Monday, December 24, 2007

Patrick's Casino Connection

One of the interesting things about Governor Patrick's decision to whole-heartedly support a sweeping casino proposal that would add not one, but three casinos to this state (before we even get to tribal casinos) is the fact that tons of Patrick's most ardent supporters were absolutely shocked by his decision. I can't say that I was, but I don't think I can count the amount of "how could he?" emails that I got.

Furthermore, even I've been surprised at the lengths to which he'd go to support his casino proposal, when he's left most of his other, better proposals to collect dust. He's packaged casinos as 'just another' revenue avenue to pursue, but it's obvious by the lengths to which he's gone to pass some kind of casino bill that his actions don't match his rhetoric: casinos have quickly become issue numero uno in the Patrick Administration, while the Municipal Partnership Act died a horrible - and almost uneventful - death.

It begs the question "why?"

Well, maybe I have an answer. It's the law firm Ropes and Gray. As the firm's site boasts,

Ropes & Gray is the only national law firm that is a member of the American Gaming Association, which also is a client of the firm on a number of matters.
It shouldn't be a shocker that such a firm would support the casino industry's quest to overturn the Commonwealth's Class 3 gambling ban - and thus, Mega-Resort, Class 3 casinos.

What just may surprise a few people, though, is the fact that Governor Patrick's wife, Diane Patrick, is a partner at Ropes and Gray (three woots for google!). While I hate to be cynical, I don't know if there's another explanation that exists that can so easily describe why the Governor is pulling out all the stops on this issue, one that's quickly turning his entire base against him and one that's no easier than the Municipal Partnership Act to get through the state legislature. Furthermore, why hasn't this glaring conflict of interest ever come up before?

4 comments:

Kathleen Conley Norbut said...

Ryan,
I read your post last night and despite the holiday, have not been able to shake the feelings of dread. De-Nial is not a river in Egypt and I am fighting the urge to want, need another explanation. I was comfortable supporting the LG whom I knew was a casino supporter (and a great guy) knowing that Patrick opposed casinos during the campaign. I never would have believed it if someone told me a year ago that I would be fighting for my community to not be destroyed (as I know and love it) by an enormous casino (24/7, 365 day) operation in an abutting town. We were just so optimistic that a Democrat would truly represent the highest interests of the citizens of the Commonwealth and not be another corporate agent. We brought our 10year old son to the Inauguration party to witness the historic event.
It all seems very much the epitome of "smoke and mirrors" with the Governor changing his position and conducting meetings with casino special interests/lobbyists (hear anything lately from Galvin's office on the illegal meetings?) right after being sworn in. I'm still shaking my head. Not good.

Quriltai said...

Hm...sounds familiar. The selectman in Middleboro who has most ardently pushed casinos as a panacaea, Adam Bond, moved into town about three years ago. He said all sorts of great things, made all sorts of connections, and next thing you know he's pushing the whole town into the idea of casinos. Now he wants to be town manager.

Funny thing is, now that townspeople are asking real questions about Bond, things aren't adding up. His claims of various offices for his law firm turn out to be mail drops, his online resume hasn't been updated for years, his story about why he moved to Middleboro doesn't add up. It seems awfully like Bond was maneuvered into place by the casino industry.

So am I surprised at Deval's connections to the casino industry? Not really -- I expect to hear more as time goes by.

carverchick said...

I am not at all surprised Ryan. The Middleboro casino deal is so imbued with shady dealings, lies and secrecy that it is no real shock to me that Patrick's casino proposal is also. This connection you have found speaks volumes about the type of person he is. I did not vote for him, but I feel really bad for those who did...who believed in him. He is susposed to be looking out for the best interests of the citizens of this State, instead he apparently is pushing this casino deal for personal gain without regard or care to the negative impacts. Disgusting. He says "he get's it..its entertainment"...what he doesn't get, or doesn't care to get is that this so called "entertainment" comes with a huge social, economic and environmental cost to all of us.

cdplakeville said...

Nice catch Ryan. I was never suprised from day one. Most of the candidates are bought and paid for by someone. There are very few "for the people" pols who make it. Should anyone had been suprised since Devalue's association to Ameriquest? His former boss, Pres. Clinton, had energy policy meetings with Enron executives. They got to stay in the Lincoln bedroom. So much for them being part of the party of the people. They belong to the party of personal benefit. None of these companies, especially the gaming industry, is looking out for the common folk.

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