Citizens for a Stronger Massachusetts strives to educate the public and citizens of Massachusetts on subjects useful and beneficial to the community, in order to create a more diverse, educated, economically competitive, and environmentally sustainable Commonwealth. These aims are furthered through presenting topics in a full and fair manner to a wide audience in order that the public may form independent opinions and conclusions, by making available the results of nonpartisan analysis, study, or research on legislative issues, by performing advocacy and, to a significantly lesser degree, by engaging in grassroots lobbying.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Statement from CSM President Scott Harshbarger

Scott Harshbarger, president of Citizens for a Stronger Massachusetts, issued the following statement on the appointment of Stephen Crosby as the chairman of the new Gambling Commission.

Statement of Scott Harshbarger, president of Citizens for a Stronger Massachusetts

“While I and many other concerned Massachusetts residents remain skeptical of the promises made by casino supporters, Governor Patrick today made an inspired selection in Steve Crosby as the chairman of the powerful Gambling Commission. Steve is a bipartisan realist with strong credentials, demonstrated independence and impressive experience in both the public and private sectors. He is smart, tough and honest and I hope his selection sets the standard for strong appointments from the Governor, Attorney General and Treasurer.

“The new Chairman will be judged in the near- and long-term on his actions and I hope critics and proponents alike will watch, comment and participate in this critically important process. Among the important early steps for the commission is to showcase its independence in decision-making, create a strict code of ethics and conduct for all commission matters and clearly establish a process for decisions which imposes a new level of transparency and civic engagement.

“The hard work on casinos and slots begins now, with Steve Crosby at the helm. I believe the Governor, Attorney-General and Treasurer will get it right and appoint more truly independent-minded commissioners willing to stand up for the Commonwealth and its best interests.”

Friday, December 9, 2011

Kraft, Wynn Ramp Up Foxboro Casino Plans

It's now official - Suffolk Downs will have competition for the coveted Eastern Massachusetts casino license, and Joe O'Donnell should be concerned. And as the respective sides gather politicians to their respective camps, it remains unclear who will win the fight.

As the Boston Globe reports, the competition is less focused on which group - Foxboro or Suffolk Downs - is most qualified to run a casino, than it is on which casino can attract the heaviest political hitters to their cause. In Steve Wynn's corner - business magnate Robert Kraft and Governor Deval Patrick. And with Joe O'Donnell - House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Boston Mayor Tom Menino.

Foxboro residents have already begun to a refrain of "enough!" Between the Patriots, Major League Soccer, and a never-ending string of concerts, the small community's infrastructure has already been pushed to the limit. Add a 24 hour - excuse me, 23 hour and 59 minute - per day casino, and Foxboro will be pushed beyond its breaking point. Of course, Wynn and Kraft have promised to make a Foxboro casino "bucolic," but really, can you take the word of a man known for revamping the anything-but-bucolic Las Vegas strip?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Globe: Kraft/Wynn Casino Alliance Signals Possible Trouble Ahead

In a Boston Globe article, Adrian Walker ponders whether the Massachusetts gambling industry - led by business and casino titans Robert Kraft and Steve Wynn - could "become a beast that will strain the state’s ability to regulate it." Mr. Walker rightly notes that it is an industry "defined by desperation," and questions the negative effect that casinos will have on quality of life in the Commonwealth.

Click here to read the entire article.

CSM President Scott Harshbarger Boston Globe Opinion

Click here to read Citizens for a Stronger Massachusetts' President Scott Harshbarger's Opinion article published in the Boston Globe on Saturday, December 3, 2011. The article discusses what will be needed in the members of the yet-to-be-named gaming commission.