Blue Mass Group
Reality-based commentary on politics.
April 13, 2010 By gladys-kravitz 14 Comments
April 13, 2010 at 2:40 pm
Seems this same constitutional argument could be made for all corporate welfare.
April 13, 2010 at 8:14 pm
The Article reads as follows:
p>Article VII. Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men: Therefore the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity and happiness require it.
p>I read this to mean that the power to change the constitution lies in the people, not in any one class or group. I don’t think it means what the person whose voice is in the video says it means.
p>If it meant that no law can single out a person or group of persons for any benefit, then all earmarks, and all other laws benefiting a particular person would be unconstitutional. Lots of laws like this are passed every year.
p>I think the practice of granting slot licenses to specific persons or businesses in a law is a very bad idea. I don’t think it violates Article 7 of the Commonwealth’s Constitution.
April 13, 2010 at 9:36 pm
Virtually none of the legislators who voted for slots today was actually present to hear the man whose voice is on the video. In fact, most of those legislators never heard any public testimony.
p>And this bill isn’t going to get a public hearing. That was one of the first things they voted down.
p>To me, it’s a case of one class of men, being told what to do by another class of men, for the benefit of their special interests.
p>And it’s not at all in the spirit of the constitution, which is why I chose it for this video – on this particular day, when the debate was being heard on the House floor.
April 14, 2010 at 12:58 am
I think I detest the process this is all occurring even more. It’s like we’ve learned nothing from the ethics abuses of the past few years. Legislators on Beacon Hill have to start asking themselves if they want to represent their constituents… or their speaker. And they should ask themselves if they want to be the next Lida Harkins.
p>People are sick of the backroom deals, the special interests and the Speaker controlling everything. They want government to work for them. When we can’t have important things like a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis, or even just a public hearing, this is not at all government working for the people.
April 14, 2010 at 7:58 am
p>Since the election of Scott Brown, I’ve spoken with many life long Democrats who are so angry, all they say is “I’ve simply HAD IT!”
p>There are too many Representatives who behave like Bobble Heads, ignoring the evidence and refusing to listen to constituents.
p>When the Speaker’s office doesn’t even know the cost of the bureaucracies being created, it speaks volumes.
p>The flaws contained in the Speaker’s proposal mirror those created elsewhere.
p>Although the jobs and revenues are clearly overstated, the Bobble Heads aren’t raising the issue.
April 14, 2010 at 3:26 pm
and lost in some of this is what the legislature is not doing while they’re spending the week debating the “inevitable” gambling bill. Has the anti-bullying bill that seemed so urgent a few weeks ago now just another bill that will die before the session ends?
April 14, 2010 at 8:55 am
watching them gleefully strike down amendments that would exclude the public from the debate, or that would prevent addiction before it starts, or that would help people who do develop gambling problems – while insisting that this legislation is really a “jobs bill’ or making comparisons between an industry’s efforts to exploit a pathological illness for profit and getting coupons for Yankee Candle.
p>Some of those legislators looked like they were actually at a gambling industry expo instead of a hearing on gambling legislation.
April 14, 2010 at 10:09 am
when you abandon well thought out researched arguments in favor of ridiculous constitutional arguments. This constitutional argument is as misplaced in this context as it was when conservatives brought up this clause with reference to the health care bill. http://www.redmassgroup.com/showComment.do?commentId=11929
April 14, 2010 at 12:52 pm
It’s a man, at a public hearing on gambling, talking about the Mass. constitution while we look at a close up of DeLeo’s face. THE IRONY IS… wait for it… DeLeo isn’t interested in the public. Ah ha!
p>He’s only interested in pushing forward gambling legislation without having people look too closely at it. Hence, no public hearing.
p>All day yesterday the legislature struck down amendments to DeLeo’s legislation that would help Massachusetts citizens – only because doing so would cut into gambling profits. Do you suppose that’s in keeping with the spirit of the Mass. constitution?
p>DeLeo and the gambling interests in his district are indeed a certain ‘class of men’.
April 14, 2010 at 1:32 pm
I think this comment was a reply to me, even though it was posted as it’s own comment. So I’ll take the bait.
p>Setting casinos aside for a moment, which part of the “spirit of the Mass. constitution” prohibits the legislature from striking down amendments if they feel that the amendments would undermine a piece of economic expansion legislation that they are debating?
p>I used to think that the legislative process used here was very underhanded and that a public hearing should take place. But I might have to rethink that position if the main point of a public hearing is for public individuals to misinterpret constitutional clauses and offer ridiculous constitutional interpretations. Why should the legislature waste their time listening to uninformed crackpots offer silly constitutional interpretations?
p>I have read several of your posts before and found them to be well written and well supported. I can’t say that I’m completely convinced by either side in the casino debate. But the fact that you’ve abandoned your well thought out arguments in favor of bad constitutional arguments makes me think that your position might not be as strong as I gave it credit for being.
April 14, 2010 at 5:32 pm
to talk about the spirit of the constitution, and eloquently at that. It would be almost impossible to apply such a constitutional standard to any bill, because just about every bill picks winners and losers amongst a “certain class of men.” However, it’s up the the judgment and foresight of legislators, as well as their constituents, to determine when they’re crafting laws for the benefit of the state and their constituents, or sleazy special interests who stand to profit billions, leaving the state to pay for their impacts. So far, we’ve seen a lot of fantastic legislative representation from the house for the Speaker, but very little of it for constituents.
April 14, 2010 at 10:25 pm
…that only industry people and those in their pockets could possibly support this. Do you have polling to show that MA residents oppose this bill (not that government should be by polls anyway)? I’m actually not a big fan of this particular bill myself, but polling I’ve seen, at least on resort casinos, seems to indicate support.
April 15, 2010 at 4:11 am
If there’s been no cost-benefit analysis, I’m not assuming. If there’s been no public hearing, I’m not assuming. If the bill was crafted behind closed doors, with only the proponents and special interests having their say, I’m not assuming. If amendments of basic human decency failed to garner more than 25 votes, like putting the odds on the machine, I’m not assuming. The industry just won in the House, and the State of Massachusetts and nearly every single one of its people lost. The war’s not over, but this was a major battle lost and much more than a shot across the bow to the citizenry base of the Commonwealth. Our legislators are not looking out for our best interests and not representing the people they were voted to represent (their constituents), instead choosing to represent the Speaker.
April 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm
You said that legislators are listening to lobbyists instead of constituents as if they are opposite and mutually exclusive. I am suggesting that maybe, just maybe, at least in some cases their constituents actually WANT casinos and are telling their legislators so. I know I live in a part of the state where casinos have a fair amount of POPULAR support. This support is often based on ground level economics. There are two legitimate sides to this debate. You have made your priorities clear, but others do have a different set of priorities. You very much ARE assuming that no reasonable person can have a different view and you need to stop implying that you speak for all of Massachusetts and their true interests. If/when you get elected to public office then you can make such a claim on behalf of your constituents. Until then if you want to make a blanket claim that you represent statewide views I want to see polls.
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