Citizens Petitions – Democracy in Action

This is a truly hilarious abuse of the petition process. Won't it be interesting to see what happens. - promoted by david

Democracy for sale has become such a competitive business. What’s a casino developer to do when competing interests are all spending millions to woo our legislators to draft legislation giving them exclusive rights to a casino?

Submit your own ballot initiative forcing the Commonwealth to give you a casino license.






SECTION I, Section 1. CHAPTER 128 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after

chapter 128C a new chapter 128D:  Exclusive Casino Gaming.


SECTION II, Section 2.  Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the

contrary, the General Laws are hereby amended by permitting gaming in three exclusive

locations in the commonwealth.


SECTION III, Section 3.  Casino gaming, may be conducted in  three  locations;  1.) the eastern

location: on the land owned by a federally recognized native american  tribe which has not

surrendered its rights under the federal indian gaming regulatory act;  2.)the central location is

in the town of milford, bordering  on route four hundred ninety-five and route sixteen known

as the crossroads casino resorts project; and 3.)the western location in any municipality west of

exit six of the massachusetts turnpike also known as interstate ninety.     The permitted gaming

at the three casino locations shall be:   any banking or percentage game played with cards, dice,

tiles, dominoes, roulette wheel or any electronic electrical, or mechanical device or machine for

money, property, checks, credit or any representative of value, including pari-mutuel wagering

on horse races.  Any lottery game conducted by the State Lottery Commission pursuant to

Sections 24, 24A and 27 of Chapter 10 shall be made available to the patrons of the casinos.


Casinos are bringing us to a new frontier of capitalism and a new way of looking at our relationship with our community. In yesterdays column, Yvonne Abraham, Globe Columnist wrote:

It is so refreshingly honest, so disarmingly straightforward in its use of the democratic process for personal gain.

That’s why I love developer David Nunes’s plan to put a question on the ballot in 2012 asking voters to approve three casinos – one of which would be his……….

This ballot question is designed to enrich you, I challenged him. “Yes it does,’’ he said. This is not the kind of response I am used to.

“This will be one of the most expensive ballot questions in the history of the state,’’ Nunes said. “For me to pay for it myself and not have the reward at the end of it would be the worst business decision in history.

“That’s just to be 100 percent candid,’’ he offered, somewhat redundantly.

The Attorney General has to decide if using the ballot to get around the bidding process and reward yourself is kosher. But imagine the gloriously profitable possibilities if she signs off.

Good for a chuckle. It gets even better.

Who is this Colorado developer that has already schmoozed the Millford BOS into signing on the dotted line? When he came waltzing into town with promises of making millions of dollars appear did anyone check to find out who this guy is?

An aquaintance of Mr. Nunes alledges that his experience consists of talking his way into high-powered firms only to be fired a short time later. Well then, time to be your own boss. David Nunes is owner of companies that may sound like more famous companies. My personal favorite is Ajax Gaming Ventures – not to be confused with the Trump affiliated business, David Nunes Ajax Ventures shares its street address with a bait and tackle store….and/or it used too. Has Ajax Ventures has been downgraded to just the space inside a P.O. Box?

Hey Millford BOS – ever heard of due diligence! Ha Ha!

The reality is he is no more dishonest or a bigger con than any of the others. There is an amazing lack of healthy scepticism to suits with cell phones and P.O. Boxes promising millions of dollars and jobs. Where do they think the money is coming from – its the people that elected them to represent their interests. There’s no cut from the casino’s unless your constituents loose lots of money.

Once officials allow themselves to accept these wild claims without question, they will accept whatever ….Ever wonder how someone could be so stupid to fall for those Nigerian email when it is such an obvious scam?



13 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Do you wonder why Bernie Madoff was so successful?

    It would be interesting to collect “Massachusetts Foolish Gambling Notions” [similar to "Bushisms" of a previous President] because Mr. Nunes doesn’t hold a monopoly.

    This is my favorite:

    1.) the eastern location: on the land owned by a federally recognized native american tribe which has not surrendered its rights under the federal indian gaming regulatory act;

    How considerate of Mr. Nunes to remember our Native Americans! [Except you can't legally deny a Tribe its rights to IGRA. I hope he didn't have an attorney believe this is so.]

    The Aquinnah Tribe own land on Martha’s Vineyard on which they can’t build anything without a permit.

    The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe own land in Mashpee on which they can’t build a Slot Barn [theoretically]. They do not own land in Middleboro – the investors do. And neither the Tribe nor the Investors have a valid agreement in Fall River. [Although rumors abound that they’re looking!}

    Silly Season gets even sillier

    And the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe may soon find itself left at the altar again by their Malaysian backers:

    What shall we do to “Save the Tracks” ?

  2. This guy can't be all that smart...

    because let’s assume (a) that the question gets on the ballot in its current, self-dealing form, and (b) it passes. Don’t you think that the legislature, in a heartbeat, would amend the law so that it’s not an automatic giveaway to Mr. Nunes? I sure do, and there’s nothing he could do about it. I wonder if anyone has told him that.

    • The Blunder of it All!

      This might open a few cans of worms!

      Because the Gambling Industry is wildly profitable, they poll endlessly testing for attitudes and ‘buzz words.’

      “Destination Resort Slot Barn” isn’t a winner, but they also know NO ONE wants a Slot Barn for a neighbor and the well-funded have avoided ballot questions knowing they’re costly with questionable results.

      After Ohio voters said NO to casino gambling 4 times, $50 million was spent to persuade them otherwise. Who would think their money was wasted?

      In Pennsylvania, the Industry spent $60 million to get flawed legislation passed at midnight on the 4th of July.

      Massachusetts has let the Industry off cheap for only a few million.

      This from Connecticut with the world’s largest Tribal Casinos sucking their treasury dry:

      70% Oppose CT Gambling Expansion

      Harrah’s (now Caesars) was defeated in Rhode Island.

      In the middle of the night, the RI General Assembly voted to put a referendum on the November ballot to ask voters if they want full blown casinos in RI. RI voters have voted several times on this and voted NO, the last being in 2006.

      [And the investors in Twin River tossed a few million into the coffers to defeat the endeavor. Strange bedfellows indeed!]

      From: RI: 2 AM Vote? Only Cover of Darkness?

      Sue’s comments highlight the failure of officials to conduct basic due diligence – readily available on the internet.

      Does anyone remember Glenn Marshall?
      Found here:
      Merry Christmas

      (Gladys Kravitz is worth revisting for her brilliance.)

      And Palmer?

      Moody’s Lowers Mohegan Tribal Authority To Highly Speculative

      Moody’s Investors Service moved the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority to highly speculative territory, saying the operator of casinos could find it difficult to refinance significant debt maturities without some impairment to bondholders.

      Due diligence is sorely needed in the Holyoke deal, as well. There are a few more skeletons you might uncover.

    • That's what I said back in November

      Glad to see that my point that the legislature can amend the law is now accepted, even if it took a few months to sink in. Remember back then you said “I voted against Q1, but my side lost, and elections have consequences.” and that changing the laws after the fact would “defy the will of the voters”

      • It's not that simple.

        As I recall, you were saying back then that the ballot question didn’t matter – the legislature could and should just ignore it and hike the sales tax (or whatever it was) back up. Of course the legislature has the power to do that, and they’ve done so (clean elections and the income tax rollback being the famous examples). But it’s risky business politically, and it’s also generally a bad idea on small-d democratic grounds.

        This casino thing is different. If this question passed, my view would be that the people voted for 3 casinos, so they should get 3 casinos. But the notion that the law should hand a casino to one guy is absurd, and amending the law to remove that provision would not “defy the will of the people” in any meaningful sense.

        So, these things are complicated.

        • Ah, yes, nuance

          The people might very well vote for casinos, but the people have a way of voting for more toys for Christmas and anything else they think they might want. The people rarely vote to restrict their options, even if they know that there might be social costs or higher taxes down the road. But the legislature is supposed to be smarter than that, and they should not give us any casinos just because people voted for them. Obviously people would vote for them, except for the three or four people who are against casinos.

          In my view citizen petitions are not democratic, because they serve the media and special interests and selfish interests. The media gets rich, and it’s in their interest to make every ballot question close, to squeeze the most advertising and readership out of the public. So in the end, there are usually just as many no votes as yes votes, so “the will of the voters” is usually “both” or “neither”.

          (The Minnesota recall elections didn’t “cost” $10 Million, the media industry just siphoned off $10 Million from the public, to pay all the executives and actors and cameramen and writers.)

          I don’t think it’d be politically risky for the legislature to show leadership and authority by flicking off ballot questions like flies. People value strong leaders who aren’t always polling the electorate and asking someone else what to do. Finneran didn’t pay a price at the polls for scuttling clean election law, he remained strong and popular, but he paid a price in the media for scuttling ballot questions and the media’s influence.

    • What he lacks

      in experience in casino’s, development and finances, is made up for with his enthusiasm for a good lawsuit.

  3. I'd be voting against this...

    …but our constitution allows laws to be enacted this way for better or worse. Except as provided for in the constitution if a law would be valid if passed by the legislature it is equally valid if passed by the people. We can argue the merits, but I don’t think we should complain or call it abusive when our opponents use this particular constitutional opportunity to their advantage.

    • Sure, but they're just laws

      The Constitution doesn’t give them any special binding status, they can be repealed immediately.

    • "our constitution allows laws to be enacted this way"

      As to this particular law, that remains unclear. The AG’s office has yet to weigh in on whether the self-dealing aspect of this law, among others, passes constitutional muster. We’ll see.

      • But would the self-dealing aspect have different legal standing...

        …depending on whether the legislature or the people pass the law? Even if it does, you’ll note that in my previous comment I did say, “Except as provided for in the constitution…”

  4. Today's Statement of Scott Harshbarger, founder and president of Citizens for a Stronger Massachusetts

    As you probably saw, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is now saying that, despite having five Indian casinos and nine racinos, New York should consider allowing full commercial gaming. The history in just 10 short years there is a helpful lesson for Massachusetts legislators, the Patrick administration and regulators considering legalization here. Scott Harshbarger released the following statement directed toward the upcoming Massachusetts debate.

    Statement of Scott Harshbarger, founder and president of Citizens for a Stronger Massachusetts

    “Not content with five Indian casinos and slots at nine tracks, the Governor of New York State is now considering allowing full commercial casinos into the state – a shining example of the inevitable pressures for expansion, and the culture of dependence and greed casino gambling creates. New York’s example is a crystal clear and very instructive lesson for all of us in Massachusetts, including our legislators, regulators and the Patrick administration.

    “The experience in New York and 37 other states and around the globe proves that local leaders who claim they will – or even can – set a limit such as three casinos and one slot barn in Massachusetts are, sadly, just plain wrong. It is time for all of our elected officials to do their homework, to update outdated cost-benefit analyses and have a full, transparent debate about the pros and cons of welcoming this industry to Massachusetts before, not after, making a bad bet on our economic and cultural future.”

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Wed 29 Mar 7:09 AM