As has already been noted here, Stan McGee, a fairly high-ranking Patrick administration official, was recently arrested in Florida for … well … let’s just call it “conduct unbecoming a state official,” shall we? Anyway, he’s on unpaid leave until the charges are resolved.
The reason this story is more important than its lurid details is that McGee was a critically important player in the casino debate. To refresh your recollection, check out BMG’s more or less complete list of the meetings that preceded Patrick’s announcement of the plan for three resort casinos. McGee attended the vast majority of them, and he was heavily involved in developing the policy that has become the casino bill.
I’m not really sure what all of this means. I guess part of it is that the administration needs to find another in-house casino expert. Meanwhile, the MA AFL-CIO has decided to back the casino plan strongly, and will
make the casino proposal one of their top priorities this year, on par with healthcare reform and education. They said they plan to lobby legislators vigorously and will take a lawmaker’s stance on casinos into account when deciding whom to endorse and campaign for over the course of this election year. The union also plans a grass-roots campaign, encouraging members to write letters to local papers, call radio talk shows, and call legislators.
On a par with health care reform and education?? Good heavens. Even if you’re a casino booster, does that really seem like a sensible ordering of priorities?
What a mess.