Sunday, February 28, 2010

Due Diligence Before Legalizing Slots/Casinos

Well, I have had my fill of being attacked for having a position on an issue that I care about.

The nasty comments that some people make (usually anonymously) on the internet are not contributing to the betterment of society.

It has been stated recently that I own a convenience store and that is why I am against casinos. Wrong.
Posters have described me as a moonbat, conservative, scold, someone who overly uses statistics, educated (framed as if it were a curse), religious zealot and other comments.

Here are my words why I am opposed to legalizing class III predatory gambling, slots/casinos.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mr . Speaker - where does our money go?

When a regressive, back-door tax that sucks money out of local economies, harms small businesses and families is the only idea that the Massachusetts Speaker of the House can muster, there is a serious deficit of creative and courageous thinking.

(excerpt from State House News)

The big-ticket stuff comes next. DeLeo has spent … well, more or less the entirety of his legislative career working on a bill that would expand gambling in Massachusetts, and the fruit could be borne next week. Casinos. Slots. Bob DeLeo becoming the public face of the casino culture in Massachusetts, the one and the same culture against which his predecessor railed, and against which DeLeo himself voted, less than two years ago. Times change, the reps who are meeting with constituents to explain why they were against casinos before they were for them will say. It’s about jobs now, they’ll say, or already have.

Craven flip-flop in the face of an about-face in leadership? Principled, economy-driven policy evolution? What’s the etiquette for convincing constituents that you’ve “grown” on an issue when, privately and sheepishly, you wouldn’t swear on a stack of one-eyed jacks that what you’ve done wasn’t taking an assignment from your chamber’s titular head and fulfilling it?

Sometimes, within the environs of the Great and General Court, it is polite to let the demons win.

(The article continues) DeLeo batted down questions this week about where the $378,000 in taxpayer dollars allocated in the People v. Sal DiMasi actually went.

Mr Speaker - Oh where, oh where does our money go? And we're supposed to trust the General Court with expanded gambling?

Perhaps the mess we are in is due to the "demons winning". This is the height of poor public and poor fiscal policy.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bax and O'Brien ask me out

I had a little fun Friday morning with the boys over at WAQY Rock 102fm. The classic rock station is located in the neighboring community of East Longmeadow and reaches Worcester to the Berkshires.

Tell me or them what you think.

Friday, February 12, 2010

This Patrick/Murray supporter likes this policy position by Jill Stein

I'm a Patrick/Murray supporter but I gotta tell ya, this policy statement by Jill Stein is on the money. First we had the boldness of Alan Khazei in the US Senate primary, now Ms. Stein, calls the shots on the predatory gambling/casino issue. C'mon back from the dark side Deval...we don't want that industry in the Commonwealth.

Predatory gambling

What if we taught our children not to gamble instead of inviting predatory gambling into the state to exploit our people?

• It’s time to take a closer look at the plans on Beacon Hill to invite gaming corporations to come into the state and use casinos and slot machines to extract money from the people of Massachusetts.

• It is well documented that the profitability of casinos is absolutely dependent upon problem gamblers — people who lose more than they can afford. In other words, these casinos have to destroy people’s financial security in order to make a profit.

• It is documented that building local casinos will lead to more gambling by giving people easier access to gambling opportunities.

• Casinos are job-killers because they take money out of the state rather than letting it circulate within our local economy.

• Casinos will produce bankruptcies, crime, divorces, alcoholism, corrupted politicians, and shattered dreams. Paying for the social services and damages they leave behind will cost us dearly. In the final analysis, casinos will raise our taxes — because they don’t pay their own way.

• Casinos will add yet another corrupting influence to Beacon Hill. And this is the last thing we need.

Before government forges a bond with the gambling industry we should consider the alternative: Raising revenues with fair and equitable taxes and letting our entertainment dollars help build a thriving local economy.

Jill Stein will refuse to expose our children to predatory gambling and its consequences

Lowell Sun Nails It

Accurate and thorough reporting by the Lowell Sun.

Dan Ring's article in the Republican was excellent as well. Imagine Mohegan Sun with all it's "responsible gaming" BS have a guy playing for 23 hours straight, lose 450,000 dollars and they don't know it?
But after the formal press conference, Hartmann, in an interview, conceded that the Mohegan Sun failed to adequately deal with an addicted gambler from Western Massachusetts who said he lost a net $450,000 mostly at the Connecticut casino over the course of a year.

Hartmann talked with the gambler from the Berkshires after both participated in the press conference on the need for practices to ensure responsible gambling in the state.

Hartmann told “Scott,” the addicted gambler, that in hindsight, “I wish we had connected everything. Clearly, we didn’t handle it properly."

-Ya think?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Freedom Players and Social Change

Every effective social movement in history has had four elements to it: education, litigation, legislation and demonstration.

Here is a video of "The Freedom Players" demonstrating.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kathleen meets Emily

Check out the interview with Emily Rooney, February 9, 2010.

Click at a 12:00 minutes into the recording and ends at 21:05.

When casinos win, communities lose

When casinos win, communities lose. If a 10 percent decline in net Lottery revenue projected by casino opponents occurred, municipalities would see a loss in state aid of up to $100 million, the state's Lottery director Mark Cavanagh announced at a forum on Beacon Hill. A range of net losses have been projected if slots/casinos are legalized including a 10 percent figure which he called, "drastic." I think we acknowledge that there will be a deterrent effect to our sales. And the concern is, from a macro perspective that if our sales go down, money to cities and towns will go down." USS Mass declares slots/casinos a “some-thing-for-nothing scheme” that will harm already depleted town and city budgets and the services taxpayers need.

WBZ - mp3

WBZ interview - Casino Math Workbook for Beacon Hill.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thank you LG Murray

Dear Friends,

You may have read the sobering news about the recent chain of domestic violence-related deaths in Massachusetts, including the horrible news out of Westford this week.

These incidents are tragic and saddening. Domestic violence in any form is unacceptable and we all must play a part in preventing abuse from happening to anyone in the Commonwealth.

As Chair of the Governor's Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, I want to share with you resources that exist for victim advocacy, counseling and shelter services, as well as programs to hold batterers accountable and prevent domestic violence incidents.

If you or someone you care about is a victim of domestic violence, you are not alone. Programs across Massachusetts can provide free, confidential services to victims.

· If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

· For help you can also contact SafeLink, the Massachusetts Statewide Domestic Violence hotline. The SafeLink hotline is staffed 24 hours a day with trained domestic violence counselors who can provide help in multiple languages. If you need help, call the SafeLink toll-free number: 1-877-785-2020.

· Visit for a listing of local victim service programs.

In 2008, our Administration issued a Public Health Advisory on domestic violence to raise awareness and to educate the public on this issue and the resources available to aid victims. The public health advisory helped to communicate urgent information about domestic violence issues facing communities across the Commonwealth.

Though progress has been made, including implementation of a zero tolerance policy on domestic violence and sexual assault in the workplace, it is clear that there is much more work to be done.

On Friday, I will be convening a community forum at Fitchburg State College to discuss issues of domestic violence, engage in dialogue, and share existing resources in an effort to increase awareness and education of this serious issue within the community. This forum will be held at 2 p.m. at Fitchburg State College’s Tent Recital Hall.

Please join me and help play a role by supporting and encouraging any one you know who may be a victim of domestic violence and letting them know help is available and healing is possible.


Timothy P. Murray
Lieutenant Governor

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Money, money, money!

Lawmakers cash in with casino bill

By Jessica Van Sack
Tuesday, February 2, 2010 -

Money-hungry Beacon Hill solons have hit the jackpot, with gambling lobbyists funneling tens of thousands of dollars into their campaign accounts as lawmakers put the finishing touches on a bill to legalize slots and casinos in the Bay State, a Herald review shows.
Lobbyists have placed their biggest wagers on the State House’s very own pit bosses - Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo - who each got roughly $5,000 in 2009 from about two dozen lobbyists representing casinos.
Their political action committees cashed in even bigger, with DeLeo’s Committee for a Democratic House and Murray’s Committee for a Democratic Senate raking in nearly $10,000 each from pro-gambling lobbyists and a handful of proponents of racinos.
That the very lawmakers who are designing the expanded gambling system are accepting cash from those who will profit the most is akin to stacking the deck, a leading watchdog group said.
“This is our pay-to-play system,” said Craig Holman, of the D.C.-based non-profit Public Citizen. “The lobbyist is the chief money-peddler on behalf of casinos. Lobbyist contributions are simply contributions from their clients. It’s part of the lobbyists’ salary.”
DeLeo’s campaign treasurer released a statement saying the speaker is “at work preparing the best bill for Massachusetts.”
Murray’s spokesman, David Falcone, noted that many of the lobbyists represent multiple clients and added that Murray “does her best not to accept contributions from anyone who is directly employed by a casino or gaming organization.”
The role of casino money in the push to approve gambling palaces and slot parlors underscored a 2008 Common Cause study showing gaming interests gave state lawmakers $1.5 million in campaign cash between 2002 and 2007. Gambling proponents also ponied up $8.2 million to lobbyists between 1998 and 2007, the study showed.
But as expanded gambling gets closer to reality, the Herald review found casino-related payments to lobbyists surged by a whopping 27 percent last year, to more than $2 million - an apparent record.
Two lobbyists hired by Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, a Dorchester native, contributed more than $10,000 to Beacon Hill pols last year. Also heaping campaign dough on key lawmakers are former state Sen. Robert A. Bernstein and former House Ways and Means budget chief David K. Shapiro of Bay State Strategies, which represents the maker of slot machines for dozens of Las Vegas and Native American casinos.
Colorado developer David Nunes, who is pitching a $4 billion casino in Medford, hired Democratic lobbyist Paul M. Pezzella last year. “We believe at the end of the day this will all be about location and financial wherewithal,” Nunes said. “Buying yourself a license is never the way to go. Earning it is.”
Nunes’ lobbyist, Pezzella, contributed more than $11,000 to key lawmakers last year.
Casino lobbyists also donated heavily to House Ways and Means chairman Charles Murphy, who received $4,300, records show.
The Burlington Democrat defended himself, saying, “If people think a $200 donation is going to affect how I decide something, they don’t know me very well.”
Gaming cos. bet big on Mass.:

STRIKING IT RICH: Senate President...
Photo by Nancy Lane
STRIKING IT RICH: Senate President Therese Murray, above, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo have each received about $5,000 in campaign contributions from casino lobbyists.