Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Menard Maneuver

I have thought from the start that one of the toughest challenges facing a Fall River casino would be removing the legal restrictions that specifically prohibit a casino from being built on the site. After all, why would any legislator who is vying for a casino in their district vote to increase the competition they might face?

It turns out that Senator Menard has come up with a clever solution to that particular problem, she has put forth an amendment to the Senate's casino bill to allow a casino to be built on the land originally intended for a BioPark. Menard's maneuver is quite simple, if the casino bill passes the restriction on the Fall River land would be reversed. Joan was obviously counting on more senators voting in favor of a casino than would be worried about the land use provision she amended to the bill.

Of course one colleague who is worried about the amendment is Senator Mark Montigny of New Bedford. Mark is opposed to Menard's amendment citing environmental concerns. Menard is quick to point out that New Bedford is also in the running for a casino and believes this is Montigny's true motives.

The result of all of this was another delay on the voting of the senate bill but a decision will have to be made on Thursday, as the Senate President has stated she will not allow for any more delays.

I have to give Joan credit, her little maneuver would certainly solve a big issue rather neatly. However I'm inclined to agree with Senator Montigny that this amendment doesn't belong in the Senate's casino bill. The whole issue of bringing legalized gambling to Massachusetts is complicated enough without scheming for the supposed best interests of one community at the same time. On top of that the land use amendment deserves serious discussion all on its own. Despite all the rosy sentiments of Joan, Will, & Cedrick about how everyone down here wants a casino there WAS a reason such a restriction was put on the land. I believe that restriction was to stop the city from impulsively deciding to expand the landfill or build a casino rather than developing the land as it was intended. It looks like it was a smart idea that we have decided to ignore.

Lefty's View: It's clear that by adding this amendment to the casino bill that Senator Menard is looking for the easy win, rather fitting since it involves gambling. The truth is reversing an earlier decision is worthy of serious discussion and not a free pass. Back in 2002 would Fall River have been allowed to create the BioPark if the 'no casino' clause had not been part of the deal? It's easy to say that the majority is in favor but that is not enough reason to override an earlier decision without revisiting the reasons behind it. Allowing this to be so easily bypassed sets a horrible precedent and makes any safeguards to preserve land for specific uses practically worthless.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

The current Senate Bill opens the competition for a casino license to everyone. New Bedford is rolling out the welcome mat to UMass Dartmouth for a bio-park. It is still a real possibility that Fall River gould wind up with nothing.

Sneezy said...

Lefty sir, my computer monitor screen is very dirty. It usually is not a big problem for me, but the black backround of your blog really calls attention to the filth. As I am out of papertowels and windex, would you kindly accomodate a loyal blog reader by putting in a patterned backround?
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.

Anonymous said...

the real menard maneuver:

Anonymous said...


BTW, my secret word verification for this post is "GRAFT"---no word of a lie!