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

Casino gambling and the Senate race

U.S. Senate candidate Alan Khazei seemed to come out of left field (they’re all coming out of left field, aren’t they?) when he announced his opposition to casino gambling at an event on Monday morning.

Indeed, one fellow candidate, U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, said he had no plans to get involved in the issue because it’s not something in which the Senate will have a say.

In fact, though, Khazei’s position could prove to be important. Earlier this year the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that would, among other things, prevent the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe from taking property in Middleborough into a trust so that it could build a casino.

But it’s too soon for casino opponents to breathe a sigh of relief — the gambling interests are busily working to undo the court’s sensible decision.

U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, recently wrote a letter to Indian Country Today saying that the ruling “urgently needs to be corrected” with legislation that would, among other things, allow the Middleborough monstrosity to lurch back to life.

Massachusetts’ next senator could very well have to vote on such legislation. Not only is Khazei’s opposition to casinos relevant, but he and the other candidates should be asked how they would vote on the Dorgan bill.

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  1. Not only may a new MA senator be required to consider the Dorgan bill to overturn the Supreme Court’s Carcieri decision, but some senators have been known to take a great deal of money from gambling interests. (I know, you’re shocked.) So, to deny that expanded gambling isn’t a senatorial issue, or to not take a public stand is, as usual, a cop out.

  2. Newshound

    Unlike the Court, politicians prostitute what should be their principles.

  3. Neil

    “Massachusetts’ next senator could very well have to vote on such legislation.”

    Good move by Kaz! The rest will follow, except where union endorsements create a conflict.

  4. Newshound

    There goes Middleboro because of its short sightedness.

  5. Let’s not forget that the internet gambling bill will probably come up for a vote.

    What stands out is that our current AG, unlike her predecessors, has failed to take a stand.

  6. Nial Liszt

    **Let’s not forget that the internet gambling bill will probably come up for a vote.**

    So it’s not just casino slots that you busybodies want to control? You are also concerned with online wagering on racing (specifically legal in Mass.) and Barney’s efforts on internet poker and sports?

  7. O-FISH-L

    Our next US Senator might have to vote on the Dorgan bill, but Khazei doesn’t have to worry about voting on anything in the Senate.

    At least his father was a doctor, you know. Nexxxxt.

  8. Newshound

    Present AG takes a stand for one thing and one thing only: herself. Whatever it is for her own gain.

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