The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser today repeats the not-entirely-new news that Gov. Deval Patrick may build $800 million into his budget proposal that will materialize only if the Legislature approves his socially irresponsible plan to license three gambling casinos. Viser writes:
With a big budget gap, including casino licensing money would put pressure on lawmakers to pass the governor’s proposal or find other ways to balance the budget as required by state law. When the governor introduces his budget, within three weeks, legislators will spend months reshaping it.
I continue to find it amazing that Patrick has decided to stake his reputation on this. Why? He has only guaranteed that his reputation will suffer if he loses, and suffer even more if he wins, since he’ll forever be associated with casinos and the sleaze and corruption that they bring.
I also think the governor’s proposal is a lot deader than his realizes — that, when the time is right, House Speaker Sal DiMasi is simply going to crush it and that will be the end of it. But we’ll see.