Not going down without a fight

Dear Friends of the Family,

Contrary to what many in the press and on Beacon Hill will have you believe, the so-called fat lady as NOT yet sung her closing number on the gambling debate.

Yesterday, I joined fellow allies opposed to the backroom casino deal in launching a petition drive to repeal the newly passed law that licensed three resort casinos and one slot parlor at a racetrack. The group that will spearhead this effort is “Repeal the Casino Deal.”

My signature, along with nine other anti-gambling advocates, appears on the paperwork filed with Secretary of State William Galvin. His office has confirmed that the petition language has been sent to Attorney General Martha Coakley for approval. The AG is charged with determining if the casino law is exempt from the possible referendum to repeal.

In an effort to prevent a citizen repeal effort, the pro-gambling backroom legislators added a funding line to the 104 page casino bill to supposedly qualify it as an “appropriations bill.” The state constitution exempts appropriations bills from being the subject of a ballot question, but our attorneys believe that the casino bill does not meet this criteria.

Upon approval by the Attorney General, our coalition will have 90 days from the signing of the law (November 22) to collect 34,456 signatures of registered voters to qualify the referendum for the November 6, 2012 ballot. Once enough signatures are certified by the Secretary of State, the repeal goes directly to the ballot. Unlike a constitutional amendment, the Legislature has no say on this effort.

As with previous signature campaigns, we will look to collect at least 50,000 signatures through February to ensure we have the necessary amount of valid signatures from voters. We will need your help so please use the form below to add you name to our volunteer list. We will need people to collect signatures, distribute signature sheets to other volunteers, deliver them to town and city halls, and pick them up to get them to the Secretary of State’s office.

This process is not nearly as long and difficult as amending the state constitution, but we will keep you informed throughout on critical decisions by the Attorney General, as well as our progress towards collecting the signatures.

For our families,

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