Someday we may learn why Gov. Deval Patrick has been so willing to risk his entire governorship to fight for a proposal that will lead to increased crime, increased gambling addiction, and rises in the divorce and suicide rates — social ills all well documented by Casinofacts.org.
I don’t think it’s because his wife’s law firm stands to benefit, although that is a pretty blatant conflict of interest. He must know by now that he was sold a bill of goods in terms of the number of construction jobs and the extent of the revenues that would come in. My best guess is that, deep down, he knows he made a terrible mistake, but he can’t publicly admit he’s wrong.
House Speaker Sal DiMasi, a casino opponent who’s been reasonably diplomatic about the governor’s three-casino fiasco, signals that he may finally be ready to bring down the hammer, mocking Patrick’s ludicrous claim that the casinos will create 30,000 construction jobs (Globe story here; Herald story here).
Meanwhile, consider this post at Blue Mass Group by Lynne, who blogs at Left in Lowell and who is the sort of idealistic progressive activist who propelled Patrick to his rousing victory in 2006. Lynne’s anger and disappointment are palpable, as she accuses Patrick of “lying” to advance his agenda. Specifically, she cites his factually incorrect claim that if the state fails to get out in front on the casino issue, Native American tribes will be able to move ahead anyway, with no state regulation or benefits.
As Lynne rightly points out, federal law only allows tribal facilities that are in compliance with state law. If the state does not legalize casino gambling, then the most the Native Americans can do is open a glorified bingo parlor. Lynne writes:
I know that being disappointed in your leaders is par for the course in politics. I just thought this time might be a little different. Patrick has decided to hang his hat on bringing casinos to Massachusetts, ignoring large swaths of objective information, and using fear and lies to accomplish it. But it’s this last part that I may not be able to forgive.
Why is Gov. Patrick doing this? His proposal is guaranteed to end badly: He’ll lose or, much worse, he’ll win. Is there no one who can talk sense to him?