The Boston Globe’s Frank Phillips reports that Gov. Deval Patrick has decided to support three Massachusetts casinos. Under his plan, the state would put them out to bid, and the Mashpee Wampanoags would receive no special consideration. Given the avalanche of trouble under which the tribe’s proposed venue in Middleborough has fallen, I’ll stick with my prediction that that particular casino will never be built.
(Update: Or should I say backdate? Boston Herald reporters Scott Van Voorhis and Casey Ross had essentially the same story yesterday. An alert commenter called my attention to it, but for some reason Blogger ate it when I tried to post it.)
But this isn’t just a tragedy — it’s a tragedy foretold. Patrick and the officials around him have been watching as the Middleborough proposal has dissolved into corruption, investigations and recriminations. Three of the five selectmen who support the plan face a recall election, and the other two, also casino supporters, would if they hadn’t been elected too recently. Patrick knows exactly what he’s getting into; his eyes are wide open. He’s putting his entire governorship at risk, and he’s doing it strictly for money.
Will House Speaker Sal DiMasi stand in Patrick’s way? He’s a longtime opponent, and Phillips reports that DiMasi’s recent conciliatory rhetoric on the issue is nothing more than an attempt to avoid embarrassing Patrick. It shouldn’t take a huge amount of backbone on DiMasi’s part to stick to his principled position. He’ll have Cardinal Seán O’Malley, former attorney general Scott Harshbarger, former John Hancock chief executive David D’Alessandro and a host of other good people in his corner.
The governor must be stopped. Together we can!