MassLive story on the LG Debate draws the distinction between the LG candidates on the repeal of the gaming law (Question #3). The debate was held in Springfield, a city directly impacted by the repeal (and one whose voters approved a casino in their city).
While all three said they would honor the will of the voters on a Nov. 9 ballot question, Kerrigan, president of the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund and a former aide to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, was the only one of the candidates to view casinos as an economic development opportunity and job-creator that is too good for Massachusetts to pass up.
“It’s an easy question for me,” Kerrigan said. “I will vote against the repeal of the law – not just because I think it’s unfair for the city of Springfield, but doing so would hurt the state’s ability to be competitive.
Leland Cheung, a Cambridge city councilor, and a member of Gov. Deval L. Patrick’s Asian American Commission, said he is morally opposed to casino gambling. But if the state law stands, Cheung said cities impacted by the casinos receive mitigation funds from developers.
Casinos prey on the vulnerable, Cheung said, noting that Asian-Americans are particularly harmed by the industry. “No one beats the house,” he said.
“In reality,” he said. “It’s up to the voters.” Should they decide to vote against repealing the law, Cheung said he will continue his efforts to push for other forms of economic development and state investments in education and infrastructure improvements. “We need to invest in things that result in real prosperity,” he said
Michael Lake, the CEO of the Boston-based non-profit company Leading Cities and a former special assistant in the Clinton White House, said he hoped the voters will repeal the law, arguing that the notion that casinos would restore a city to prosperity is “ a false impression
My disclaimer – my Union and I are actively supporting Leland Cheung for LG.