Columnists take on gambling legislation


Since it was announced that House Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Murray, and Governor Patrick had reached a compromise to bring three Vegas-style casinos and one slot parlor to the state, much has been said on news programs and in newspaper columns about it.

Just today, Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi wrote about Governor Patrick’s broken promise in her column “Path is clear for slots, casinos.” She writes: “Patrick never fulfilled the pledge that he made on Dec. 9, 2009, to seek a ‘fresh, independent and transparent analysis of the benefits and costs of expanded gambling.’”

Vennochi continues by saying “few people seem to care that the rosy job and revenue projections” are outdated and that competition from bordering states is “inconsequential.” She also wonders allowed “why the public seems blissfully unaware of the outrages and scandals that are sure to arise.”

On Monday, Joe Fitzgerald wrote in the Boston Herald about the issue in his column “If state wins gaming fight, we all lose.” He starts out the column by talking about the reality that “who frames the question wins the issue.” He then makes the comparison to the fight over same-sex “marriage” that took place in Massachusetts a few years back.

“Gay marriage, a violation of an institution ordained by God and embraced through the ages by faiths and cultures all over the world, was camouflaged as a matter of civil rights, remember?

“Advocates, insisting that their rights had been violated, shamelessly compared themselves to bona fide martyrs such as Freedom Riders, thus achieving their goal while muzzling any input from the voters.”

Fitzgerald points out that the same thing is happening all over again on the issue of expanded predatory gambling. He explains that the issue is “bring fraudulently framed by those who insist it’s the answers to all of our fiscal woes…” He takes House Speaker DeLeo to task, saying he is “feather[ing] his own nest while masquerading as a statesman” and that what he is doing is “diabolically disingenuous than any of the students dreamed up by his three felonious predecessors.”

Its not that people shouldn’t have the right to gamble away their own money, Fitzgerald writes; it’s that the government should not be “leeching off the losses of its citizens.”

Sources:

Joan Vennochi – Boston Globe – “Path is clear for slots, casinos”
Joe Fitzgerald – Boston Herald – “If the state wins gaming fight, we all lose”

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