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Election roundup: Southie state rep to endorse Connolly; Ross wants Everett casino to pay Boston

Walczak with Google Glass on.

The Dorchester Reporter alerts us that Nick Collins is going to endorse John Connolly, rather than, say, Marty Walsh, whom the Reporter notes stayed neutral in Collins's failed state-senate bid.

Mike Ross wants the state gaming commission to grant Boston "host city" status for the potential Everett casino - because much of the traffic to and from there would go through Charlestown streets and, darnit, Boston deserves some remediation for that. Ross, who also supports regional planning, has not taken a position on whether Winthrop deserves the same status should the Suffolk Downs casino be built instead.

Conor Yunits has set up a site to collect every single mayoral TV spot this year.

The Globe reports black leaders are not unanimous in trying to get some minority candidates to drop out of the race for mayor: State Rep. Carlos Henriquez notes there's no meeting of white leaders in Hyde Park complaining about how there are too many white candidates.

The Friends of Meridian Street in East Boston give an attaboy to Dan Conley for saying he would do something about cabbies who insist on using their street as an airport route despite the presence of a bypass road to Chelsea. It's part of his East Boston transportation plan.

WBUR says Marty Walsh is trying to show his story is more expansive and humane than the caricature of the union boss.

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Comments

So you DONT want a casino in Eastie, but you still want the payout? is that how it works for you? Let some other town 'suffer' while you rake in the cake?

Wow he really is a bobble head twit..

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He opposes casinos but since they're inevitable, he wants Boston to get its due for the problems a local one would cause.

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Cash Machine.. everyone wants their payout from the casino, but no one wants it in their backyard. *eye roll*

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And then plays the same sort of stupid extortion games that old line politicians have used for decades to stymie construction, grift, obstruct transparent process, and drive away federal funding for just about anything.

Okay. Right.

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From my understanding of the law, any community that is recognized as a surrounding community must negotiate a mitigation agreement with the casino developer. The biggest difference is that there is no vote in a surrounding community. If the developer and surrounding community can't agree on mitigation they are sent to mediation. It is conceivable that these surrounding community agreements could include large payments if there is proof of large impacts to the surrounding community.

In this case, Boston doesn't want to be recognized as a surrounding community to negotiate mitigation because they would lose the power to block the Wynn casino. Menino is playing favorites and already refused to talk to Wynn about a Seaport casino. Why would Wynn consider letting Boston be a host community when he knows they'll refuse to negotiate. Menino wants to put the casino in an isolated spot where it will affect the city the least while helping his friends the most.

Even though it is a long shot, I'd be happy to see Boston stop the Wynn casino and the voters stop the Caesars/Suffolk Downs casino. Then again according to Martha Coakley that might violate their constitutional right to suck money from the Commonwealth. (Did everyone hear that she isn't allowing a ballot question on repealing the casino law?)

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I did not hear about this, but for clarification, is the Attorney General not "allowing" a ballot question or "refusing to certify" it or some such because the petitioners did not meet a legal standard?

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Link to article

I'm no law expert, so maybe you can clarify after reading it.

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It is definitely the latter (i.e., she did not certify it). This is definitely less shady than "not allowing" it.

The reasoning is interesting though - I can't remember an instance where the Commonwealth took the position that an "implied" contract was subject to the takings clause (this doesn't mean that it hasn't happened, or that it's not already settled law, but I just can't remember an instance of it).

If this is not settled law, I am not sure that the Commonwealth (or the AG's office) would want that position to stand as a precedent - it could prove very costly down the road (e.g., lots of people could argue that they have/had implied contracts with the state and that any law that impugns it is a taking).

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Cadging from that article - the reason the attorney general’s office rejected the ballot initiative is because it violated a rule in the state constitution that such proposals cannot interfere with someone’s “right to receive compensation for private property appropriated to public use.” Ok, that sounds like a legitimate restriction.

The part that confuses me is where the state solicitor said that the proposed law would “impair the implied contracts” between casino proponents who have paid millions of dollars in application fees and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which is considering their applications. Ie, it would “take” without compensation the casino proponents’ contract rights.

Huh?

I could understand if it said that the fees already collected by the commonwealth would be an extra-legal taking if the proposed law were enacted - but wouldn't that simply mean that the state had to return the fees? How can the contracts themselves be considered pieces of property?

Could the initiative proponents rewrite the proposal to make this repayment explicit and make this invalidation moot?

If not, then couldn't the state govt make any development deal "initiative-proof" by allowing some private-property owner involved to immediately pay a negligible 'certification' fee in anticipation of the future work? Then any attempt to reverse/invalidate the deal by the electorate would be an "illegal taking".

No backsies!

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What about poor little Winthrop by the sea, they are going to get clobbered by Suffering Downs proposal, and not so much by Everett by the tanks. The Revere Beach parkway is the major artery in that area', and all the places connected by it will be impacted. if Boston wants some Everett money, it should pay for clogging up the ins and outs to Winthrop!

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...very vocal supporters of Nick Collins during the Special State Senate race. I'm told his brother was on the campaign. I suppose Marty was stuck because the Dorcena-Forry camp was also very disappointed they did not get Marty's nod, given their strong ties in the past.

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Building more than one casino. Um, any reason the law artificially limits the number of casino licenses?

In the meantime, I'm off to Mohegan Sun on Saturday. Hear that, Massachusetts? That's more of my money going to the Nutmeg State because we're led by people who don't understand the simplest business concepts.

Why can't Bob Kraft or Ernie Boch be Governor? I'd vote for either of them without thinking twice.

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I think anyone who would vote for Kraft or Boch wouldn't be thinking.

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What, that guy who offered scholarships to med students provided they work in the clinic at Patriot Place upon graduation? That guy who offered a partial solution to the real problem of health spending by putting his own wealth on the line? I would be thrilled to have Bob Kraft as the Governor of Massachusetts.

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The limitation exists in significant part precisely because people who understand business concepts very well wanted it in place.

Specifically, the casino operators understand that a state-sanctioned regional monopoly is great for them. The limitation provides them with a de jure barrier to entry against any other potential market participants.

It's a great deal for them - they get to avoid competition from Will's Allston Casino on two fronts: (1) because Will's Allston can't afford to even bid on a license; and (2) because they don't have to worry about Will's Allston siphoning off their suckers customers after they open.

And you're absolutely right - Ernie Boch Jr. and Bob Kraft would certainly understand this concept. If you don't immediately know why, try opening a new Subaru dealership in New England or try your hand at starting up a new NFL team within 100 miles of Foxborough.

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The state doesn't prevent you from opening another car dealership or competing sports franchise - the franchisor does and is fully within their rights to do so.

There should be no artificially "limited licenses" - alcohol, taxis, banks, sports franchises or casinos.

The state should simply say - this business is legal - to operate you must pay a licensing fee of $X each year and obey the following rules - a, b , c.

The state should not be in the position of picking winners and losers.

There may be a couple of exceptions (for example picking a vendor to provide services to state owned facility) - but that's different from licensing an entire industry.

If you need any examples of why these limited licenses are a bad idea - just look at what goes on around here for liquor and taxi licenses.

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It's anticompetitive, and that's precisely the problem. What incentive will these people have to run a business that's any good? And people will still eat it up because it's the only game in town, and that's a traffic problem that impacts everybody.

And I'm not sure how Subaru or the NFL are an analogy here. A "casino" is a general business concept, not a brand like Subaru or the NFL. If Subaru and the NFL want to grant exclusivity to their franchisees, those are private businesses that have the right to do so, not a state government.

As for an NFL franchise within 100 miles of Foxboro, that would be a great business. The Patriots' stock isn't getting any higher right now, and it costs an arm and a leg to attend games. The New York Mets of Boston football would be a great business to be in.

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You were making the point in your original post that people in state government do not understand the simplest business concepts. You then suggested Bob Kraft and Ernie Boch do, and so you would vote for either to be governor. That's fine, and I make no statement as to whether either would be a good or bad governor.

My comment was directed to the fact that it is business people just like Boch and Kraft (recall that Mr. Kraft himself was looking to get into the gaming business with one of the casino magnates who is looking to capitalize on the Commonwealth's law) who brought us this license limitation. The legislators who voted on the law (you'll notice that I did not say "wrote" the law - hint - see previous sentence as to whose people did) were acting at the behest of the people who understand the simplest business concepts quite well.

Again, I make no statement as to whether or not this is a good thing - I said it only to indicate that it was in fact people who understand the simplest business concepts who brought us the license limitation situation about which you originally complained, so I am not sure why a Governor Kraft or Boch would be expected to do anything different.

Both you and Stevil misconstrued the purpose of my analogy to Subaru and the NFL. Neither was cited for the purpose of commenting on the merits of whether market limitations/monopolies should or should not exist (which is what both of you went on to do), but rather, were offered as examples to stand only for the proposition that both Boch and Kraft understand that monopolies are great for monopolists. Of course Subaru and the NFL have the right to do that (subject to the Sherman Act, amongst other laws).

Lastly, there seemed to be a whiff of a suggestion that the state does not have the right to set up a monopoly. Any such suggestion flies in the face of centuries of Anglo-American tradition and jurisprudence, but yet again, I make no comment as to the merits of whether or not that is a good thing.

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Just an FYI. I have not been there yet but plan on checking it out sometime in the near future.

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But I wouldn't drive 50 miles just to play blackjack. I need another reason, like the horse tournament I'm playing in on Saturday at Mohegan.

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Please explain

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It's for a national tournament in Las Vegas in March. You show up and make 10 horse wagers. Highest bankroll at the end wins an entry and a travel package.

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Why doesn't Boston get mayoral candidates like Mac "Angry" Bell from Glostah?

The Globe and Boston.com carried story today about Bell, a candidate for mayor in Gloucester, who cut down his neighbor’s fence – twice in two days!

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/gloucester/201...

This is not the first time Mac Angry went wild. Back in 2005, Bell was arrested after allegedly running over a cop with his car in a fit of anger. Apparently, it took three cops and pepper spray to subdue him. One of the cops suffered a stroke a couple of hours after the arrest and had to retire from the force.

http://www.gloucestertimes.com/local/x645215456/Be...

http://www.gloucestertimes.com/local/x645241250/Po...

Boston needs for pols like this guy!!

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