Events seem to be shaking Geo-political forces around the world including the conflict escalation in eastern Ukraine with anti-Semitic leafleting; paralleled by domestic hate crimes being committed at the Kansas City Jewish Community Center during Passover and Holy Week. High holidays in the Jewish and Christian religious calendars.
Locally, Mayor Marty Walsh shook it up by throwing down the gauntlet to the Mass Gaming Commission chairperson Steve Crosby for his conflicts of interest and bias in the region A casino process. The new minted mayor of Boston has called on Crosby to recuse himself from the region A casino licensing process. Please read this compilation of Crosby gems – he’s the classy guy with the dice cuff links.
Crosby is also being sued by Caesers for previously articulated bias and conflicts with owners of the Everett property.
Concerns about the credibility of the MGC have arisen on many fronts with the following list of reasons to have an independent watch-dog formed immediately to monitor the well-paid, lucrative expense benefited commissioners:
1. Lavish expenditures on junkets, personal parking, luncheons, consultants, etc….
2. Watering-down the rules and regulations to appease gambling corps – adjusting timelines multiple times
3. Denial of host and surrounding community status to multiple towns and cities (See Mayor Marty’s call to have Crosby recused.)
4. Arrogance, hubris and ignorance of the scope of impacts and rushing local referendum in Plainville when the corrupt racetrack owner Piontowski (buddy and benefactor of Scott P. Brown – formerly know as Cosmo) was outed and Penn National swooped in overnight after Tewksbury kicked them out
5. Serving as enablers for the predatory gambling industry
6. Conflicts of interest
7. Closed door meetings with proponents
8. Lobbying legislature for casino fixes – easing the restrictions in the law
9. Not establishing independent advisory councils with local stakeholders per the statute
10. Ignoring and denying requests from local officials for information
The MGC is a public – govt. entity that is responsible for enabling the casino law. Their actions have as a whole have lost the public trust.
In today’s news we also heard Commissioner Zuniga make insensitive, ignorant, offensive and clueless remarks about the Springfield MGM request for yet another special adjustment to the law in granting them a “provisional” license so that they don’t have to begin laying out money for construction which currently includes demolition of some existing properties. MGM is afraid that the repeal question will get to the ballot and opponents will win. Enrique Zuniga – the highly paid commissioner appointed by Treasurer (and candidate for Governor) Steve Grossman was interviewed on WAMC 90.3FM (public radio) and said this:
Commissioner Enrique Zuniga said it would be “devastating” for Springfield if buildings were demolished to make way for a casino and no casino is built. ” Forget about one tornado or one gas explosion, it would probably look like five tornadoes.” MGM is proposing to build the casino in a three-block area of the city’s downtown that was damaged by the tornado in 2011. Full story at : http://wamc.org/post/anti-casino-activist-says-mgms-license-delay-request-evidence-eroding-public-support
A 39 mile swath of land including cities and towns from Hampden County to Worcester County were ripped apart with the June 2011 tornadoes. Hundreds of people lost their homes and were displaced. Some still do not have their homes, businesses and property restored even today – almost three years later. Four people died.
These are not simple “oops, I misspoke” incidents. These situations and statements are evidence of wrong-headed thinkers who do not possess the skills to do the job. BTW, Zuniga defended the lavish MGC spending spree.
No excuse. None.