Last week, I attended a candidate forum in Grafton where Juliette Kayyem and Joe Avellone spent some time talking about their respective ambitions for the corner office this year. I asked Kayyem about how she would deal with the legislature, and was very satisfied with her answer, as she talked about past jobs and how they entailed dealing with Congress and Beacon Hill.
Avellone, in his remarks, talked about how we are a commonwealth, and the meaning of that word, how it evokes an image that we are all in this together. I asked him a pointed question about casinos and the lottery, citing my own experience with Casino Free Milford and a recent post on BlueMassGroup.com concerning the state lottery. I pointed out how both casinos and the lottery prey on poorer, less-educated people, and a reliance on a regressive income stream of that nature really puts the lie to the word “commonwealth”.
He carefully parsed his answer to me, at one point admitting that he wasn’t giving me the answer that I probably wanted to hear, so I was happy to see that his position has apparently changed. From the Springfield Republican (via BlueMassGroup.com) we see this today:
Avellone said the benefits of casinos were oversold and he is against casino gaming, a view also shared by Berwick.
“There is an overestimate in the revenue to the commonwealth,” he said. “And it will add a whole new health burden to this commonwealth. The cost is not worth the benefit and there are other ways to add to our economy.”
Good on you, Joe! I hope I helped in some small way to change your mind on this topic.