Why would Gov. Deval Patrick need more time to decide on casino gambling when he’s already taken months? The Cape Cod Times’ David Kibbe does not provide an answer today, and maybe the real reason is known only to Patrick.
But Cape Cod Today’s Peter Kenney offers an interesting anecdote that may explain why Patrick wants a few more weeks. According to his latest report, Amelia and Steven Bingham met last week with state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, D-Roxbury, at Wilkerson’s request, and were unexpectedly joined by Michael Morris, an aide to the governor.
The Binghams, members of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, are leading an effort to recall the tribal leadership following the resignation of Glenn Marshall, who had ordered them “shunned.” The meeting in Wilkerson’s office described by Kenney is all very cloak-and-dagger, so it’s hard to know what precisely is going on. But clearly something is happening.
As David Bernstein recently observed in the Phoenix, Morris, Patrick’s director of governmental affairs, previously worked for State Treasurer Tim Cahill, a supporter of casino gambling. For that matter, Patrick’s chief of staff, Doug Rubin, is also a Cahill alumnus. But according to Bernstein’s sources, Cahill has been unable to influence Patrick on the casino-gambling issue.
The Binghams have never said they oppose casino gambling. But Steven Bingham has said the deal negotiated by Marshall with investors contains too little money for both the tribe and the town of Middleborough, and that it will be null and void if the recall effort succeeds.
With three of Middleborough’s five selectmen currently facing recall as well, the latest developments raise the possibility that if the Mashpee Wampanoags ever build a casino, it might be in a different location.