Monday, October 27, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PORTLAND – Two university professors who analyzed a pro-casino television ad for Maine Public Broadcasting concluded that the Yes on 2 ad employs “classic…negative advertising” and is “a genuine attempt to frighten voters.”
Ironically, the pro-casino ad attempts to accuse CasinosNO! of these same tactics by purporting to show a transcript of a tape recording, secretly made by disgraced Rumford attorney Seth Carey. The audio recording is from a two-minute snippet of a one-hour seminar two years ago led by Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!
MPB says on its website (www.yourvote.me/AdWatch_question2yes.html) that it is impossible to determine the accuracy of the transcript because Yes on 2 refused to provide a copy of the actual recording. Gregg Lagerquist, a news reporter at WGME, however, has heard the actual recording and reported that the transcript provided by Yes on 2 does not match what is said on the audio recording by Bailey.
“This is a new low by the promoters of the Oxford casino,” Bailey said. “Recording me without my permission or knowledge, then twisting my words out of context and inventing things I didn’t even say. This is real sleaze, brought and paid for by Las Vegas.”
The two university professors, Amy Fried and Ron Schmidt, associate professors of political science at the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine, respectively, called the ad “unusual” and questioned its effectiveness.
“If this had been an ad for a campaign involving candidates, it would be characterized as personal, negative, and focused on character,” said Fried. “The ad doesn’t play the recording of the statements made and so it is hard to determine if they have been taken out of context and thus have been misinterpreted.”
Schmidt agreed: “It is…an attempt to deploy the strategy the [pro-casino] group is ostensibly opposing. Shaky, vague images, mapped onto the questioning of one’s opponent’s real intentions, are classic strategies in negative advertising. [The ad] is both about the attempt to frighten voters and a genuine attempt to frighten voters.”
Bailey said if the ad wasn't so sleazy, it would be comical. "The real irony is that the only TV ad that mentions crime and prostitution at casinos is the from the side that wants a casino," Bailey said.
The ad was produced by CDM Communications in Portland.
Contact: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PORTLAND – Editorials in all of the major Maine newspapers and several weekly newspapers have urged a NO vote on the Oxford casino, referendum Question 2 on the Nov. 4 ballot.
So far, ten newspapers in Maine have urged readers to vote no on Question 2 while there have been no endorsements of the casino proposal by any Maine newspaper. Newspapers urging a no vote include the Lewiston Sun Journal, whose circulation covers Oxford County, and the Bangor Daily News, which is home to the state’s only other casino, Hollywood Slots.
In an editorial Thursday, the Bangor newspaper declared, “A casino is not economic development,” and said the money the casino is promising to state government pales in comparison to the amount of money that would be leaving Maine for Las Vegas, home of the owner of the proposed Oxford casino.
The Bar Harbor Times called Question 2 “one of the most deeply flawed pieces of legislation in Maine history.” The Brunswick Times Record called Question 2 “a fiasco” and criticized casino proponent Pat LaMarche for suggesting that the Legislature will fix the problems with the bill after it passes. “In other words,” the editorial said, “she wants voters to trust legislators who have yet to be elected to rewrite a law that doesn't work as written. Isn't that akin to betting the mortgage that a fifth ace will show up in your poker hand?”
Newspapers editorializing against Question 2 include:
Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
Lewiston Sun Journal
Bangor Daily News
Brunswick Times Record
Bar Harbor Times
Belfast Republican Journal
“If this proposal was really about jobs and economic development, like the proponents claim, don’t you think at least one Maine newspaper would be supporting it,” asked Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO! “Fortunately, they’ve all seen through the deception, sleaze and scare tactics of the casino promoters and urged their readers to do the same.”
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
SOUTH PARIS – The former mayor of Ledyard, Connecticut, home to the Foxwoods casino, today told the Oxford County commissioners to be prepared for higher costs and more crime if voters approve a gambling casino for Oxford.
Susan Mendenhall, who served eight years on the Ledyard Town Council and just completed a four-year term as mayor, told the commissioners that the casino has placed numerous costly burdens on the town without little economic development spinoffs.
“The biggest impact that we faced was on our emergency services people,” she said. “Prior to 1996, responses averaged 500 a year. Now, responses are almost double, and remember, the town population has remained relatively flat. Our town dispatch center had three full time dispatchers. Now we have six full timers and 10 part timers. Call volume has risen from 3,000 calls a year to over 50,000 last year for routine and emergency calls.
“Another issue that has put additional burden on our police department is the rather unpleasant reality that crime follows the money. Although some of these crimes are a sign of the times, we have had a rise in gun and drug related issues, and assorted issues that track the money.”
Mendenhall also dispelled the myth that towns surrounding a casino will see new businesses or economic growth. She said Ledyard has seen little change in the 15 years of hosting a casino.
“Will you see economic development spin-off – we have seen little,” she said. “The reality is that the casino resort becomes a destination – incorporating all that patrons need – hotels, bars, restaurants, gaming and entertainment.”
Mendenhall appeared as a volunteer without payment to warn the Oxford County Commissioners that they should look very carefully at the costs connected to a casino, costs that ultimately end up being paid by the taxpayers.
“Over the years, our local towns have absorbed into our yearly budgets the…associated costs [from the casino],” she said. “However it has been painful on the local taxpayer. Don’t let that happen here.”
Mendenhall appeared at the meeting with Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO! who gave the commissioners a 20-page report detailing the experiences of other communities in the US who are hosts to gambling casinos.
“Voters shouldn’t listen to me or the proponents of this casino,” Bailey said. “All they need to do is examine the communities that have casinos and find out what their experience has been. At best it’s mixed. At worst, casinos are a disaster providing no economic benefit to area communities and costing taxpayers money.”
Contact: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Susan Mendenhall, who served as Ledyard’s mayor and a member of the town council, will relate her experiences dealing with the a nearby casino. She will warn the commissioners about the cost of providing town services for the casino and other related impacts.
Bailey will present the Commissioners with a 20-page report in response to an economic impact study given to the Commissioners two weeks ago by the casino promoters.
The meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21 at the Oxford County Courthouse, 26 Western Ave., South Paris.
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Saturday, October 18, 2008
See the attached letter sent to Maine television stations today.
Don’t Gamble Away Maine’s Future
Oct. 18, 2008
Dear Station Manager,
An advertisement airing on your station by the Yes on 2 campaign is false and misleading.
The advertisement features two state legislators who say they will “fix” Question 2 “when it is passed” by voters on Nov. 4. However, the legislator making that pledge, Rep. John Patrick, D-Rumford, is prohibited from running for re-election this year and will not be a member of the Legislature during the next session to fix the casino bill or anything else.
In the ad, Rep. Patrick says, “We sit on the committee that oversees Maine gambling laws.” While it’s true that Rep. Patrick was a member of the Legislature’s Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee during the last session of the Legislature, he will not be a member of the committee, nor a member of the Maine Legislature, should this bill pass and return to the committee for action. The suggestion that he continues to have authority over Maine gambling laws is false and misleading. (A list of term-limited legislators can be found at http://janus.state.me.us/house/123_term.htm)
Rep. Patrick further states in the ad, “We pledge when Question 2 passes the committee will change it to meet existing Maine law.”
Rep. Patrick is in no position to speak for the committee since he will not be a member of the Maine Legislature. In fact, there is no guarantee the Legislature will do anything to amend Question 2 if it passes. As Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap noted in Sept. 22nd article in the Portland Press Herald, “the Legislature tends to be ‘extraordinarily reluctant to tinker too much’ with legislation that reflects the will of voters.”
This deceptive advertisement is a deliberate attempt to mislead voters into believing the many serious problems in Question 2 can and will be fixed, when in fact the Legislator making the pledge will have no role in making those changes next year, or whether any changes will be made at all.
In the interest of accuracy and fairness, we request that you cease airing this false and misleading ad.
Sen. Deborah Plowman of Bangor and Rep. John Patrick of Rumford appear in the ad pledging to “fix” the many problems in Question 2 “when it passes” on Nov. 4th. “We fixed the racino bill and we can fix Question 2,” the legislators say.
The ad can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23emfSWlggo&eurl=http://188.8.131.52/
But when the bill for the Oxford County casino came before the Legislature’s Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee on which Plowman and Patrick sit, they both voted against it.
“They couldn’t hold their nose and vote for this stinker of a bill when they had it in front of them,” said Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!, the grassroots organization opposing Question 2. “Now they’re telling Maine people they should vote for it, but don’t worry, the Legislature will fix it.
“If their actions weren’t so outrageous and irresponsible it would be funny,” Bailey continued. “They’re telling Maine people to vote for a law they know is bad, a law that they themselves didn’t vote for, and gamble that the Maine Legislature can improve it. I don’t think Maine voters will take that bet.”
Bailey noted that while Plowman and Patrick think the law can be changed, other state leaders aren’t so sure. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap told the Portland Press Herald that the Legislature is "extraordinarily reluctant to tinker too much" with legislation that reflects the will of voters. Sen. Lisa Marrache, who also sits on the Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee, said the Oxford casino bill would require “an extreme makeover.”
When the Oxford County casino bill came before the committee last April, legislators had several options for dealing with the citizens initiated bill: they could vote it down and send it to voters in a referendum; they could pass it and then amend it; or they could have voted to place a competing measure on the ballot for a casino without all the problems contained in Question 2.
“They simply voted no and sent it to the voters,” Bailey said. “For some reason the casino bill was beyond repair last April, now they want Maine people to put this bad bill into law.”
Several statements in the ad are also questionable. Plowman says, “Some people have said the language in Question 2 is confusing.”
“Who said it’s confusing,” Bailey asked. “The language is crystal clear. It will lower the legal age to gamble from 21 to 19. It allows 18 year olds to work in the casino dealing cards. It gives Las Vegas a 10-year monopoly on casinos. It puts the president of the casino, a man from Las Vegas, on dozens of boards and commissions that have authority over health care, education and the environment. Nothing confusing about that.”
Plowman also takes credit for “fixing the racino bill,” the 2003 referendum that resulted in Hollywood Slots in Bangor.
“That’s certainly open to interpretation,” Bailey said. “The Legislature added things to the bill, like payouts to off-track-betting parlors, that the voters never approved. The committee was whipsawed by lobbyists representing every corner of the gambling industry. There’s no way to tell what we’d end up with if Question 2 passes.”
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
No vote on casino in Paris
By M. Dirk Langeveld , Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
PARIS - A vote of support for the proposed Oxford casino resort by Paris selectmen didn't materialize Monday after a motion endorsing the plan couldn't hold a second.
Selectman David Ivey had asked that the item be put on the agenda.
"The town of Oxford did it, and I think we should follow suit," said Ivey. "And I think other towns are going to be right behind us."
On Oct. 2, Oxford selectmen and that town's economic development advisory committee voted to support having a casino in town if the question passes a referendum in November. Olympia Gaming, the Las Vegas-based group backing the project, announced a week later that the casino would be sited in Oxford.
The proposed $184 million resort casino would include a hotel, casino with table games and slots, spa, and conference center. Proponents say that the resort will create 907 jobs with an average salary of $35,000, while opponents argue that the development would lead to social problems, profits being transferred out of state, and other issues.
Oxford would receive 2 percent of the casino's annual profits, or $2.8 million after its fifth year in operation. The county would receive 1 percent, or $1.4 million after the fifth year.
Selectman Lloyd "Skip" Herrick seconded the motion for the purposes of discussion, but later withdrew the second. Herrick said he believed the decision was an individual one rather than a municipal one.
"I don't think it's the economic answer for the state of Maine or Oxford County," said Herrick. "I've always felt that you can't open the door for one town, city, or municipality in this state and close the door on every other recommendation."
Chairman Raymond Glover said that while the project would create jobs and add value to the area, he was not sure if he could support the casino on behalf of the town.
"I do not support the gambling issue." said Glover. "I do not think economic development based on gambling is beneficial."
Last spring the town was awarded a small grant to form a commission which would then create a . This forestry management plan would encompass all town-owned properties and be included as a sub-topic in the Town of Rumford's overall Comprehensive Plan.
Town of Rumford seeks volunteers to develop policies & procedures on Town-owned wood lots & properties. Project includes complete tree inventories and free training. Informational meeting to be held in Town Auditorium. FMI contact Tim Gallant, Rumford Parks Department at 364-7758. ALL WELCOME
Monday, October 13, 2008
This letter is being written by both Mr. & Mrs. Jason Thompson. This is the ONLY letter/submission that Stephanie has had anything to do with; minus a Selectman's meeting minutes that I did once about a year ago.
To set the record straight, the rumors about us moving are true. We are moving out of Rumford. Because we will not be Rumford citizens, we both will be resigning from our Boards, respectfully. Stephanie will continue to work in Rumford and provide the River Valley citizens within the community with education, prevention and intervention information as pertains to Public Health. Jason will be beginning a new position outside of the Rumford area.
We would like to thank all of our friends and family for the support they have given us in helping to make this decision. It was a difficult one because we have been involved in Rumford politics for the last few years. That also helped with making the decision to move as well. There are pros and cons to being involved in town politics. We will leave it at that. We love Rumford. We started our family in Rumford, Jason was born and raised in Rumford, and we have a lot of memories here. However, it is time to move on. In another era, this town will be everything it is supposed to be; unfortunately this town is oppressed and growth is difficult when growth is unwanted.
I Stephanie want to set the record straight about the latest letter that was submitted on the Reporter that some believe was written by us. It absolutely was not written by us. I have the utmost respect for our law enforcement. These men know that I respect what they do for this community every single day, but I felt the need to assure everyone that I did NOT write that. I would never disrespect our officers, especially our Chief of Police. I have a lot of respect for Chief Carter and his men and I do a lot of work with them and Rumford's judicial branch. I also know that whenever something seems to make sense that Jason submitted, people thought I wrote it. I have had better things to do. I do not write for him, nor anyone else.
Anyway, thanks to everyone for their support. We'll be seeing you around!
Jason & Stephanie
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I take great offense to the letter that was written by R. Ortez. I also take great offense to the attitude and approach the Rumford Reporter has had towards this profession. I do understand their frustration with budget issues and their right to question policies and procedures. However, their blatant attack on the Rumford Police Department and the Rumford Fire Department is completely uncalled for. I ask that R. Ortez and the editors of the Rumford Reporter walk a day in my shoes or anyone in law enforcement. I have worked in towns similar if not smaller than the size of Rumford and can tell you crime and tragedy can happen here too. I can tell you stories (which are now all public information and have been reported in the newspaper) of the 13 year old girl who witnessed her mother shoot her significant other, point the gun at the 13 year old, and then turn the gun on herself in a town with less than 5,000 residents. I can talk about my co worker who worked the night her close friend and law enforcement officer was conducting a routine traffic stop and was fatally shot in a town of 6,000 residents. I can talk about an incident in that same town where an officer was shot by an upset husband while he responded to a domestic violence call. I can also talk about the male who blew just over a .08 after killing his 5 year old daughter in motor vehicle accident. So R. Ortez comment that “We don't give a damn about your mangled license plate stops, your unregistered or uninspected vehicle stops, your .08 OUI stops, your headlight, taillight, or license plate light out stops, your no seat belt wearing stops” I can see where he has never educated himself about law enforcement. If I read his comment that “If you read the crimes (referring to the crime bulletin), they are police driven.” I can see he actually believes that the officer was responsible for making a person drink and get behind the wheel. I can see where he believes a police officer was responsible for a husband beating his wife from the confines of their home. I can also see from his comment “now you are hell bent on destroying any and all economic development efforts in Rumford by scaring people away with your outlandish claims” that he believes the outlandish claims, the charges against persons, are all fabricated. That he believes most things with law enforcement are fabricated. I would like to speak with R. Ortez, and the editors of the Rumford Reporter and have them speak with the family members of the fallen officers in Maine and let him repeat his comment “You Maine cops are clueless and are raping the taxpayer, which is about the only crime we have here.” I’d also like them to meet the countless victims of various crimes and have them repeat his comment about those officers who helped the victims find justice that “The only reason your crime is high is because you go looking for it so you can justify your bloated budget.”
Honestly I do have an even better idea. I call on R. Ortez and the editors of the Rumford Reporter to look farther than their front door step. I ask if they care about the community they take steps to educate themselves on the profession. Be open minded and see both sides before making a judgment.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The spending reports by the casino proponents show that Las Vegas-based Olympia Gaming is the sole contributor to the campaign to put a casino in the town of Oxford, spending more than half-a-million dollars in just 14 days on television, radio and newspaper advertising.
“Their signs say ‘Yes on 2 for Maine,’ but they should say ‘Yes on 2 for Vegas’,” said Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!, the grassroots organization opposed to the expansion of casino gambling in Maine. “Clearly, Las Vegas has everything to gain from Question 2, and Maine people have everything to lose.”
The Las Vegas corporation has spent nearly $40,000 a day on consultant fees, advertising and other expenses since announcing their interest in the Oxford referendum. Besides television and newspaper advertising, the campaign reported spending nearly $160,000 with CDM Communications, an advertising agency in Portland. Their full PAC report is HERE.
In contrast, CasinosNO! reported raising $77,700, all of it from Maine residents, and no spending on advertising. The full report is HERE.
“So which campaign is really for Maine,” Bailey asked. “It’s important to remember that casinos aren’t built from the money of winners, they’re built from the money of losers. Las Vegas is here to make losers of us all, and that’s why we need to vote no on Question 2.”
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
I don't trust Obama," a woman said. "I have read about him. He's an Arab."
McCain shook his head in disagreement, and said:
"No, ma'am. He's a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about."
He had drawn boos with his comment: "I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States."
"I appreciated his reminder that we can disagree while still being respectful of each other," Obama told supporters in Philadelphia. He said McCain "has served this country with honor, and he deserves our thanks for that."
This really isn't too much different that what's been going on between the TRR and RFP. It's easy to get polarized when you are in conflict with others.
The TRR may actually believe that they are helping the town with their behavior. There is really nothing wrong with a respectful dialogue between members of the community that disagree with each other. In fact, as we've said before, we think is actually quite healthy... as long as it stays respectful.
Steve and I have very different opinions on the presidential candidates. We had what I believe to be a healthy dialogue, around our beliefs. Towards the end I think we even found some common ground. We both believe in capitalism and we both don't want to see a "redistribution" of income. I would still like to see the poor taxed less; he seems to believe that the rich pay far too much in taxes. So what? We're both entitled to our opinions. I respect Steve for engaging in this dialogue in such a respectful way.
Things get bad when these differences of opinion become personal, and we have seen that way too much on these bogs. It's not the differences in opinions in town that originally caused the RFP and the RVFP to exist. It's the personal nature of the attacks on people. That is wrong and it's the main reason we have so much strife in this community. As long as it continues, the battle will wage on.
Members of our community are angry at the way the TRR has hurt so many residents of this community. Many are outraged. The TRR has been a powerful influence in this community but their power has been largely based on their ability to attack anyone that stands in their way on their road to making sure they get what they want.
When people engage in such behavior, they usually end up hurting themselves as well as their targets.
In response, members of this forum have been pretty hard on members of the TRR. If anyone were to track the dates of these posts, they would easily see a pattern of us rebuking the TRR after they were blatantly hurtful to others, like they most recently were to Selectman Adley.
You can feel the hate and scorn in that article. As others have said on here, I don’t believe that people that engage in behavior like this should be representing this town in any capacity.
BTW, as I’ve said before, Selectman Adley has nothing to do with this site. I don’t believe he has even posted on it. We hope he reads it. We hope all the selectmen and town officials read it. We hope that it sometimes give some fresh perspectives that are so healthy to have in town.
If I were to write an open letter to the TRR, it would once again ask them to stop their personal attacks that have wreaked so much havoc on our town. I would ask them to engage in respectful dialogue about our differences of opinion. I would ask that we learn how to disagree without being disagreeable.
TRR, the ball is in your court…
Thursday, October 9, 2008
By Jeff Clark
If an audacious referendum passes this month, a Nevada casino executive, Dean Harrold, might soon be one of the most powerful people in Maine. That’s not what Rumford attorney Seth Carey wanted. It was supposed to be him.
When the thirty-three-year-old Carey first conceived of building a casino in Oxford County and began the process of gathering signatures to put the proposal on the statewide ballot, he saw himself in the role of potential kingpin. And as such Carey wrote his referendum granting himself and the company he founded, Evergreen Mountain Enterprises, incredible powers — a ten-year monopoly on casino operations in the state, carte blanche on where it is built, and permanent voting seats on the boards of some of the most important agencies in Maine, including the Finance Authority of Maine, the University of Maine System, and the Land for Maine’s Future program. Carey’s law asks voters to keep the 1,500 slot machine limit for track-related racinos while giving Evergreen an unlimited number of slots, plus table games such as blackjack and roulette. It would drop the legal gambling age to nineteen. And it would allow the casino to extend house credit to gamblers but not let them use their credit or debit cards.
Carey’s plan was to make himself one of Maine’s wealthiest and most powerful men, but things did not go as planned. Along the way he ran into complaints of ethical and legal malfeasance, accusations of dishonesty from his own spokesperson, and widespread charges of business naiveté. His campaign stumbled badly, and in mid-September he sold Evergreen Mountain Enterprises to the Olympia Group, a Las Vegas-based gaming and resort developer. As a result, Seth Carey’s legacy will undoubtedly be different from the one he intended. And for Mainers, who might soon find unknown, out-of-state casino executives making decisions about their healthcare and universities, it might well be an enduring and troublesome legacy indeed.
Click here for full story
In a memo to Sunday River’s employees, Dana Bullen, general manager of Sunday River, said the casino would be incompatible with Maine’s “brand.”
“The decision to oppose casinos in Maine is based on our belief that the proposed casino represents a clear threat to our State’s brand and is a poor choice for the citizens of Maine,” he said. “Maine is one of the few states in the nation that is fortunate to actually claim a ‘brand’ identity. Maine is known for its rugged outdoor image, uncompromised natural beauty, family-friendly environment, and Yankee originality. These are attributes the State of Maine promotes to the world through its tourism efforts, and attributes that Sunday River has tied into our own Visioning process. They are what differentiate us from all other states in the country.
“There is a stark contrast between these attributes, for which Maine is known, and those associated with casino gambling,” the memo continued.
Saddleback Mountain, Sugarloaf and Sunday River have joined with CasinosNO! to help defeat the casino, and Bullen said the company will be making a financial contribution to the anti-casino group.
“Although Sunday River does not have a history of adopting a corporate position on public referendum, we feel that this issue warrants our involvement as a company,” Bullen wrote. “We respect every employee's right to have their own, and possibly a differing, view on this issue. At the same time, however, we hope that every employee understands Sunday River’s position and will make an informed choice.”
Warren Cook, general manager of Saddleback Mountain, said, “The ski industry in Maine has made millions of dollars in investments to create good jobs and attract tourists who come here for our clean environment, beautiful scenery and outdoor recreation. This is Maine's strength. A gambling casino doesn't play to our strengths, it preys on our weaknesses."
Contact: Dennis Bailey, CasinosNO!, 207-347-6077, 207-749-4963
Warren Cook, Saddleback Mountain, 207-266-2533
Monday, October 6, 2008
The TRR attacks on the RFD have been incessant over the last few years. Lately they have continued their attacks with the same strategy that Len Greaney talked about in his memo, casting our firefighters as lazy, greedy and manipulative. They compare the overtime the firemen have needed to put in as another form of government welfare and attempt to raise the hackles of the community toward our firemen.
They also play the victim for how they suffered so for daring to do what’s right for the community, never taking any responsibility for how their vengeful behavior has hurt this community and caused the communities anger to be cast upon them at times. They act like the town bullies and then play victim when people get angry at their bullying behavior.
For the record, never on this forum has anyone ever said members of the RFD should be granted excessive amounts of overtime just for the sake of them getting it. What we have said, time and time again, is treat our professional firefighters (and all our town employees) with respect. These kinds of personal attacks made on our firemen do nothing to help the community and is a big part of the root cause of all the turmoil in this town.
We have also said don’t waste our money but make part of the discussion about funding all of our departments based on good data that includes a concern for the safety of our citizens. Our town departments serve a purpose I this town, especially the ones that are charged with our safety. I don’t like paying taxes either but if (heaven forbid) my family or I am in need of a fireman or a police officer, I want them to be able to be here, and come with the resources they need to be able to protect us.
I’m not thinking that’s too much to ask.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Barrow is well known in casino circles for his pro-casino findings. His “research” is controversial, to say the least. Editors, reporters and members of the public should be aware of Barrow’s background and dealings, such as:
Although Barrow talks at length about the economic impacts of casinos, he is not an economist. His degree is in political science.
Barrow is the director of the Center for Policy Analysis, which studies casino gambling in New England. He purports to be an independent analyst, but his conclusions always favor the casino industry and questions have been raised about his impartiality.
In 2006, Barrow received $20,000 from the Rhode Island Buildings Trade Council, which was supporting a Harrah’s casino for that state, for a study showing the positive impacts of a Harrah’s casino. Records show that at the same time Barrow received payment from the union, Harrah’s donated $25,000 to the Trade Council. Greg Mancini of the building trades group told the Boston Globe that he went to Barrow to add “intellectual heft” to the pro-casino position. “We went to Clyde Barrow and asked him to prove it from an academic point of view,” Mancini said. “He said, ‘Yeah, I can do that. But it’s going to cost money.’”
Lincoln Almond, the former governor of Rhode Island, called Barrow “one of Harrah’s paid consultants” who lives in a “fantasy world” of illusive casino benefits.
In 1999, Barrow’s group received funding from the Visions Group, a business group then pushing for a casino in Salisbury, MA. Other communities and groups in favor of a casino have also hired Barrow, and he has been a paid spokesperson at conferences sponsored by the casino industry.
A casino developer who controls land in New Bedford and Palmer, MA partially funded one of Barrow’s “studies” that supported a casino in that area of the state.
Barrow’s “research” often shows how states are losing money to casinos in neighboring states. But his numbers are based on flimsy research and often don’t add up. For example, during last year’s debate over plans for three casinos in Massachusetts, Barrow claimed that his research showed that 35% of the patrons at Foxwoods hailed from Massachusetts. He reached that conclusion by hiring students to record license plates parked at Foxwoods over a five-day period. However, Foxwoods officials said based on their own analysis of license plates, credit card receipts and other data, the number of Massachusetts patrons regularly visiting Foxwoods is actually much lower.
Rep. Dan Bosley of Massachusetts told the Globe that Barrow's studies are speculative, rely on a sample of casino patronage that is too small, and assume values for calculating total spending that cannot be verified. “Given Dr. Barrow's flawed research, it's a little embarrassing that he is a tenured professor at a public university,” Bosley said.
In an editorial in May, SeaCoastToday.com took issue with Barrow calling complaints by casino “skeptics” as “rhetoric.” “By labeling opponents ‘skeptics’ and their words ‘rhetoric,’ Dr. Barrow goes beyond describing the poll results,” the editorial stated. “He casts a negative light on anyone who would oppose or even question (those pesky skeptics!) the idea that Massachusetts should welcome casinos. Unfortunately, Dr. Barrow is starting to look more like a lobbyist — and less like someone whose research happens to receive private funding.”
· Nevertheless, in an e-mail to Oxford County Commissioners, the backers of Question 2 describe Barrow as “one of the most respected” experts of casino gambling in the country. He sure is respected by the casino industry.
Contact: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
THE OXFORD COUNTY CASINO?”
PORTLAND – An editorial in today’s Sun Journal reveals that there are a number of minority investors in the Oxford County casino proposal but the casino’s Las Vegas backer has refused to disclose their identities.
Because the casino promoters will be granted a 10-year monopoly on casinos in Maine if Question 2 passes, the Sun Journal urges them to come clean.
“Too much of this casino campaign….has been balanced on the argument of ‘trust me,’” the editorial states. “Maine voters are being asked to drastically change public policy for the benefit of this individual company. We should, at least, know everybody who stands to benefit.”
The newspaper also chided the casino proponents for criticizing the financial backers of CasinosNO!, which are all publicly disclosed in the group’s filings with the state, while keeping their own investors secret. “This criticism only rings hollow until their financials are open to equal scrutiny,” the editorial stated.
Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!, said the questions surrounding the bill get murkier by the day.
“We don’t where it’s going to be located, we don’t know who the owners really are, we don’t know what provisions the casino promoters are promising to change if this bill that they themselves describe as a ‘mess’ is approved by voters,” he said. “That should be enough reason for Maine people to vote a resounding NO on Question 2.”
The Sun Journal editorial can be found here.
Contact: Dennis Bailey, 207-347-6077
In its newly released voter guide, the League gave thumbs down to the proposal, saying that while a casino would bring jobs and revenue to Maine, “Studies also show that casinos lead to crime, violence and addiction….and there’s question whether the jobs it contributes are low paying.”
The League of Young Voters, which describes itself as “a youth-driven organization that finds creative ways to engage our peers in the political process,” has been active in city elections for several years and has seen its influence grow.
“It’s great that the League of Young Voters saw through the hype and misinformation of the casino promoters and rejected Question 2,” said Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!, “particularly since the bill would lower the legal gambling age to 19 and lower the age to work in the casino to 18. I guess they felt that Maine should offer more for young people than gambling and working in a casino.”
The League’s voting guide is HERE.
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
During questioning about specific details of the bill, Lamarche said that if the bill is enacted the Legislature “is going to fix this mess.” (Listen to the interview here.)
“It’s astonishing that LaMarche and her bosses from Las Vegas are spending $1 million or more to convince voters to enact a law that they themselves call ‘a mess,’” said Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!, the grassroots organization opposed to the expansion of casino gambling in Maine. “She’s doing a better job than I am to convince voters to reject Question 2.”
During the interview, LaMarche also went on at length claiming that the bill does not require the president of the casino to be a “voting member” of the boards and commissions that receive a slice of the casino revenues. In fact the bill specifically says the president of the Oxford County casino “must be appointed a voting member” of the programs and boards receiving an allocation from the casino.
LaMarche’s latest statements quickly became fodder for “The Daily Pat-Down” a compendium on the CasinosNO! website of LaMarche’s outrageous claims. (Click here.)
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963