Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Leo Pelletier - The Teflon Councilor

Today, is Teflon Day! I can't think of a better time to discuss our own non-stick city councilor, Leo Pelletier! Leo's Internet cafe was raided the other day. It was big news. It made all the papers! I saw stories in Boston papers and the Providence Journal. It seems most conversations I had would eventually include "did you hear what happened to Leo?"
Now in a way, I'm not surprised. I had conversations with some friends months ago about how gaming cafes were coming under scrutiny. Some states had simply gone and regulated it and others taken such businesses to court apparently with much success. Even Leo admits that to having doubts saying he went to Sam Sutter looking for an opinion on whether this was legal. When one didn't come, he opened up anyway. Months ago I thought this was something Leo should stay away from. Its legality was uncertain. Why as an elected official would you want to associate yourself with something that may be found illegal? It seemed like it would only be a matter of time before the state took a closer look on how legal these gaming cafes were, so why get caught in the middle of it?
Now you think the stigma of a city councilor involved in a possibly illegal activity would tarnish his reputation and make him vulnerable to political attack. But not Leo! Instead people in Fall River will sympathize with him and say it wasn't technically illegal. Leo has this Teflon coat, and he'll be viewed as the little guy trying to make a buck. Now I'm not saying Leo is guilty of anything but I am saying that normally having your business raided isn't good for your image, but in Leo's case it will probably put him back as top vote getter in this year's council race.