Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Therese Murray leads Mass pols in casino lobbyists dollars

Therese Murray, Massachusetts State Senate President, has topped this list for casino lobbying campaign contributions again.  Since 2008, lobbyists representing gaming interests have given over $1 million in campaign contributions to Massachusetts politicians. Murray has been among the top recipients of gaming lobbyists dollars for these past three years and has been championing the cause of gambling interests, including those backed by foreign gaming syndicates and Indian gaming which would limit total revenues to the Commonwealth should their plans be included in state legislation expected to pass this summer.

Murray has been leading closed-door negotiations with Governor Deval Patrick, also a top recipient of casino lobbyist money, to create gaming carve outs for these special interest groups.  Why the closed doors? 

Well, perhaps Murray, Patrick and the others in the pockets of casino lobbyists don't want us to see the special deals that benefit foreign gaming interests, like Genting Group Malaysia - backers of the Wampanoag casino gaming project.  Murray and Patrick know any Indian gaming carve out will require federal approvals - including an Act of Congress if it's a carve out for the Wampanoag.  This will delay all the casino development in the state, and thus delay the promised jobs.  

Oh wait, there's more!  Indian gaming puts the casino lands into trust which is exempt from local taxes and becomes a federal jurisdiction exempt from local law enforcement.  Adding insult to injury, the money behind the Wampanoag lobbying is a Malaysian gambling syndicate so the profits from the casino will not only leave the state, they'll leave the country.

Now we know why the closed doors.  This is some political sausage making the people of Massachusetts need to see in the sunshine before the legislation is crafted and presented as a fait de complet to the other honest legislators just trying to create some jobs for their districts and maximize revenues to the Commonwealth.

Let 'em know how you feel, or better yet, ask Attorney General Coakley to investigate:

Contact Attorney General Coakley: call (617) 727-2200 or email or Twitter @marthacoakley

Contact Governor Duval Patrick:  call ( 617) 725-4005 or email or Twitter @MassGovernor 

Contact Senator Therese Murray: call (508) 746-9332  or email  or Twitter @ThereseMurrayMA


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  2. I see nothing wrong with lobbyists helping get the projects pushed through. The system is set-up like that. They are fighting lobbyists on the opposing side so they better have a few representatives to defend the attacks from competitors. The bigger picture is how much money we'll receive in revenues. Massachusetts needs this revenue desperately.

  3. I agree with Jill. Just a roulette game can generate a revenue big enough to sustain a city project.

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