working off his leads.
Yes, the media had to do their own reporting and verify everything. But it seems to me that Kenney is a crucial part of this story, and he should have gotten a mention.
Update: Good piece by David Kibbe in The Standard-Times on the political fallout.
Right now, casino supporters are insisting that Marshall’s implosion doesn’t matter, and opponents are hoping they’re wrong. I realize that predictions are cheap, but I think the casino plans are now going to crumble very quickly. We are going to learn more — much more — in the days and weeks to come.