***As expanded gambling comes closer to a reality in Massachusetts, those who stand to walk away with massive amounts of our money have turned up the lobbying heat on Beacon Hill. The Associated Press reports that $1.8 million was spent on lobbyists in the first half of this year, mostly by out-of-state companies. Suffolk Downs spent more than a half-million dollars. In 2009, $2 million was spent on gambling lobbyists. Some of that money went directly to elected officials' campaign funds: last year lobbyists contributed $8,000 to House Speaker Bob DeLeo, $7,800 to Senate President Therese Murray and $4,900 to Gov. Deval Patrick.
***Mayor Menino has decided that the developer who failed to go forward with a project at Downtown Crossing should not profit from any casino that might be built at Suffolk Downs. Vornado Realty Trust, a New York City company worth some $20 billion, owns 20% of the racetrack, but the developer has angered the mayor and that is a no-no in this city. (See Yoon, Sam) Menino is right on this issue, but he is inviting gambling interests into Boston and in the future he can expect to be partners with much more unsavory characters than this.
***Brian McGrory's column from earlier this week discusses the positions state leaders have staked out on casino legislation and his suggestion to solve the impasse.
***Dan Rea's radio program Nightside was scheduled to have guests for and against casino gambling last night. I wasn't able to listen, but I'd be interested in what people thought of it. Thanks to Neighbors of Suffolk Downs for keeping us updated on such things.