Patch sent three questions to Republican state senate candidates Eric Dahlberg and Sandi Martinez, who will face off in the Sept. 14 primary. The first question, about casinos, is below. Both candidates are from Chelmsford. The winner faces Sen. Susan Fargo (D-Lincoln) in the Nov. 2 election.
Q. How would you have voted on the casino bill had you been in the legislature, and what do you think will happen with that bill now? What are the pros and cons, as you see it?
Dahlberg: I would have voted against the casino bill. I oppose expanded gaming in Massachusetts. It would not significantly increase net revenues. It would not create good, well-paying, long-lasting jobs. It would expand the size and scope of the state's already bloated bureaucracy. It is totally inconsistent with the heritage of Massachusetts. We can do better. I will vote against expanded gaming legislation if it comes up again.
Martinez: I would have voted against it. Casinos are a bad idea for Massachusetts. They will hurt jobs, hurt families, and cause our taxes to rise without providing better services. No state has ever solved its budget problems with gambling revenues. Solving our budget problems will require fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability. These are my top priorities.
The legislature wasted a lot of time on this bill in the last session which meant that other important legislation was ignored. When the next session begins, we must immediately address this issue with an up or down vote and move on to solving the fiscal problems that are hurting Massachusetts taxpayers and businesses.