By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The education of Adam Bond

Middleborough Board of Selectmen chairman Adam Bond, a prime mover behind plans to build a casino mega-complex in his adopted town, is complaining that Mashpee Wampanoag tribal leaders failed to call their old pal before asking state officials to negotiate with them.

Matthew Burke reports in the Cape Cod Times today that the tribe has formally approached Gov. Deval Patrick in order to work out a compact that would allow the Mashpee to build a $1 billion casino in Middleborough.

Bond, writing on his blog, can’t believe it. “The spirit and the letter of the agreement make it absolutely clear that we should be present, or our rights have been irreparably harmed,” says Bond, a lawyer, who criticizes the tribe for approaching the state “with no mention of Middleborough being at the table for the talks.”

Please. Does Bond think for one moment that the big-money folks behind the casino plans care about Middleborough? As I and others have been arguing for more than a year now, Bond says he sought the casino in order to save the town; but he’s going to end up destroying it. No doubt the town will get a seat at the table, as the agreement appears to require it. But that’s hardly “mutual respect for the partnership,” the lack of which surprises no one other than Bond.

As Burke’s story notes, the tribe can’t operate a full casino unless the state Legislature legalizes Class III gambling, which the House declined to do earlier this year. Speaker Sal DiMasi is presumably as opposed now as he was then, but you can be sure casino proponents — including Patrick — are going to make another run at it.

As for the latest development, perhaps yesterday will stand as a landmark moment in the education of Adam Bond. And here’s a thought: The agreement forbids town officials from opposing the Mashpee’s plans. But if the Mashpee abrogate the agreement, Bond and his fellow selectmen would presumably be free to do the right thing the second time around. Indeed, Bond even hints at it toward the end of his post.

Matt Viser of the Boston Globe has more.

Wednesday afternoon update: Alice Elwell of the Brockton Enterprise reports that tribal leaders are now claiming the document that Bond complained about was just a draft, and that they never meant to exclude Middleborough officials.

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  1. Gladys Kravitz

    Just think, Dan – If Mr. Bond hadn’t been so gosh darned impatient to (weirdly) push the intergovernmental agreement through town meeting, only 3 months after the land sale and with only 5 days for residents to peruse it – and if he could only have just waited ONE MORE MONTH, he and everyone else would have learned that tribal leader and casino evangelist Glenn Marshall was a convicted rapist and pathalogical liar.In retrospect, having followed Adam’s career for over a year now, this information probably wouldn’t have changed his mind, but I’d bet it would have changed a lot of voter’s.

  2. carverchick

    I am not surprised by any of this. The lack of respect on the Tribe’s part to ignore the agreement and leave Middleboro hanging in the wind is just another example of the Tribe and investors only caring about themselves. I have never believed the Tribe cared at all about Middleboro or the surrounding towns or the region. Middleboro needs to force their hand on this one….but keep in mind, the true colors of the Tribe are starting to shine through. I hope for all our sakes that this is not an indication of their attitude toward future dealings with the towns and State – or an indication of how they honor their verbal good faith agreements, but I certainly won’t hold my breath for them to do the right thing, or to look out for the best interests of our region.

  3. cranberrycynic

    I’m no expert but..ummm…is it common for an organization to release a seven-page “draft” to the media?I’m sure that the traffic from the Cape was so bad that the “tribe” couldn’t deliver the real McCoy until this afternoon rather than this morning as planned…Bond is not an idiot. He has to be more than a little concerned…

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