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Candidates Respond to Question on Casinos

Patch posed questions to Republican primary candidates.

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.

mark September 10, 2010 at 11:44 AM
Dahlberg and Martinez believe casinos and racinos won't bring fiscal or economic benefits? They're a perfect example of why Repub wingnuts and Dem moonbats can't be trusted, because they want to impose their personal morals on us. FACT: Three casinos/two racinos will create 10,000 construction jobs; FACT: Three casinos/two racinos will create 15,000 permanent jobs; FACT: Three casinos/two racinos will generate $400 million in new tax revenues; FACT: Three casinos/two racinos will spend $500 million annually among small businesses for the goods and services necessary to furnish and operate the facilities; FACT: Three casinos/two racinos will increase local aid to cities and towns by 10%; FACT: Three casinos/two racinos will grow our state's struggling tourism, hospitality and convention and meeting sectors; and FACT: Three casinos/racinos WILL NOT cost taxpayers a single penny; instead, they will require nearly $3 billion in private sector investment within the Massachusetts economy. A great deal! And three casinos/two racinos will recapture $1 billion being spent annually by MA residents at the CT casinos and RI racinos --- and $250 million that MA residents generate to CT and RI tax coffers. Either of these Luddites gets elected as a state legislator and we should bring George W. Dunce back. Then we'll have the same stupid fiscal and economic policies at the federal level once again that these Luddites hope to impose here in our Commonwealth.
MiddleboroRemembers September 11, 2010 at 02:43 AM
mark, you've got the casino KoolAid down pat, but you're wrong on each count. Sands Bethlehem, a SLOT BARN, cost about $600 million. That's what you get for that amount of money, not some euphemistically labelled facility. Sands is estimating 350 construction workers to construct a hotel. Permanent jobs: Mark, I would call to your attention that Sand Bethlehem with 3,000 SLOTS employs 780 people, according to the last article I read. As employees left, they were not replacing them to avoid layoffs. Rivers employs 1,000 people. That's not the thousands promised. I would call your attention to an OpEd written by Scott Harshbarger that summarized the issue well: The number of jobs the proposed legislation would create has been wildly exaggerated. We are told that two casinos and four racinos will net about 16,000 construction and permanent jobs. But in Indiana it takes 10 riverboats, one casino and two racinos to generate 16,000 current jobs and Louisiana requires 18 casinos to employ 17,268, according to the American Gaming Association. The states that most closely mirror the current legislation suggest that the real results will be but a fraction of the job estimates we have been hearing. Michigan’s three casinos net 8,568 permanent jobs and New Mexico’s five racinos employ less than 2,000 people.
MiddleboroRemembers September 11, 2010 at 02:49 AM
A federal study determined that every $1 in gambling revenue costs taxpayers $3. That same study determined that Gambling Addiction doubles within a 50 mile radius of a gambling establishment. Harrah's determined that 90% of their profits came from 10% of their patrons, then targeted, marketed and pursued those patrons. THAT'S GAMBLING ADDICTION. If 6% of Massachusetts residents become Gambling Addicts, that's more than 300,000 of our friends and neighbors and relatives and co-workers. Each of those Addicts costs about $13,000 per year and effects 6 or 7 other people. Mark, as you know, there's far more, but you're not interested in the facts. For the sake of full disclosure, why don't you tell us which gambling vulture employs you.

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