Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ask the blind man...he saw it all!

Hello? Is anybody out there? BoS...can you see it?

The BoS just doesn't get it. The Tribe is out negotiating a better deal--apparently they don't share your "neighborly" feelings Mimi. It also appears that our own so-called representatives are on the move to help the Tribe get a casino -- SOMEWHERE ELSE. Good riddance at this point.

We have a House Bill and a Senate Bill that BOTH show that the sponsors of the Bill would be more than happy to have the Wampanoag Casino somewhere other than where the Tribe and Town have agreed to put it. Mr. Pacheco claims that he has no interest in having the casino moved from Middleborough, yet the bill he offered (just something to get discussions started), talks about a preference to a sovereign tribe in "Bristol County market" which apparently is supposed to include Plymouth County.

For the moment, let's assume that that strained interpretation is true. If the sponsor of that bill, our Senator, knows that Middleborough has a penned deal with the Tribe, then why would any bill he sponsors give a preference for any location other than where there is already a contract--Middleborough. The bill adopts as an assumption that the casino can be given preference in a place other than Middleborough. Now I know that our representatives say they won't try to tell the Tribe where to put its casino. Apparently, our representatives don't want to acknowledge that the Tribe and the Town already made that choice. In fact, to give a preference in a region, rather than to expressly state that a preference will be given for the Middleborough deal certainly is a good basis to ask "Who do you really represent, and it doesn't seem to be little Middleborough."

Then add to this problem that Sen. Pacheco also has sponsored a bill with Tom Calter, which bill also ignores the deal in Middleborough and puts the casino somewhere else. Tom Calter represents us, BUT he has at all times made his position known that he does not believe a casino in Middleborough works--he never hid that belief! See Canessa, Calter, and Pacheco are all on this Bill, which refuses to recognize the deal already in place, and contemplates the possibility of the casino being granted somewhere else.

Then, we have the Tribe meeting with the Governor and other State officials regarding the details of the casino project, and perhaps where it could go other than Middleborough, but the Tribe does not have us at those meetings. Our attendance was promised by our "neighbors" from Mashpee, and our attendance was required under the IGA. In fact, it was our neighbor, Shawn Hendricks that wrote to the Governor in September 2008 that:"We ask the representatives of the Town sit in on negotiations when issues affecting the host community are discussed..." Moving the casino to another location certainly would affect this host community--but our Selectmen, all of them, are doing nothing (at least, nothing in the open).

BoS, where are you. Are you sleeping the slumber of fools. Is the Tribe still our "neighbor," or do good fences really make good neighbors? Does the impotent vote of Middleborough really jar our government representatives to support the contract? Do you care to actually look at the pieces on the chess board and make a move--if there is any move left?

At this point I have to agree with the antis that this deal is dying a slow and morbid death, and that by the looks of who the Town is in bed with, all neighborly and warm fuzzy feelings should be gone. The deal has gotten away from this Board, the opportunities to save any part of it, or to get something from its are almost all gone--except for one.

Nothing has been decided by the legislature (at least not publicly), so the Tribe still needs the Town as a safe base. Threaten to take away their safe base, call them on their breaches and negotiate their exit from Town, and make them either commit to this Town NOW, or risk all of their hopes on what the state will give them elsewhere. This is the right play, as without the penned Middleborough deal, the State has no incentive to deal with the Tribe, and the Tribe has no place to put the hallowed ever shrinking bingo hall.

Call it a day BoS, and call their cards. Its time to see who wins the pot and move on with life. All it takes is a phone call and one meeting.


Mark Belanger said...

In bill you mentioned on page 23 is this:
whether, in the Bristol County market, the applicant is, or partners with, a federally recognized Native American tribe situated and with governmental offices in Massachusetts with land held in trust by the United States of America for the use and benefit of said tribe and which land is otherwise gaming eligible under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, that seeks and agrees to accept a commercial license consistent with the terms and conditions of this chapter and any regulations promulgate hereunder and waives its sovereign immunity and rights under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, in which case such applicant shall be given preference for a license in the Bristol market

I read this legalize as saying that to get a preference, the tribe must have trust land eligible for gaming under IGRA and agree to a fully commercial casino in Bristol County. Trust land is a very tall order thanks to Carcier v. Salazar which means that no Indian tribe is going to get a preference for anything. Time to WAKE UP Middleboro.

This reaffirms what I've been saying all along: The state does not want a sovereign casino ANYWHERE especially in Middleboro and has significant ability to stop one. The tribe has NO intention of building in Middleboro - we are merely a negotiating tool. Meanwhile, we are wasting massive time and effort on this project - a project that has NO CHANCE of proceeding.

Wally Glendye said...

This is in response to the piece of Land in Fall River:

In section three, the transfer act states: "The Fall River Redevelopment Authority is authorized to develop said land for commercial, industrial, and other economic developmental purposes, but expressly excluding any use for landfill purposes or for casino/gaming related purposes."

I don't know what's going to happen Adam but there is NO doubt that DeLeo's Bill is coming out in the first week of March. I would suggest that a stampede is coming.

AMB said...

This means that there is no down side to calling the Tribe out and saying that we are going to pull the plug immediately, unless they commit to several adjustments in the agreement, not the least of which would be a commitment that any casino they build only will be in Middleborough, or they will still pay Middleborough if they build somewhere else. If they lose the Middleborough deal, they lose all leverage--so let's threaten their leverage. At a minimum, we will make our representatives and Senator happy, since they apparently don't want the casino in Middleborough.

AMB said...

No question about that Wally. I just hope that The BOS doesn't let us get trampled in the process by not knowing how and when to get out of the way. Their silence is deafening.

Wally Glendye said...

I think the tribe really does owe the town some type of explanation. We partnered with them in good faith and we deserve to be kept in the loop or their reputation will be in the crapper.

AMB said...

FYI Wally, we never partnered with them. The IGA specifically says we are not partners and we are not friends. The BOS has been told that on numerous occassions, but can't ever seem to get the stars out their eyes enough to conduct the deal as business men rather than invertebrate fools. Sorry for the pitch, but it is frustrating to see people squander potential resources through sloth and indecision.

Wally Glendye said...

No offense, but we are partners with them in the business sense of the word. If a compact (long shot) is to take place then they need us as much as we need them to get a percentage of the profits that would be distibuted to the state.

Just my opinion however.

Mark Belanger said...

Instead of a BOS public dog and pony show, why doesn't Charlie or Pat or someone develop and maintain a relationship, then get answers in private that you won't get in public.

Like when one of my CFO folks was told by a tribal council member that the tribe COULD NOT AFFORD the infrastructure. That has been obvious to everyone except the BOS and TM for a couple of years now.

Mark Belanger said...

And another thing. Let's say the impossible happens and the tribe gets Middleboro land into trust and agrees to waive all sovereign immunity and run it like a fully commercial facility. What happens to our IGA then? These are the sorts of details the BOS needs to nail NOW and not when it's too late - like the land sale.

As I said on my forum today - God help us all if this town ever actually gets a casino. All we've proven so far is that we can't even manage a theoretical casino never mind an actual one.

AMB said...

You are right that we are theoretically partners in the business sense. If so, what kind of partners don't talk to you before changing the rules? What kind of partners are scared of confronting issues with the other for fear of losing the deal? Partners on the verge of divorce I suspect, and, in this case, divorce might be better for the family unit.

I also agree with you Mark, that the BOS needed to do something back when Carcieri was pending and Marshall was being indicted. They should have done something when I got a letter opinion for the BOS from DW saying that we should all go to the table last year. They should have done something back when Shawn and the Tribe tried to exclude us from the negotiations with the State (and still are).

Maybe the real reason the casino will be bad for Middleborough is the fact that these are small time players trying to keep up with big league players. There is no shame in them admitting they are outgunned, but the deer in headlights routine is going to be the death of any possible leverage we may have in the future--and the Tribe, Calter, Canessa, and Pacheco are exploiting the weakness of our BoS. Shame.

Anonymous said...

The casino is about to walk away. If you voted in favor of it you will be upset and want to fight to save it.

If you were against it from the beginning, please remain quiet and do not wake the fools.