Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bad Ideas

This is surely one of them.

Senator Michael W. Morrissey of Quincy and Representative Brian P. Wallace of South Boston, both Democrats, will seek to amend a bill scheduled for debate in the state Senate today and in the House next week that would change the state's presidential primary from March 4 to Feb. 5.

The amendment calls for a nonbinding referendum that would ask primary voters: "Do you support the establishment of up to three resort casinos in Massachusetts?"


They may as well ask the electorate "do you think radiation is the best cancer treatment?" There are very few knowledgeable voters on casino issues. This is why we elect leaders to make these kinds of decisions, they're the ones who are supposed to research the issues and then engage with local constituents who have an expertise in the area or strong opinions.

However, if Beacon Hill reps are too cowardly to do that, they at least owe the populace the time to allow them to learn about the issue. They owe the populace a full-scale commissioned report on all the pros and cons, through the lens of statistical and other forms of analysis. There are dozens of questions with no answers yet - and still, greedy pro-casino people are ready to ignore all of them. Seriously, any person who would sign onto that amendment deserves a primary challenge.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It'e a non-binding poll of their
constituents, isn't that what should be happening with more issues? I want the casinos, I have no personal stake in their development. If a bunch of people go there and get in over their head because they gamble too much, too bad for them. I go currently to the ones in Conn. and find it entertaining. If I'm going to spend my money I would just as soon do it in Mass. I wouldn't have to drive so far.

Ryan Adams said...

No, Anon. If it passes, there will be crazy, insane pressure to pass casinos immediately, without looking into the information. If Beacon Hill desperately wants to poll voters, though it's been done probably dozens of times through privately funded polls, they really need to give citizens the time to learn about all of the pros and cons through nonpartisan sources, which hasn't happened yet.

Furthermore, I'm not all that concerned with the "personal stake." I'm not against it just because of moral implications, the far more powerful ones are economic. As has been seen around the entire country, you spending money in a casino doesn't help any economy. Mega resort casinos destroy local business - that's a fact. Atlanta went from having over 300 restaurants, pubs, clubs and similar establishments to having, today, less than 60. You think the casinos in Atlanta have helped their economy? That's just crazy. The same goes for Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. It would be the same with all three - and soon four, five and so on - in Massachusetts, under the Governor's plan.

Anonymous said...

*rolls eyes* Ryan, how many casinos do you think we're going to have? You keep using this scare tactic, casinos on the Vinyard, casinos on every corner. Is that even remotely realistic?

And let's go back to Question 1. You wanted to be able to buy wine in grocery stores as a matter of convenience, and didn't care if liquor stores went out of business. How is this different? I don't think businesses are going to go out of business a round here, because there aren't any anyway. Casinos would actually give us something to do that's open past 8 pm. People in the communities seem to want casinos, people in the state would probably pass this resolution, so why is your opinion so much more important than the will of the voters?

Anonymous said...

And we shouldn't oppose casinos just because gambling is "bad" for some who go overboard with it. If that's the case then we shouldn't have liquor stores or sell cigarettes.

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