Darwin rolls the dice
Now that the dust is settling, you have to wonder when it comes to casino permits: What the heck do we need a Gaming Commission for?
There’s a sort of Darwinian process of natural selection going on in the decision to site casinos in Massachusetts, and it appears voters are the ones taking the bull by the horns. Out west – both in Massachusetts and in Nevada – MGM officials and stockholders must be thanking their lucky stars. By default, they are the sole survivor after Palmer voters said thanks but no thanks to Mohegan Sun, which was angling to build a resort casino in that the small town between Worcester and Springfield. Mohegan officials said they would ask for a recount and, quel suprise, they say something was amiss with voting machines.
In September, West Springfield voters rebuked Hard Rock in its effort to bring roulette tables to their city. Springfield voters had no such qualms back in May when they gave a resounding okay to MGM, and now their foresight has paid off. The application deadline in that region is closed and it would take a miracle – or some federal investigation – for MGM to lose out.
The so-called Region A herd is also winnowing. Milford voters will go the polls on November 19, but given what happened in East Boston and Palmer, a thumbs up is no longer a foregone conclusion. Steve Wynn and his Everett plan looks like they are in the catbird seat for now. Though Revere and Suffolk Downs officials are exploring developing a casino that would sit only on the Revere side of the racetrack property after the East Boston slapdown, Gaming Commission jefe Steve Crosby says that’s a reach.
But, keep in mind, the Gaming Commission found Caesars had questions about the company’s suitability for the Suffolk Downs proposal and a few days later, word came that the company is under investigation by the feds and they dropped out. So, maybe in the end, the process is working the way it’s supposed to.
In an editorial , the Boston Herald says the Legislature, not the Ethics Commission, should decide whether a Dan Wolf exemption is warranted.
Somerset officials confirmed the town is facing an $11 million and growing unfunded retirement liability but dismissed residents’ concerns, saying many other communities have bigger gaps.
Democratic senators press the White House over health care enrollment woes. Meanwhile, The Bay State Banner calls the conservative furor on Obamacare a “ backdoor attack on the poor, ” white and black.
Boston mayor-elect Marty Walsh basks in the glow of victory on the day after. He plans to announce transition team members tomorrow. Minority voters were key to the Dorchester state rep’s victory. Peter Gelzinis writes that all eyes are now on John Barros , Felix Arroyo and Charlotte Golar Richie .
Time declares: Unions are back . “Have unions turned to municipal elections as a means of flexing their aging muscles?” asks Tufts University professor Jeffrey Berry.
Vice President Joe Biden calls Natick resident Marty Walsh to congratulate him on being elected mayor of Boston. In fairness to Biden, New York magazine notes that one out of every four Boston residents is named Marty Walsh. And then there’s this guy .
With Daniel Rivera’s margin of victory over incumbent William Lantigua in the Lawrence mayoral election only 60 votes, attention is now focusing on some 54 ballots set aside because of some problems with them and the absentee ballots still coming in, the Eagle-Tribune reports. The styles of the two candidates couldn’t be any different, according to the E-T . Rivera holds a press conference outside and fields all questions. Lantigua lets his lawyer do the talking while he personally talks to only a few Spanish-language media outlets.
Former state senator Warren Tolman is jumping into the race for attorney general, State House News reports.
Three women, all first-time candidates, win seats on the Salem City Council, the Salem News reports.
Attorney General Martha Coakley, who is running for governor, talks “patent trolling” at a Boston startup, WBUR reports.
Amesbury ’s mayoral election — decided by an 8-vote margin that later shrunk to 2 votes — heads for a recount .
Chris Christie ’s big win in New Jersey , combined with Ken Cuccinelli ’s loss in Virginia , has the GOP debating an electoral path forward. Robert Sullivan offers some grounds for caution before coronating Christieas the 2016 GOP presidential nominee.
Facebook is back where it all began and House Speaker Robert DeLeo is doing a victory lap.
Natick-based Karyopharm , a biotech company aiming to develop treatments for cancer and other diseases, became the ninth Massachusetts company to go public this year , finishing up modestly on its first day of trading.
The CIA pays AT&T to snoop on its call data.
Microsoft has winnowed the list of potential CEOs with just one outsider believed to be on the short list.
In the face of strong protest from students, teachers, and parents, interim Boston school superintendent John McDonough backed off plans he had floated to shuffle school locations to accommodate an expected bulge in elementary school enrollment.
Voters in Colorado reject a $1 billion tax package to fund education initiatives, Governing reports.
The New Republic ’s Jonathan Cohn explains why some people will pay more and get less under Obamacare .
Victor Davis Hanson wonders in the National Review if two terms are too much for the presidency.
Gov. Deval Patrick goes to Metro West and discusses some improvements to the Mass Pike as well as bigger projects like South Coast Rail and the Silver Line and Green Line extensions, leading the The MetroWest Daily News to ask when regional transportation equity is going to come to the region.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren discusses how the federal government is failing on gun control.The Supreme Judicial Court ruled a police officer’s opinion on whether someone is too impaired to drive is not admissible in drunken driving cases .
Central American immigrants in New Bedford met with the mayor and police to tell stories of what they say is an increase in racist attacks on their community.