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Has Governor Deval L. Patrick slit his own throat – politically speaking – over the casino bill?
After apparently reaching a compromise on the issue of whether to allow slot machines in Massachusetts as part of the state’s expanded gaming bill, Gov. Patrick backpedaled last week and vetoed that provision – over the very vocal protestations of House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D – Winthrop) and Senate President Therese M. Murray (D – Plymouth).
The governor explained his turnaround on the fact that slot machine contracts would be issued on a no-bid basis, and wagged a finger at the Legislature for being unwilling to compromise and for dragging its collective feet on putting a bill together in the first place.
Gov. Patrick’s supporters are portraying this as political courage, but it’s more like political folly. In one fell swoop Gov. Patrick has cheesed off two of his most powerful allies, and many other lawmakers who worked on the bill in good faith. He needs a united front and now he’s created a State House divided.
I should remind you, readers, that Gov. Patrick two years ago had a chance to plead his case before the House as it was considering an earlier iteration of the bill, but instead nipped off to New York City to negotiate a book deal.
Then there’s one of the strongest lobbies in the state, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, which is staunchly pro-casino. It often endorses the Democratic candidate in gubernatorial races, but will Gov. Patrick’s deathblow to the casino bill cause the AFL-CIO to withhold its stamp of approval?
Elsewhere in the governor’s race, Dr. Jill E. Stein announced last week that her campaign had successfully collected enough signatures to secure a spot on the November ballot (as a member of the Green-Rainbow Party, which is considered a “political designation” in Massachusetts, she had a longer time period in which to collect signatures).
So we officially have a four-way race for the corner office, but the question now is whether the media will give Dr. Stein any attention, or will continue to treat her as a non-entity.
A reader contacted me last week to ask me what was going on with the race for State Representative of the Third Barnstable District – by which I mean she had no idea that State Representative Matthew C. Patrick (D – Falmouth) had an opponent.
That’s a bad sign for Republican David T. Vieira of Falmouth, who is challenging Rep. Patrick. Granted, neither gent has a primary race and are likely saving the good stuff for the November general election, but Mr. Vieira has been a little too quite for his own good, it would seem.
But wait! He does in fact have something cooking, so to speak. Frank and Andrea Keohane of East Falmouth are hosting a barbecue fundraiser for Mr. Vieira. That’s next week, August 19 from 5 to 7 PM at the Keohane house. Go to www.votevieira.com for details.
Democrat Lance W. Lambros has also been on the quiet side in his campaign for State Representative of the Fifth Barnstable District, but this week he announced a number of upcoming campaign events.
On Monday, August 16 he’ll hold a meet-and-greet starting at 7:30 AM at Liberty Hall in Marstons Mills; on Saturday, August 28 he’ll meet with voters from 4 to 7 PM at Merchants Square, at the Sandwich Democratic Headquarters annual barbecue; and on Monday, August 30 he’ll attend from 3 to 5 PM a senior citizens forum at the Barnstable Senior Center.
Mr. Lambros will also apparently start up a local public access cable segment to discuss the pressing issues of the day, so more on that once I get the details.
State Representative Susan D. William Gifford (R – Wareham) has scheduled her annual clambake fundraiser. It’s happening Thursday, August 26 beginning at 6 PM. It’ll be held at Zecco Marine in Wareham. Go to www.susangifford.com for details.
Daniel A. Wolf, Democratic candidate for State Senator of the Cape and Islands District, has rescheduled a planned meet-and-greet in Mashpee. That’s now set for Sunday, August 22, from 4 to 6 PM at Starfish Restaurant at South Cape Village in Mashpee.
Mr. Wolf’s rival in the primary race, Sheila R. Lyons, is holding a fundraiser at the Anchor Inn in Hyannis on Tuesday, August 31 starting at 7 PM. Go to http://sheilalyons2010.com for more info.
Thomas F. Keyes, Republican candidate for State Senator of the Plymouth and Barnstable District, is holding a pasta dinner fundraiser at the Pocasset Community Club on Wednesday, August 18 starting at 6 PM. Go to www.votekeyes.com for details.
State Senator Robert A. O’Leary (D – Barnstable) has picked up a big endorsement in his quest for Congress, from the Massachusetts Teachers Association last week gave Sen. O’Leary the nod.
“Massachusetts has the best schools in America, and Rob O’Leary’s leadership has made him a great partner for our members and for parents and students in making that success happen,” MTA President Paul Toner said in a press release. “We’re excited to endorse Rob O’Leary because, as a teacher himself for 34 years and a long-time leader on education issues, he’ll make education a priority in Congress.”
Now, interestingly, Sen. O’Leary’s rival in the primaries, William R. Keating, earlier in the campaign picked up an endorsement from the American Federation of Teachers – Massachusetts chapter. I guess these organizations don’t compare notes at all…
Also, Sen. O’Leary has launched what is, at least on the Democratic side, the first TV ad of the campaign. Check it out online at www.olearyforcongress.com/getout.
State Representative Jeffrey D. Perry (R – Sandwich) has picked up another big local endorsement, this one from Michael D. O’Keefe, the Cape and Islands’ district attorney.
DA O’Keefe gave Rep. Perry the official thumb’s up last week at a fundraiser for the latter hosted by the former. Rep. Perry also picked up what seems to be his biennial endorsement from the Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL).
Rep. Perry’s next local fundraiser will be held at the Aqua Grille in Sandwich on Sunday, August 22. That runs from 4 to 6 PM and is hosted by Eileen DiBuono and Patricia Markoff. After that, on Sunday, August 29 is an end-of-summer lobster and clam bake at the Sandwich American Legion Hall. That runs from 1 to 3 PM.
Go to www.jeffperryforcongress.com for more info and to make any necessary reservations.
This week’s event reminders:
Joseph D. Malone, Republican Congressional candidate, will be at the Courtyard Restaurant and Pub in Cataumet on Sunday, August 15 from 4 to 6 PM.
Mr. Wolf will be at house party fundraisers in Mashpee on Monday, August 16; in Marstons Mills on Thursday, August 26; in Osterville on Friday, August 27; and in Hyannis on Sunday, August 29. Check out his official website at www.danwolfforsenate.com for more information.
F. Randal Hunt, Republican candidate for State Representative of the Fifth Barnstable District, is holding a meet-and-greet at Lakewood Hills on Tuesday, August 17 at 5 PM; a golf tourney fundraiser at Holly Ridge on Sunday, October 3 starting at 8:20 AM; a pasta supper fundraiser at the American Legion Hall in Sandwich on Saturday, September 25 starting at 6 PM; and “Pizza & Politics with Pizzazz” at Two Brothers Pizza & Mexican in Sandwich on Monday, October 11 at 5:30 PM.
The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and the Cape Cod Young Professionals are co-hosting a pre-primary candidates’ night on Friday, September 10 at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis. WXTK-FM’s news director Matt Pitta moderates the forum involving candidates in the US Representative of the 10th Congressional District and the State Senator of the Cape and Islands District races.
Finally, from the Better Late Than Never File: two previously uncontested races now have contests…sort of.
Keith Davis of Holyoke is running a write-in campaign for lieutenant governor. What party? He apparently doesn’t care. According to his website (www.writeinkeithdavis.com) you can throw his name in wherever you’d like (though he thinks a write-in campaign would be “most effective” on the Republican ballot).
And then there’s Republican James P. McKenna, who for whatever reason didn’t go the normal route of getting a formal position on the ballot and is also running a write-in campaign for Massachusetts Attorney General. His website is at http://jimforag.com.
Political news and announcements may be sent to Michael Bailey, Region editor and senior political reporter, at email@example.com